Northern Dunes’ front nine holes follow the curves of natural sand dunes in the manner of an original Scottish links course. Casual and avid golfing duos tangle with a par 72, 18-hole course (up to a $55 value per player), exchanging ball banter with trees, fescue, water hazards, and bunkers filled with natural sand in short par 3s and wordy par 4s. Pairs drive between fairways in an included power cart (an $18.50 value per player), navigating the greens' lulls, rises, and ghosts of squirrels past with GolfLogix GPS. The clubhouse nestles its rustic walls between the front and back nine, welcoming hungered putters to the 70-seat Dunes Bar and Grill. The pub proffers breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as a list spanning wine, beer, and mixed drinks. Club-less golfers may rent a set for an additional $12.50 fee.
Some consider it therapeutic. Others find it a challenging exercise. Either way, the driving range is an oasis where golfers send shots soaring toward a variety of targets spread across the 300-yard fairway from the two-tiered structure peppered with 57 stalls. Launch Golf Centre remains open throughout the year, allowing players of all stripes to work on full drives in spring, mid-iron approaches in summer, or using putters to swordfight snowmen in winter. During cold months, players can opt for heated hitting zones as they thwack golf balls into the snowy tundra. The centre also offers table service for food and drinks while players are honing their skills. For players looking to improve their skill sets with the help of an expert, six teaching professionals conduct lessons and clinics to smooth the path toward lower scores.
The piercing clang of well-struck drives resonates across the grounds at Golden Ridge Golf, their echoes beckoning to clubbers to come groom their game at the multifaceted complex. Guests can smooth out rough-edged swings with a stint at the 300-yard driving range, where players can hit off of natural grass or faux-turf mats and take cover in sheltered hitting bays during rainstorms or pelican pranks. An 18-hole mini-golf course channels the charm of an old country town with a decorative wagon, general store facade, and putters that double as moustache combs. All of the grounds’ score-shaving resources are utilized to the fullest during Golf Academy clinics and lessons, which are overseen by CPGA-certified pro and former touring professional Gordie Burns.
At Fairtree Golf Centre, links-lovers hone long-games on a 300-yard driving range and short-games on a two-acre practice area. After grabbing their buckets of Pinnacle range balls, which the staff replaces each season, golfers toe up to one of 50 fibre mats that look out upon the range's expanse. Thwacking through a large bucket typically takes about 45 minutes, although some may opt to save a little ball ammo for the short-game area's two putting greens and arduous sand traps. Since there is no time limit on either of the facilities, players can take their time and recite a farewell haiku to each and every ball.
Glowing monkeys scamper toward a neon waterfall, and a knight bearing a radiant yellow lance rides past a bright orange octopus emerging from the ocean. What appears to be a time-traveling session gone awry is really the evolving environment within Putting Edge’s indoor black-lit mini-golf course, which whisks players to deep seas, Aztec jungles, and medieval times. Since opening its original location in Canada, Putting Edge has now expanded to 16 North American locations, all of which invite guests onto its challenging 18-hole courses to seek victory over opponents and the forces that keep their teeth from not glowing as brightly as they could. Elsewhere, the facility houses private party rooms, concessions, and an arcade filled with gamer favorites such as air hockey.
For more than two decades, Tee 2 Green has equipped golfers with clubs, outfitted them with apparel, and stocked their bags with accessories by revered brands such as TaylorMade, Callaway, and Ping. The store also specializes in arsenal customization, enabling players to find the right combination of club head, shaft, grip, and cybernetic caddie. Once customers have whittled down their selections, they can put them to the test in the shop’s indoor simulator by playing a virtual round on one of the 38 courses vividly displayed on its 10’x12’ screen.