“A synthetic turf-covered love letter to Washington.” That’s what Fritz Hahn of the Washington Post had to say about H Street Country Club after visiting the nearly 7,000-square-foot bar at the heart of the Atlas District. Yet Hahn wasn’t talking about the eatery’s decadent food; he was commenting on the space's devilishly tricky indoor golf course. During each nine-hole outing—for adults 21+—putters encounter the Lincoln Theatre, Ben’s Chili Bowl, and the titanic grasping hands of a half-submerged Marion Barry. As if a trip to the links wasn’t enough to work up an appetite, the entire first floor of H Street tempts gamers with skee-ball, shuffleboard, and wall-vs-human staring contests—all within an arm’s reach of margaritas, mojitos, and other specialty drinks.
Upstairs, a glass panel filled with retired golf balls gazes out over artist and contributing decorator Lee T. Wheeler’s talents, which alight upon everything from the sculptures crafted from repurposed birdhouses to the bar’s cushy lounge seating. The design sets the stage for executive chef Pablo Cardoso’s upscale take on classic Mexican food, with tables welcoming grilled skirt steak splayed over "cowboy" beans, a half chicken paired with yuca, and fajitas stuffed with still-sizzling shrimp. For dessert, the chef stuffs crisp empanadas with sweet mangoes, topping the confection with creamy ice cream and a note to get out of gym class for a week.
It?s 1:29 p.m. and the wave pool at Great Waves Waterpark has been calm for nine minutes. The mood on the surface, however, is anything but. An anticipatory energy has been transmitted through the water as sunbathers migrate from the sun deck, giddy youngsters from the various kids? areas, and thrill seekers from one of the park?s waterslides. The anticipation ends at 1:30 p.m. when three 80-horsepower motors begin to churn the large fans that whip the pool?s 475,000 gallons of water into waves as high as four feet for 10 minutes. This increment of waves?10 minutes on, 10 minutes off?runs like clockwork at the 20-acre facility, which also features dry attractions such as miniature golf, batting cages, and grassy areas for practicing the backstroke.
In addition to offering sun-soaked thrills of simulated waves, the park's Paradise Play boasts 30-foot slides, pogo sticks, rock walls, and a non-aqueous playground area. A faux beach with sand invites revelers to unwind while snacking on a funnel cake purchased from Riptide Caf?, while a nearby play pool with pint-sized slides lets little riders get into the summertime mix. After a full day of sliding and swimming, guests may purchase souvenirs from the Shark Shack gift shop.
Champion over the intimidating attractions gracing all 18 holes at Monster Mini Golf, which contains enough geometric challenges to make the course interesting for all ages. Navigate your dimpled, glowing orb past gobbling goblins, disgruntled dark trees, impolite specters, sleeping ogres, and frightened businessmen. While playing or standing in awe of the 3-D course, guests can listen for Monster Mini Golf’s own in-house radio station, "W.I.R.D. (Weird Radio)," whose live, on-site DJ doles out prizes to minigolfers based on random criteria such as having multiple noses or the best high five.
Lauded by Golf magazine for its exciting layout, Lake Presidential dazzles driver jockeys with stunning swaths of verdant grass painted across the shores of a 30-acre lake. Drive dimpled spheres away with regrettable insults at one of five sets of tees around the sweeping course, which boasts a masterful design by the creators of Kiawah Island's Ocean Course. The 18-hole utopia offered up its plush hills for a U.S. Open Qualifier and Maryland Women's Amateur Championship play. Golfers looking to sharpen up their game before treading the sacred green seek out the all-turf practice area flanking the course to hone perfect drives and competitive cud-chewing matches.
On its perch high atop Prospect Hill, the resplendent manor house stands overlooking the 18 holes of Glenn Dale Golf Club as they unfurl outward among rolling hills and dense foliage. Though the house has been there since 1742, it wasn't until 1956 that the course was carved around the base of the mount. Terrell Brazelton oversaw the building of the course using a design by George Cobb, who later became the resident architect at Augusta National Golf Club and the author of many of its architectural renovations.
Today, golfers find their short games put to the test by dramatically sloped greens, a difficulty encountered by many top players when the course hosted a U.S. Open Qualifier in 1994 and just one player broke par. As players herd their golf balls throughout the course, they tread over land steeped in American history. The fairways and greens reside on a tract that once served as a meeting place for Native Americans.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 70 course * Total length of 6,282 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 70 from the back tees * Course slope of 115 from the back tees
A member of the PGA since 2005, Mark Russo helps golfers of every age and skill level unlock professional-grade play during lessons at Night Hawk Golf Center. He boils down the complicated game to a three-pronged teaching philosophy that focuses on establishing fundamentals, trusting the swing to produce consistently positive results, and relying on feel as opposed to technical perfection or the advice of a talking divot. Ultimately, students should be able to get the hang of a swing that’s well suited to their bodies and can be comfortably repeated when facing down a tough shot.