A staff of PGA professionals oversees the improvement of all-around games as juniors and adults refine their skills on Heart of America Golf Academy’s extensive grounds. Encompassing sprawling practice facilities and three golf courses, the facility gives players multiple amenities for working on their form. Golfers can play a nine-hole round at the River Course or practice short-game touch at the par 3 Rock Course; beginners can make a smooth foray into the game at the Hill, a three-hole junior learning center. Players can also head to the 36-station driving range, where grass tees mimic fairway conditions and double as smoothie enhancers for budding golfers.
Sculpted into the undulating countryside in the 1930s, Royal Meadows Golf Club received a facelift in 2002, when course architect Craig Schreiner redesigned much of the layout. The course now makes artful use of three ponds, including on the par-three seventh, where the hazard creates a forced carry from tee-to-green. A 573-yard par-five, the 18th hole brings the round to a dramatic conclusion without forcing carts to drive through a finish line that has been set ablaze.
After the round, golfers can retreat to the clubhouse, where large screen TVs, cold drinks, and snacks replenish golfers. A spacious building forged from old barn wood and tin paneling, the clubhouse winds the clock back to the course's rustic roots.
Painted Hills Golf Club opened in 1929 as Victory Hills Country Club, and it has since undergone two major facelifts, one of which took place in 2013. This included a complete redesign of five holes, as well as the addition of 75 new Zoysia tee boxes, 24 new bunkers, and two miles of new cart paths. Plus, more than 150 trees were removed to open up the course.
Golfers famished after fine-tuning their drives and chips on the course can head to Putter?s Bar & Grill for a sandwich and cold drink.
Royal Meadows Golf Club Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 70 course * Length of 6,388 yards from the tips * Course rating of 70.6 from the tips * Slope rating of 116 from the tips * Four tee options * Scorecard
Painted Hills Golf Club Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 70 course * Length of 5,781 yards from the tips * Course rating of 67.7 from the tips * Slope rating of 119 from the tips * Four tee options * Scorecard
"Shotmaking is really what's dying in modern golf," said Eric Iverson, the course architect behind Staley Farms GC's 18-hole track, citing a problem that he set out to remedy when designing the course. He sculpted the 7,267-yard layout with an eye for subtleties, firm terrain, and contours that invite multiple shots to achieve the same end?provided the golfer has the imagination to envision them. Iverson also bristles at the idea of a "signature hole," and perhaps he has a point; this course has too many gems to shine the spotlight on one in particular. The inventive design is plain from the very beginning. A 460-yard dogleg left, the first hole starts the action off with a teaser of a tee shot: aim to the right portion of the fairway and you're likely to be safe, or aim left and attempt to cut the corner while risking losing the ball in heavy grass. These are the types of mental challenges that Iverson built into the course, which offers five tee options to cater to players of different skill levels.
The course sits in the shadow of a handsome clubhouse forged from stone and wood that would not be out of place at a ski resort. The facility includes banquet rooms, a bar and grill, and a weight room.
Any amateur golfer who has ever wondered what separates their swing from that of a pro can find out at Martin City Sports Complex. The sports haven's ModelGolf system compares fledgling swings with an analyzed composite of more than 120 PGA and LPGA pros, charting the similarities and differences. Afterward, golfers can take that information and work toward the ideal at the complex's 28-person double-decker driving range, where heated stalls host year-round practice and keep winter players from mistaking a snowball for a golf ball. And as swings become more refined, the resident club expert, Bert Benjamin, can create a club custom-fitted to each player.
Although golf?in both regular-sized and miniature form?is undeniably the focus at Martin City, it's not the only sport celebrated there. Paintball finds its place with both a speedball area and wooded arena, which players ride to in a real army truck. Each summer, athletes can also find a small sliver of the Atlantic beach in Kansas City by stepping up to the net at Martin City's sand volleyball courts.