The Cincinnati Golf Center stocks its driving range with over 32,000 new golf balls, 120 of which join hands inside a jumbo bucket and anxiously await their predestined flights. With each swing, user-friendly Trackman radar units monitor club delivery and ball trajectory for shots of up to 400 yards, helping golfers recognize their mistakes and adjust their swing accordingly. The golf center is staffed by two non-judgmental, PGA-sanctioned golf professionals who are trained to spot pro-golf-player imposters, so leave the Jack Nicklaus mask in the closet and come as you are to sharpen your clubbing skills.
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.
The short par 3 course at Golden Tee challenges golfers with its undulating bent-grass greens, uphill and downhill shots, and multiple tee options. During nine-hole rounds, duffer duets can opt to swing from blue tees, boasting a driving span of 110–165 yards, or red tees, situated from 51 to 100 yards⎯or golfers can further challenge themselves by teeing off from a moving golf cart. Along the green jaunt, golfers will need to maneuver chips and drives past the course's shot-taxing obstacles, which include 11 bunkers, 4 golf-ball-hungry lakes, and a plethora of spontaneously combusting fairways. Each round adjourns with a pair of drinks and hot dogs, which are ceremonially chipped into their mouths via pitching wedge by a local golf pro.
Forest Hills Country Club invites golfers of all skill levels to drive, chip, and putt their way around its private nine-hole course, buttressed by the Great Miami River and native forestation. The course measures 2,267 yards from the back tees and boasts five par 3s and four par 4s. Though it may not have any par 5s, Forest Hills makes up for distance in scoring difficulty, with just one par 3 measuring fewer than 150 yards and cups that sneeze every time a ball comes near them. After a round, players can visit the concession stand to replenish calories lost from swinging clubs or cartwheeling from hole to hole.
PB Dye designed the 18 executive-style, rye-grass fairways at ClearCreek to focus on golfers’ short games, letting players hit through a faster round while still challenging them with one lake and 11 sand bunkers. Golfers tee off at a choice of four different boxes, driving balls the farthest at the 14th hole—one of two par 4 holes on the course—and maneuvering delicately at the 7th to avoid a bunker and the water that ripples on the backside of the putting green. The practice range’s 22 heated and lighted stalls keep 9-irons warm and cozy, and two Full Swing Golf simulators invite golfers to pretend to tackle the best courses in the world no matter the weather outside. ClearCreek’s pro shop features a Callaway custom fitting center for players seeking a new club and stocks Callaway and Titleist golfing paraphernalia. On Sundays, ClearCreek sells adult beverages at the 15th hole’s twin bunkers, providing adults the liquid courage necessary to face down the course's fire-breathing prairie dogs.
Course at a Glance:
Beech Creek’s course blankets the rolling Ohio countryside with more than 5,400 yards of player-friendly fairways and greens. The relatively short layout welcomes novice golfers, while more experienced aces and tape-measure enthusiasts flaunt their length off the tee on three par 5s that measure at least 550 yards.
Course at a Glance