Named after a Cheyenne chief, Roman Nose State Park is one Oklahoma’s oldest state parks. In the heart of the preserve sits a 22-room lodge, an elegant—yet rustic—hotel that dates back to 1956. Though the lodge retains its streamlined, mid-century aesthetic, a recent renovation provided the guest rooms with modern touches, including flat-screen TVs and iHome docking stations. Artistic photographs of Roman Nose’s own picturesque waterfalls and canyons decorate the walls. Retreat to the on-site restaurant’s outdoor patio to heckle slow-moving squirrels while you eat.
There is no shortage of outdoor recreation within the state park. Guests can play a round on the 18-hole golf course, hike miles of multi-purpose trails, or cast a line into nearby Watonga Lake to fish for trout. When the weather’s warm, take a dip in the outdoor swimming pool, built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps. The lodge also offers bicycle, canoe, kayak, and horse rentals.
Since 1978, players have dodged trees and chased flagsticks across the 6,602 yards that make up the 18-hole championship course at The Trails Golf Club. With just two par 5s total and two par 3s longer than 200 yards, birdie opportunities are scarce, but the course often yields to a smart strategy and threats to pour salt in a divot. Three sets of tees make the course enjoyable for all players, ranging from weekend warriors up to the extremely skilled entrants in both the Men’s and Women’s State Amateur tournaments held at the course. Instruction from PGA and LPGA professionals is also available to help any player strive for champion status.
Course at a Glance:
Staffed by experienced golfing professionals and computers who’ve sworn allegiance to the three laws of golfing robotics, GolfTEC’s motion sensors and high-speed cameras monitor your swing and break down your form on a high-definition video display. GolfTEC’s certified teaching professionals point out your flaws and strengths and coach you on how to permanently improve your game, from tee to green. Sensors chirp with approval whenever you execute a perfect stroke or crack an especially witty golfing joke.
The 18-hole course at Willow Creek Golf & Country Club stretches across 6,450 yards, bending around lakes and intersecting canals as it tunnels through a dense forest. Players must avoid sending golf balls into a shallow grave twice on the 15th hole, as tee shots must carry water to reach the fairway and approach shots must do the same to reach the green. On the par 37 back nine, three relatively short par 5s present birdie opportunities, with the 17th hole eminently reachable in two.
After rounds, players can head to one of the course’s culinary establishments—The Grill, The Dining Room, or the Fireside Room—to satisfy appetites and the need to brag about having the highest score.
Course at a Glance:
John Conrad Golf course, constructed in 1971 by Floyd Farley, bestows golfers with ample opportunity to challenge friends and skills. The 6,854-total-yard course thwarts players' efforts for low scores with a slew of obstacles, including tree-lined roughs, sand bunkers, babbling creeks, and ball washers filled with maple syrup. Precise shots are welcomed by bermuda grass fairways leading to smooth bentgrass greens, which golfers deftly traverse in the provided golf cart. Before taking to the turf, visitors can warm up rusty drivers and test theoretical dimple-to-distance math ratios with a bucket of range balls at the John Conrad Golf Course driving range.