Beau Pre' Country Club tests the mettle of iron-swingers with a scenic 18-hole championship layout that carpets the buxom banks of Second Creek. Practice baton-twirling your ball-hitters while gazing up at the overhanging 90-foot red-clay bluff from one of nine wooden bridges or simply bask in the beauty of the course’s expansive canyons, feeder creeks, and wildlife. A robust 6,935 yards from the tips, the par 72 scene cradles dimpled spheres with TifEagle Bermuda-grass greens as lush and fluffy as an inebriated chinchilla, then tests concentration skills with snickering sand bunkers. Warm up for the round on the multitarget driving range or refine hand-eye-Madras-shorts coordination at the short-game area and putting green.
At Fennwood Hills Country Club, the transformative fairways of a nine-hole course invite golfers to play 18 holes, presenting different tee boxes during the second act for a distinct back nine. As clubbers loop the course, which was frequented by former sweater-vest model John Daly, they are faced with difficult drives into narrow, tree-lined fairways and approach shots over treacherous bunkers. The course’s innovative front-to-back layout asks players to approach three holes from entirely new angles on the back nine, which declaws the par 5—rendering it a par 3—and forces golfers to look at the course’s five perilous ponds from a new perspective, especially on the 16th hole, where rippling water pressures players to lay-up or risk sending golf balls into an eternal search for underwater Atlantis.
After a long day of putting and strutting in the sun, the club invites players to cool off with a beverage while watching sports in the clubhouse, test their forehand at one of four tennis courts, or practice splash-free cannonballs at the swimming pool.
Course at a Glance:
The topography at Beaver Creek Golf Course doesn't shape the course as much as it divides the layout into two distinct nine-hole designs. The front nine stretches across plains with open expanses and very few trees, relying on shifting winds to challenge golfers as they loft approach shots into the stratosphere or attempt to steer their cart by sail. While the winds may be perplexing, golfers shouldn't be caught off guard by the front nine's other unique characteristic: a double green. Holes five and seven share the same putting surface, which hosts a separate, well-marked flagstick and cup for each respective hole. Bounded by dense woods, Beaver Creek's second nine presents a completely different design, where golf balls are sheltered from the winds but imperiled by protected wetlands throughout and a large lake that comes into play on holes 11 and 12. After rounds, golfers can unwind at the Creekside Grill or make underperforming putters run sprints across the practice green.
Measuring 6,403 yards from the farthest tees, Dumas Memorial Golf Course's par 71 layout provides plenty of opportunities for golfers to post low scores—at least once they make it past the first hole. The par-five first presents an intimidating start: at 548 yards, it's the longest hole on the course and the number-one handicap hole, so golfers might want to spend some extra time at the on-site driving range to avoid a slow start. Any early-round transgressions can be redeemed on the finishing holes: the two shortest par-threes on the course, holes 16 and 18 will reward solid tee shots with birdie opportunities and a congratulatory handshake from the final flagstick.
Creeks are typically benign features, so it tends to raise some eyebrows when one is named after a natural disaster. At Howell Park Golf Course, Hurricane Creek earned its fearsome moniker for the mayhem it can cause on the course: the creek intersects ten different holes, making it imperative that players select the proper club when attempting to clear the water or laying up to the front of its bank so that their golf cart can drink when thirsty. A parkland-style, 5,700-yard, par 70 layout, Howell Park's player-friendly fairways give golfers a chance to shoot a solid round, as long as they can keep their ball dry.
Historic City Park Golf Course has occupied its 25-acre parcel on the northern tip of City Park Lake since 1926. Comprised exclusively of par 3s and 4s, the nine-hole layout keeps distances manageable—its longest hole is 377 yards—so beginners can enjoy the course as much as their longer-driving counterparts. Though the course may be short on yardage, it's long on history as one of a select group of golf courses recognized by the National Register of Historic Places, preserving it from destruction so that future generations will one day be able to use robot caddies to play on those same fairways.
Course at a Glance: * 9-hole, par 32 course * Total length of 2,300 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 62.4 from the back tees * Course slope of 107 from the back tees * Three sets of tees per hole * Scorecard
Lions and tigers lurk on the glowing murals of Wildcat Station’s jungle-themed, black-light miniature-golf course, where balls roll toward nine challenging holes. More competition flanks the greens at the arcade, where 8 balls sink into the pool table’s pockets, pucks ricochet against the sides of the air-hockey table, and virtual races commence at video-game stations. Postgame birthday celebrations commence in the mirror-lined party area with pizza and soda feasts. Though it accommodates group or special events seven days a week, Wildcat Station typically closes on Tuesdays and Wednesdays during the school year so youngsters can catch up on their geometry homework and gain an advantage on the seventh hole.
Copper Mill Golf Club fuses the traditional design of a links-style layout with the swaying native grasses and scenic wetlands of the Cypress Bayou for a 6,866-yard course lauded by Golf Digest as one of Louisiana's top 10 golf destinations. Each hole showcases a colorful moniker that forecasts its unique challenges, such as the high-risk, high-reward second shot at "Wise Man's Folly," the precariously elevated green at "Cliffs of Despair," or the caddy-eating Cyclops that stalks the 632-yard trail at "Odyssey." The cool shade of centuries-old oak trees blankets golfers as they encounter memorable shots throughout the round, including the concealed green at the par-3 sixth hole and the rustic mill ruins that hug the left side of the 17th hole.
After rounds, clubbers can head to the Palmetto Grill, which serves a menu of steaks and seafood. The semiprivate club also encompasses two lighted tennis courts, a resort-style pool, and a spray park, where youngsters and thirsty golf carts frolic through miniature geysers and soak one another with squirt-gun turrets.
Course at a Glance: