The piercing sounds of clubs hitting golf balls echo across the fairways at Winding Creek Golf Course, an 18-hole, 6,367-yard course that bobs and weaves through the Thomasville countryside. The par 72 course incorporates elevation changes, doglegs that bend both directions, and intermittent water hazards to challenge every element of golfers' games. The course's full-length driving range also serves as the training ground for Thomasville Golf Academy, where veteran instructor Lloyd Scarberry helps golfers lower scores with swing advice and tips on how to read greens silently so their opponents can't overhear their techniques.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Length of 6,367 yards from the farthest tees * Course rating of 71 from the farthest tees * Slope rating of 126 from the farthest tees * Four tee options
American saddlebred horses trot across more than 55 acres of verdant countryside at Jansal Saddlebreds LLC’s training facility, where experienced equestrians devote themselves to riding, breeding, and caring for their trusty mares and stallions. Budding riders bond with carefully selected mounts as instructors teach them to trot, canter, and conduct clopping symphonies in private or group lessons held in an outdoor arena or a lighted, climate-controlled indoor arena. Pastures, turnout paddocks, and scenic trails await beyond the arenas’ fences, where professional trainers Janelle D’Amato and Bobby Jones occasionally lead rides. The facility’s professional roster includes a litany of show-ring champions and a barn manager who curates shows in which horses can display their finest salt-lick sculptures.
Not every shot at Crescent Golf Club is created equal. Though the usual requirements of distance, accuracy, and guts are necessary to score well throughout the 18-hole course, a few shots stand out and may even haunt players well after their round is over. On No. 8?a par 3?tee shots must sail over a pond before alighting on a shallow green, leaving little room for error. On the par 4 16th, meanwhile, a tricky approach onto an elevated green can provide some drama as competitors fight to sink shots without resorting to wizardry. If these holes trip players up, a 7-acre driving range rubs shoulders with the course near the clubhouse, providing plenty of opportunity for them to hone their swings in preparation for their next bout with the course.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Total length of 6,822 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 73.1 from the back tees * Course slope of 130 from the back tees * Four sets of tees per hole
From their home base at Deep River Golf Range, PGA-certified instructors Scott Duerscherl and Riley Kurtz help students along the path to lower golf scores. The teachers adhere to an overarching philosophy that there is no single perfect swing that works for every player. Instead, they tweak an individual's natural mechanics to create a comfortable swing that can be repeated even when hitting from difficult lies such as hillside dirt or camouflaged snares. During lessons with either Scott or Riley, students focus on the fundamentals of making proper contact with the ground in relation to the ball and controlling the ball's flight path. Casio high-speed cameras capture each cut for analysis with SwingView Pro software, which can spot swing-inhibiting problems such as backswing hitches and straitjacket polo shirts. On days when inclement weather prevents practice on the range, players can head to the indoor teaching area, complete with a sheltered putting green.
Riley Kurtz’s love affair with the game of golf began when he was all of 13. His mentor Scott Duerscherl showed him how to hammer long drives, master short-game strategy, and everything in between, which sparked a passion for the game that would stay with him throughout his career. One year later, Riley made his high school's varsity squad and won the Most Valuable Player award multiple times after posting the team's lowest stroke average for three straight years. He turned professional in 2008, and a year after that passed the PGA’s playing aptitude test, which assesses a professional golfer’s skills and ability to properly pronounce Louis Oosthuizen.
Today, Riley splits time between PGA qualifiers and teaching the game to others and has given more than 5,000 lessons to both professional and amateur players. His academy, which has a sheltered area so that lessons don't get deterred by weather, even offers high-speed video and computer analysis to enhance traditional teaching techniques.