The Tradition Golf Club’s 18-hole course takes golfers across 6,978 yards of emerald corridors cleaved into a rolling expanse of dense hardwoods. Players can prepare for the grassy monolith’s tree-lined fairways with lessons from one of the club’s resident aces, who imparts swinging wisdom on any aspect of the game, from the basics of the proper grip, stance, and alignment to more nuanced topics, such as how to prevent a hybrid club from having polarized alter egos.
Course at a Glance:
Sculpted through undulating, woodland terrain, Eagle Ridge Golf Club's par 71 course is a 6,904-yard testament to the inventive design of 1992 U.S. Open Champion Tom Kite, who made roughly two dozen trips to the site while crafting the layout. Multiple high-risk, high-reward shots manifest themselves throughout the round, creating a pin-hunting experience that—unlike trying to guess where the valet hid your car keys—challenges players without sacrificing fun. With many shots into elevated or downhill greens, the course places sound wedge and short-iron shots at a premium.
Before or after rounds, clubbers can warm up at the practice green or swing to their heart's content at the driving range, where practice balls paint racing stripes on themselves in anticipation of their trip into the clouds. To further promote score-shaving form, the club's pro shop peddles the latest in technologically enhanced golf gear, a PGA staffer offers lessons and clinics, and the dining facility fuels muscles for the next tape-measure drive.
Whether golf finds you unsteady in your ill-fitting plus fours, or you're a seasoned veteran capable of nonchalant holes-in-zero, Ratcliffe's courses provide ability-appropriate challenges. The Charles T. Myers course is especially ideal for the inexperienced, but capable of providing challenges if you go in a mixed-level group. Sunset Hills offers a similarly nuanced but non-intimidating experience. Renaissance Park makes an especially verdant selection, featuring a professionally designed landscape stuffed to the brim with flora, expansive bentgrass greens, and rich clusters of foliage. With a rental cart shuttling you from hole to hole, you'll keep your legs fresh enough to compete in a youth soccer game after playing 18 holes.
Highland Creek Golf Club’s challenging 18-hole course takes golfers on a 7,043-yard expedition over bermuda grass fairways and bent grass greens. As duffers square their clubfaces at waving flagsticks, course obstacles including five lakes (which come into play on 13 holes), 72 bunkers, and 12 ball-hungry jurors lay in wait to complicate each par. A difficult layout when played from the tips, Highland Creek caters to clubbers of all stripes with four tee options. The Club also helps swings retain their fairway-splitting form with a practice facility featuring a 30-stall driving range and a 15,000-square-foot putting green with a practice sand trap. After a tiring day on the links, guests can head to The Player’s Grille, where sandwiches, burgers, and salads quench appetites for those who do not eat all of their own divots as a gesture of respect for the course. Course at a Glance:
James Pugliese founded Better Golf Academy with a straightforward premise: simplify the golf swing for children of all ages. This approach, he knew, would help to grow the game, not only allowing current junior golfers to more thoroughly enjoy it, but also helping beginning youngsters stick with it through the inevitable frustrations. Through an array of lessons and multiday camps, the academy teaches young clubbers the entire game of golf, from proper full swing mechanics to short-game practice to proper etiquette and safety. Students will be tested for both strengths and weaknesses in their games, and prescribed drills and practice techniques to help them shore up those areas in need of attention.
Dave Bayko has more than 30 years of experience as a swing coach, including time spent apprenticing under some of the top instructors in the country and acting as Assistant Coach for the Wingate University men’s and women’s golf teams. Also a talented player, Dave qualified for the 1992 Ben Hogan Tour and has also won three Carolina PGA events. He focuses on tailoring lessons to each individual’s capabilities, beginning with fundamentals and reinforcing swing principles such as grip, stance, posture, balance, and alignment.