Featuring 36 holes of brand-new miniature golf in a newly renovated facility, Cincinnati Golf Center gives golfers a whimsical break from the stresses and frequent quicksand deaths associated with full-sized golf. Boogie like boom-box-toting caddies through four rounds ($6.50 per round) of microscopic golf on either of the Golf Center's two fully compressed 18-hole courses. The Golf Center is staffed by two PGA-sanctioned golf professionals, who will gladly share tips on how Phil Mickelson slips his ball through windmill blades and into angry gorillas' mouths. They are also trained to spot pro-golf-player imposters, so leave the Jack Nicklaus mask in the closet and just be yourself as you hone your micro-game over the course of 72 closely mowed and amusingly obstacled greens.
Overlooking Bel-Wood Country Club’s manicured greens and fairways, the Grille Room prepares simmering heavily laden plates of American fare from an eclectic menu for customers from around Cincinnati. The barbecue-pulled-pork sandwich treats a lonely mound of tender, smoked pork waiting to be hugged between slices of bread ($8), and the Bel-Wood burger customizes a thick patty of Angus beef with interchangeable accessories to create a bacon burger, jalapeño burger, or arctic adventure burger ($9). The Grille Room’s entrees tempt taste buds with a prevailing nautical theme, exemplified in the house-made beer-battered fish and unassaulted chips ($14). With roasted fingerlings lounging sumptuously over wild-mushroom ragout, the seared salmon fillet ($17) caps off the Grille Room’s standard menu selections, but special dinner features every weekend promise serendipitous discoveries for patrons.
Golf balls soar above the driving range and roll over tricky putt-putt greens at Southwest Golf Ranch, a practice facility designed to help golfers improve the full spectrum of their skills. With 2.5 acres of bent-grass hitting areas and 20 heated, covered hitting stalls outfitted with synthetic-turf mats, the range lets players choose their hitting surface or conceal their swing adjustments from spy drones sent by rival golfers. The mini-golf course features colorful flags, Lilliputian ponds, and wooden bridges that arch throughout the 18-hole layout, which is lighted for after-hours play.
Helmed by PGA pro and Director of Instruction Dave Stanton, Southwest Golf Ranch’s staff of instructors puts the facility’s resources to use in lessons and golf camps. The resident aces groom golfers’ swings with the help of video analysis and FlightScope swing tracking, the same technology used in the Ranch’s club fitting studio, which pairs golfers with their ideal clubs without forcing them to meet random sand wedges on the Internet.
Sculpted through a quaint, quiet 300-acre plot, Greentree Golf Club garnishes the hills of Warren County with nine holes that yield a tranquil golfing experience. Jodi Kinney, one of just six female golf-course architects in the nation, designed the course in 1999 and made it approachable for golfers of all skill levels by incorporating four sets of tees. To score anywhere near the par of 36, players must steer their shots down tunnels of bluegrass fairways cleaved between the outstretched limbs of towering trees. After reaching the bent-grass greens, players can putt confidently knowing they avoided the quicksand bunkers. On the scenic layout, players may encounter deer frolicking in the pastures or counting mulligans on their antlers.
Course at a Glance:
The fairways at Deer Run Country Club beckon golfers along an immaculately crosshatched carpet of plush bent grass. Whittled from a rolling blanket of forest by architect Mike Macke, the 18-hole course forms a heart-shaped patch surrounding several arteries of pristine residential streets and five ponds lurking in wait. After building up an appetite while hacking out of the rough and taking in the beauteous Ohio River Valley setting, players can fill up on wings, pizzas, and half-pound burgers at the Fairway Grill.
Course at a Glance: