Arundel Golf Park gives players space to hone their swings all year long with an covered and heated driving range. Former PGA Class A member Norm Vacovsky draws on 34 years of coaching experience to help players get over learning plateaus during lessons held at the center.
After spending his formative years helping his father to operate multiple golf facilities, John Invernizzi decided to dedicate his adult life to spreading the gospel of the game. The PGA pro opened Hereford Golf Center in 1995 with the aim of creating a pressure-free space for golfers of all stripes to hone their swings, learn to appreciate the game, and debate about which club would be the most useful to ward off feral caddies. In the ensuing 17 years, clubbers have been hitting practice balls at the center’s 36-stall driving range, replete with eight target greens that range from 50 to 260 yards.
The adjacent Lost Falls Miniature Golf Course takes friendly competitors careening past two ponds, a large stream, and a mysterious cave as they steer golf balls toward pintsize flagsticks. True to his mission of making golf fun and accessible for everyone, John and the staff at Hereford Golf Center provide clubs free of charge, sparing clubless players from hastily purchasing one or digging in their backyard for a conveniently shaped mastodon bone.
A golf course is where players go to test their skills, but Arundel Golf Park is where those skills are formed. At Arundel's outdoor facility, instructors teach private and group classes and hold supervised practice sessions, in which they periodically check in with students as they drive ball after ball at a driving range protected from the wind and distracting cries of caddies. During "fitting days," golfers bring in their current clubs to have one of Arundel's pros determine their ideal length, loft, and other specs.
While golf remains the focus at Arundel Golf Park, the facilities have a couple of other ways visitors can work on their swings. An 18-hole mini-golf course shrinks the game down to a fun challenge of angles and finesse, and batting cages let players set aside the elegant, nuanced game of golf to simply enjoy bashing round things with blunt objects.
Golf requires power, precision, and soft touch, and Laurel Golf Center helps players hone all three at one location. Covered hitting stalls facilitate year-round practice at the driving range, where golfers can take aim at six target greens or try to nestle their golf ball inside a passing cloud. Short game practice areas let golfers hone chips, pitches, and shots with awkward lies from a practice bunker. To perfect their feel around the greens, guests can roll through the 18-hole miniature golf course.
Top Flite Super Range golf balls hurtle toward laser-measured targets on Westminster Island Green’s lighted range, where players practice their drives from 50 hitting stations. Guests continue to enrich their golfing skills during lessons with PGA-certified golf instructors, summertime junior clinics (with 7:1 student-teacher ratios), and ladies or couples golf clinics held every other Thursday. Westminster Island Green also accommodates putters with a fully lit 18-hole miniature golf course, with island-themed landscaping and goldfish ponds. Alternatively, baseball buffs can watch their homers fly through an open-air batting park unobstructed by nets. There, pitching machines launch softballs at up to 60 mph and baseballs at up to 70 mph, while batters control the height of each pitch and the speed at which they spit out sunflower seeds.
The white pillars and wrap-around porch of the Worthington Manor Golf Club's colonial-style clubhouse greet guests as they arrive to the club, which serves as an elegant gatekeeper to the luxurious grounds. Stealing a peek at the course is worth a visit in itself, as bent-grass tees, fairways, and greens unfurl amid a rolling patchwork of wetlands and woods. But the course offers more than cosmetic appeal, as evidenced by its perennial role as a host to events such as the U.S. Open Qualifier, U.S. Amateur Qualifier, and the U.S. Mid-Amateur Qualifier. The par-72 circuit measures a fierce 7,034 yards from the tips, but offers four tee options to cater to golfers across the handicap spectrum.
The Club's practice facilities include a natural grass driving range that nestles in the shadows of an old barn-like structure, which helps golfers reminisce about the days when clubs had fun names, like "mashie niblick." The club also hosts private and group instruction to help players improve in all facets of the game, from chipping and putting to not pronouncing the E at the end of "fore."
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Length of 7,034 yards from the tips * Course rating of 74.4 from the tips * Slope rating of 144 from the tips * Four tee options