For more than 40 years, Long Creek Golf Club has provided 18 holes of challenging course play for eager swingers of all ages and skill levels. Golfers wielding Groupons can go through the paces of the par 72, 6,400-yard course, which features tree-lined scenery wrapped around carefully manicured fairways and rolling greens that wait in constant fear of being conquered by friendly foes wielding large clubs. Unveil your bag of trick sticks to help brave the narrow 562-yard 13th hole, or hone your short game to a tee while steering clear of the beach on the quartet of par threes.
• For $38, you get 18-holes of golf for two with cart rental and access to the driving range and practice facilities (up to a $94 value). • For $80, you get 18-holes of golf for four with cart rental and access to the driving range and practice facilities (up to a $188 value).
Draped over the foothills of the Sauratown Mountain Range, Stonewall Golf Course sends golfers swinging over steep hills and sudden chasms on a 5,222-yard layout that epitomizes mountain country golf. Throughout the round, dramatic elevation changes complicate yardage readings, and fairway-side drop-offs frame narrow landing zones, encouraging players to leave their driver, 3-wood, and acrophobic head covers in the bag.
With multiple par 4s measuring 300 yards or less, players must cautiously approach each shot off the tee, as efforts to reach the green in one heroic drive could land their golf ball in Town Fork Creek or one of several ponds meandering through the course. The course draws its name from the par 3 eighth hole, where golfers start at an elevated tee box and descend 75 yards down a craggy face that, when viewed from the green, assumes the appearance of a seamless stone wall. Fueled by electricity and an ancient resentment for gravity, golf carts—which are mandatory on the course—help players climb the steep fairways in efficient fashion.
Course at a Glance:
Built in 1969 and having hosted the 2001 National Golf Association Triad Classic, Pine Knolls Golf Club has a long and sparkling history. In 2006, two brothers-in-law from Ireland—Graham Ruttle, a retired professional motorcycle racer, and Pearse Mahon, a class-A PGA professional—purchased the course. Today, they carry on its tradition of challenging and enjoyable play. To conquer the 6,338-yard layout, golfers must decipher the course’s small and complex greens, which requires even more concentration than geocaching for holes on a course that spans an entire city. To calibrate their swings before tackling the course, golfers can warm up at the grass-tee driving range or enlist Mahon's advice in a private lesson.
Course at a Glance:
Carved into the rolling landscape of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Auburn Hills Golf Club's 18-hole course features 6,534 yards of elevated tee boxes and breathtaking views of the Southwest Virginia countryside. Throughout the course, players encounter tantalizing high-risk-and-high-reward shots straight from the architectural mind of Algie Pulley, such as the par-4 13th hole, which dares big hitters to drive for a half-visible green hiding 306 yards in the distance. More straightforward challenges await at the 190-yard, par-3 17th, where duffers must calm gun-shy golf carts before sending tee shots somersaulting over two large ponds that stand sentry in front of the green. The pristine par-72 opens its arboreal arms to golfers of all ages and experience levels with four tee options.
PGA instructor Werner Riemer uses Auburn Hills' sunlit green as a classroom, where the master dispenses his golf wisdom to students. Werner’s teaching techniques have bolstered the talents of LPGA Hall of Famer Sandra Handy, and also earned him special PGA certification in golf instruction, a feat obtained by only 1% of PGA members and 3% of computer simulators.
Course at a Glance:
From their home base at Deep River Golf Range, PGA-certified instructors Scott Duerscherl and Riley Kurtz help students along the path to lower golf scores. The teachers adhere to an overarching philosophy that there is no single perfect swing that works for every player. Instead, they tweak an individual's natural mechanics to create a comfortable swing that can be repeated even when hitting from difficult lies such as hillside dirt or camouflaged snares. During lessons with either Scott or Riley, students focus on the fundamentals of making proper contact with the ground in relation to the ball and controlling the ball's flight path. Casio high-speed cameras capture each cut for analysis with SwingView Pro software, which can spot swing-inhibiting problems such as backswing hitches and straitjacket polo shirts. On days when inclement weather prevents practice on the range, players can head to the indoor teaching area, complete with a sheltered putting green.