Jones and Norene Gann first imagined transforming their property into a golf course 18 years ago, and constructed an 18-hole course and golf facility now managed by the Rapp family. Open seven days a week, the course challenges golfers with outstretched trees, formidable bunkers and mounds, and hazardous waters. Designated cart paths wind around and through the course, guiding drivers to the next hole on their route or through a wormhole leading to the twenty-third century. Nestled atop the sprawling property, practice facilities help golfers warm up swinging arms, and a pro shop lets athletes restock balls and read up on instructional guides to high-level golfsmanship.
In regular golf instruction, owners Bill and Philip Rapp help students fine-tune their swing and boost their game with new skills. On Tuesday evenings, young putters can hone their swinging skills in free lessons.
At Oak Hills Golf Center, golfers traverse an 18-hole golf course that loops around Hough Park Lake and hone their skills on the driving range. The City of Jefferson keeps the course open year-round, so long as frost doesn’t accumulate on the greens and vacationing nudists don’t show up in the sand traps unannounced. At the end of rounds or practice sessions, players can refuel with hot dogs, brats, and hamburgers at the course concession stand.
Course at a Glance:
Sun Valley Golf Course stretches over a 200-acre neck of Lincoln County and treats players to an 18-hole tour of its gently rolling hills and valleys. Though players often find themselves awed by the course's scenic countryside setting, they're just as likely to recount later how they fared when faced with its most unique feature: hole five, a 720-yard par 6. To slay this lengthy monstrosity, players tee off from an elevated tee box, then must work uphill past creeks at 200 yards and 260 yards and a large tree in the middle of the fairway to reach the elevated green. Architect Gary Kern included the highly unusual hole, known affectionately as "The Beast," as a way to stand out from the courses that distinguish themselves by allowing only croquet to be played on their greens.
Course at a Glance:
Tunneling through the pine-studded bluffs that overlook the Mississippi River, a circuit of immaculately groomed blue- and rye-grass fairways and bent grass greens forms the 18-hole, par 65 course at Great River Road Golf Club. The hills rise and fall throughout the layout—the course offers 160 feet of total elevation change—presenting shots to both raised and descending targets. The signature hole—a 370-yard par-four—doglegs left into an island green perched atop the Mississippi's flowing waters that will test even the most practiced swings. To harness the precision required to aim past the course's narrow, tree-lined corridors and village of Ewok huts, golfers can warm up at a 300-yard grass-tee driving range, which nestles alongside a practice green.
Heritage Hills Golf Course stretches over gently rolling hillocks with frequent water hazards in the form of several lakes and a stream that comes into play on 10 holes. Players send their shots soaring down zoysia fairways in pursuit of a parking spot on bentgrass greens, which roll true thanks to meticulous upkeep and daily lie-detector tests by the expert grounds crew. During play, golfers can summon refreshments from the beverage cart, and after rounds, they can head to the newly constructed clubhouse for drinks at the full-service bar.
Course at a Glance:
Practice, practice, practice. That's what it takes for golfers to shave strokes off of their scores or for a caddie to learn a player's theme song. Thankfully, Eagle Flight Driving Range lets visitors swing on end and hone specific parts of their game, whether they need to practice with a driver or an iron. The range encompasses 12 fixed AstroTurf tees, as well as a grass hitting area, which simulates real game conditions.