Echo Farms Golf & Country Club evokes the links-style courses of Scotland on its 18-hole championship golf course. That’s because renowned British architect Ian Scott Taylor worked his magic on the original design, improving everything from landscape to length. Tiff-eagle bermuda grass greens provide a challenge for players of all stripes, and the adjacent Cape Fear River adds a natural obstacle throughout play. Elsewhere, the country club offers five tennis courts and a competitive-sized swimming pool.
Cleaved into a dense forest of long-needle pines, Beau Rivage Golf & Resort’s course takes golfers careening across 18 holes of immaculate fairways as they gently undulate into picturesque elevation changes. Towering tree lines, tight doglegs, and intervening water hazards haunt golfers throughout the round, forcing clubbers into multiple blind shots and at least one shot from a tree canopy.
Suites stretching to 900 square feet, replete with a separate common area, kitchenette, and in-room wet bar, overlook the verdant greens. Private patios and balconies proffer views of the lush course, and the hotel's 19th Hole bar and lounge serves libations and heaping helpings of trivia and karaoke. The resort ensures days start off right, dishing out hot breakfast at the Verandah Bar & Grill at 7 a.m. and encouraging warm-ups on the 10,000-square-foot putting green and elevated driving range.
At Azalea Sands Golf Club, a waterless hole doesn't come into play until the tenth hole, and only three are found throughout the course. However, those players piqued by the prospect of challenge will find their niche along the 18-hole layout. First opened in 1972 and revamped in 2009, the course pits players against its mix of ponds, fairway- and green-side bunkers, and surrounding forest—a natural setting unmarred by the presence of housing developments or busy streets filled with traffic of escaped golf carts.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Total length of 6,902 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 72.5 from the back tees * Slope rating of 123 from the back tees * Four sets of tees per hole * Scorecard
With iridescent miniature golf courses in malls throughout North America, Glowgolf adds elements of phosphorescent fun to shopping sessions. Courses contain sights such as light-defying blush corals, incandescent animals, and lush foliage reminiscent of the glowing trees on Neptune. Each pass is good for three 18-hole games, giving golfers ample opportunity to get familiar with each hole's obstacles. Equipment is available on the spot, so players won't have to carry around personal clubs or seek out a bioluminescent caddie.
Planet Fun's 50,000-square-foot facility encloses a galaxy of black-lit, sound-blasting, light-flashing recreation to entertain family members of all ages. Embark on a mission of pin domination during a game of Constellation Alley bowling, with black-lit alleys equipped with comprehensive scoring systems and 32-inch flat-screen monitors ($1.25–$4/game, $2–$3/shoe rental) to methodically track every strike and cleverly camouflaged 11th pin. Space-themed, two-level laser tag ($6/game) arms imaginative combatants with a score-tracking laser vest and weapon and sets them loose in a double-decker arena of black-lit, futuristic obstacles. Guests fill fun receptors with nine holes of Ocean Quest Cosmic Mini-Golf ($3), amass a trove of tickets from more than 100 redemption and video games in the arcade, or relive their glory days as the school basketball in an inflatable bounce house with two slides.
With more than 170 participating courses stretching from New Hampshire to Georgia, MyGolf’s membership card grants golfers stationed throughout the Atlantic coast an opportunity to tour the region’s diverse links. Specific discounts vary from course to course, but all participating links honor the discount for members as well as their playing mates, encouraging social play while freeing up funds to send serrated sand wedges to culinary school. Affiliated golf academies prepare players for their rounds with discounted lessons, and clubbers can upgrade their equipment at participating golf shops. Along with cut-rate pin-hunting expeditions, the membership facilitates golf-centric vacations with discounts at restaurants, hotels, and Cold War-era bomb shelters near participating golf courses.