Long the home of the Mississippi Choctaw Indians, Dancing Rabbit Golf Club derives its name from the waterway that snakes across its grounds, which the Choctaw referred to as "the creek where rabbits dance." The club's name is not the only thing that hearkens back to a bygone era: towering, mature pines and hardwoods cast their shadows across the 700-acre plot, which
hosts two handsome, challenging 18-hole layouts designed by course architect Tom Fazio and former PGA star Jerry Pate. Opened in 1997, the Azaleas course connects Bermuda fairways and bentgrass greens in a 7,128-yard layout that takes full advantage of the surrounding water. The zoysia fairways and Bermuda greens of the Oaks course, meanwhile, offer a slightly different feel, though the two courses are similar in length, difficulty, and topography.
Regardless of which course they play, golfers will have to keep their wits about them until the very last shot, as both feature 18th greens guarded by water hazards. Before hitting the course, guests can warm up at a practice facility that includes a driving range with seven target greens and three contoured putting greens, as well as a
bunker where they can practice sand shots or dig for ancient divot tools.
Azaleas Course at a Glance:
18-hole, par 72 course
Length of 7,128 yards from the tips
Course rating of 74.4 from the tips
Slope rating of 135 from the tips
Five tee options
Oaks Course at a Glance:
18-hole, par 72 course
Length of 7,076 yards from the tips
Course rating of 74.6 from the tips
Slope rating of 139 from the tips
Five tee options
Country Club of Canton's 18-hole course wraps snugly around a 22-acre lake, allowing it to incorporate water into play on most of the holes. It's been the central characteristic since the layout was first strung around the lake in 1923. Other previous occupants included the old pine forests, still in existence, as well as the lake monster, forced to relocate through eminent domain. The golf club's social scene revolves around the 12,000 square-foot clubhouse, where a driving range and putting green skirt the clubhouse grille and banquet space.
Course at a Glance
* 18-hole, par 72 course
* Total length of 6,322 yards from the back tees
* Rating of 69.5 from the back tees
* Slope of 114 from the back tees
* Three sets of tees
Whisper Lake Country Club's verdant course encompasses 4,645 yards of kempt bermuda-grass fairways into a compact-but-challenging par 64 course. Golfers can prepare for rounds with swing-loosening stints at the driving range. There, wise players will focus on mid-length shots and keep drivers securely covered so they don't recognize rounds of golf are being played without them. Various short, drivable par 4s line the course, eschewing the longball in favor of pinpoint long irons or fairway woods, encouraging duffers to direct orbs to hospitable landing areas and set up favorable angles to approach fast, tifdwarf greens. Four sets of tees make the course surmountable for golfers of all abilities, and its compressed yardage—the 18-hole course only features two, relatively short par 5s compared to nine par 3s—allows duffers to complete rounds in about three hours or less, freeing up valuable time to tend to workday obligations or mow basement shag carpets into in-home putting greens. Cart rental is included in all options.
At The Refuge, what was once a hardwood swamp is now a sprawling golf facility incorporating the natural landscape into its 18 holes. It wasn't easy to get from point A to point B, though. In the process, renowned golf architect Roy Case moved more than 500,000 cubic yards of dirt to shape pristine lakes, beautiful rolling fairways, and generous green complexes. What stands today is a modern course that hearkens back to time-tested golf traditions.
But the course also features their fair share of innovations. For the youngest golfers, there's a three-hole "Wee Links" attraction that acts as a pint-sized version of the full game more effectively than zapping the full course with a shrink ray. The grounds are also home to the Randy Tupper Junior Golf Academy, which teaches kids the fundamentals of golf and the value of fitness. With a spacious clubhouse, fully-stocked pro shop, recent course improvements made in late 2014, and the Refuge Grill, it's no wonder golfers speak so highly of The Refuge.
Designed by Randy Watkins in 1999, the course at the semi-private Patrick Farms Golf Club covers 200 landscaped acres replete with thick clusters of trees. To reach their hole goals, golfers must slap spheroids down the middle of meticulously-kempt Tifway 419 bermuda grass fairways before smuggling them past fringe and onto Tifdwarf grass greens. The course is over-seeded in the winter to extend the golf season to 12 months a year, leaving no time for grass to make extra money mowing lawns. The par 72 course opens and closes with a long par 5, forcing players to call upon their long games from the get-go.
Stretching 6,500 yards from the back tees, Brookwood Byram Country Club's recently renovated 18-hole, par 72 course has enticed wedge wielders for more than 50 years. Test handicaps of all levels on Brookwood's links, which are ripe with obstacles including lightly pitched terrain, water hazards, and endless blades of grass. With today's deal, you and up to four friends can cruise the tree-lined fairways in an included cart, recovering balls after explosive bunker shots and overzealous drives.