PGA Class A Professional Scott Marson imparts swing-honing advice to aspiring aces from Links at Summerly’s verdant golf course and practice facilities. The passionate pedagogue eats every meal with a modified divot tool to maintain the well-oiled swing mechanics he has mastered through 20 years of teaching. Bolster your orb-blasting skills with today’s first option, which grooms golf swings during a one-hour lesson to impart solid form and smooth out herky-jerky backswings. The package also includes a five-hole playing lesson, during which players can enlist Scott’s sage counsel through strategic quandaries, such as when to hit driver, when to play it safe with a 3-iron, and how to break a disobedient nine-iron’s rebellious spirit. With the second option, Scott augments each lesson with the use of video swing analysis, providing players with an invaluable visual aid while also documenting their progress through three, one-hour sessions.
Cottonwood Golf Center's nine-hole executive course sharpens straight shots with one par 4 and eight par 3 holes. Duffer duets amble through the meandering fairways, launch dimpled orbs through 2,466 yards of emerald alleys, and defeat lesser opponents in pull-cart street races. The scenic course overlooks rugged hills and scraggly pines, thwarting off-kilter shots with a petite water hazard filled with foghorn-wielding ducks. Players can supply their own clubs, rent one of the facility's sets ($5), or thwack golf balls with the neighbor's flamingo lawn ornaments.
The rolling contours of Fallbrook Golf Club's course wind through scenic Gird Valley to carve out a sturdy par 72 course highlighted by manicured greens and majestic, mature trees. Divot diggers of all skill levels will be led astray by the course's shimmering water hazards, strategically placed bunkers, and enticing strip-malls. The course spans more than 6,000 yards, with a slew of difficult par 5 holes neatly framed by native live oak, sycamore, and eucalyptus trees. Players grab a friend for a full round, complete with two large buckets of range balls for handicap-lowering rehearsal on the course's full driving range and practice green. Included golf carts ferry players between tees with the majesty of Phil Mickelson traversing Augusta on the back of a trumpet-playing lion.
A 200-foot downhill tee shot opens Champions Club at the Retreat, rendering the 485-yard, par 5 first hole reachable in two strokes. Such elevational considerations color play throughout the 18-hole course, cradled as it is within the Temescal Valley's undulating canyons adjacent to the Cleveland National Forest. Bermuda grass fairways slink through the rocky outcroppings and low-lying brush, corralling foursomes onto smooth greens of bent grass. Yet despite its imposing appearance, a major renovation in 2011 tempered the course's difficulty a tad, eliminating some of the more punishing aspects of the course such as 16 bunkers.
Anchoring every round is the 25,000-square-foot clubhouse. Done up in a Tuscan theme and accessorized with trickling fountains and golden sunshine, the structure immerses visitors in creature comforts before they tee up. Players can stop for post-round drinks or fuel up for a round with pub-style eats on the grand patio, which overlooks the 9th and 18th greens.
Course at a Glance:
The beautifully manicured golf course at Hidden Valley carefully incorporates the existing flora, streambeds, and outcropped rocks into its 6,860 yards of dimpled ball habitat, making players of every skill level feel as if they're teeing off in an unspoiled national park. A GPS-enabled cart will keep you from accidentally driving onto the Autobahn as you journey through a pleasantly challenging round of recreational golf (up to a $67 value, cart included). To warm up wrists before the game, guests can flick through a large bucket of balls on the practice green ($10), and once the 18th green has been conquered and purged of its mini-dragon guardians, it's off to the Villa Amalfi Ristorante to refuel. Sip on coffee, tea, or soda, and choose one food item from the breakfast or lunch menu, which includes tasty breakfast burritos ($6.95), mushroom-swiss burgers ($7.95), fried-chicken salad ($10.95), and more (up to $17.95 value). Customers also get their choice of either a hat ($20) or a golf shirt ($65), giving them a change of clothes when their astronaut suit is being dry-cleaned.