Brookside Golf & Grill's PGA professional Marty Carmichael takes golfers of all stripes under his wing and helps them improve through guided practice and a little help from video technology. As players unload strokes ranging from full-power pummels off the tee to knockdown wedge shots onto the green, Marty makes real-time adjustments to mechanics and offers his recommendations for strategic thinking. Meanwhile, a video recorder captures all the action, allowing the student to see his own bad-swing habits—something that is difficult to fully grasp during the backswing itself, when eyes are closed tight to keep eyeballs from falling out.
The course at Brookside Golf and Grill guides golf balls past babbling brooks and over rolling terrain as players traverse the 6,100-yard course. A stream treacherously intercepts the golfer's path on three holes, and a large pond lies in wait to the right of the green on the 13th hole, waiting furtively for wayward bounces and impulsive swan dives. After a round, players can head inside at the newly redesigned clubhouse, where a full grill restores lost calories with burgers and burritos and assuages lost chances at birdies with beer and wine.
Course at a Glance:
Oak and maple trees nod their shaggy heads in the breeze over The Emerald Golf Course. The gentle pop of clubs against golf balls floats from four sets of tees, set among easy hillocks crisscrossed by a stream. Past tufts of wildflowers, carts hum along, carrying players to a driving range or a pro shop brimming with clubs and golf apparel like RoboCop’s bag when he’s going on vacation. The clubhouse spills the aromas of burgers crowned with guacamole, tapenade, and sautéed jalapeños.
####Course at a Glance * 18-hole, par-72 course * Length of 6,619 yards from the back tees * Four sets of tees
Scant trees, rolling mounds, and small, deep bunkers. These are the marks of a serious, links-style layout, and Glenkerry Golf Course is as serious as they come. The course pays homage to the early days of golf with each of these traditional, Scottish-style characteristics, giving players 71 strokes to finish at par or better on the 18-hole loop. To accomplish such a feat requires control off the tee, limited mistakes on the greens, and the patience of a dreaming baby sloth. Those who manage to string together a round can be proud of their precision and prowess. And those who come up short can always haul their clubs to the on-site, all-grass driving range and practice putting green for solo practice, lessons, or group clinics.
Combining various fitness disciplines with solid nutritional counseling, Seung-ni Fit Club's trainers send bodies through a muscle-maintenance assembly line that leaves them trim and fit. Sweat sessions can include the fat-blasting Aerobic Kickboxing class, which sets self-defense, dance, and kickboxing techniques bouncing to a choice of upbeat contemporary music or mash-ups of 18th-century Scottish funeral dirges. Plyo Pump's high-intensity jumps and bounds condition bodies to explode with greater speed and power, and lean muscles surface with Body Sculpt's non-impact dumbbell workouts. Zumba sessions fuse energetic Latin dances with resistance training. Motivational instructors provide students with personalized nutrition programs and weight-loss tracking charts for settings goals and marking progress. Flexible schedules at both locations allow all challenge-accepters to get their muscles' worth in eight weeks, much like the two-month mail-order process for purchasing mussels from a shady internet sea captain.
Tall pines and hardwoods stand watch around Candlestone Golf & Resort, their reflections dappling the surface of marshy ponds and water traps that resemble pools where woodland sprites might splash. The par-72, Jerry Matthews-designed course has a timeless quality, though in fact it was completely renovated in 2008, setting new electric golf carts buzzing past sand traps redesigned to meet USGA standards. The resort’s two dozen guest rooms were recently remodeled, too, with flat-screen TVs, new mattresses, and a fresh supply of hardworking counting-sheep filling each serene, wood-accented space. Overlooking the golf course, the Water Tower Grille serves wine, beer, dessert cocktails, and crowd-pleasing dinner fare such as chipotle-honey barbecue ribs, pecan-crusted walleye, and hand-tossed pizza on a spacious deck or beside a roaring fireplace. In 2009, The Grand Rapids Press praised the Grille’s “friendly service and good food,” such as the “tender and moist” pork chops.