Tucked northwest of Sardis Lake just above John W. Kyle State Park, Mallard Pointe Golf Course showcases undulating bermuda-grass fairways that offer sweeping views of the area's towering trees. Designed by Bob Cupp, the course’s layout challenges players with back-to-back par 5s on the lengthy 6th and 7th holes, as well as on the 10th and 16th holes, requiring players to break at least once for s’mores while trekking from tee to green. Before hitting the fairways, swingers can take advantage of an extensive practice area consisting of a 350-yard driving range with six target greens and 100 hitting stations, a 10-acre grass-tee area, and a practice fairway bunker.
Course at a Glance:
Wedgewood Golfers' Club and North Creek Golf Course integrate the scenic landscapes of northern Mississippi into their par 72 layouts, taking golfers across rolling hills and rippling waterways.
The North Creek course's bermuda-grass fairways weave along the edges of Horn Lake Creek with a relatively open layout and mounded terrain that channels the links-style charm of golf's Scotch-Irish forebears. Slightly easier than its counterpart, North Creek caters to clubbers of all stripes with four tee options and optional bumper greens.
North Creek Golf Course at a Glance:
Cleaved through a combination of dense tree lines and intervening ponds, The Wedgewood course's bermuda-grass fairways sprawl across 6,863 yards of arduous terrain. With trees hugging most holes, and water hazards kissed against the underside of two doglegged fairways, the course frequently forces players into tough course-management decisions, such as when to smash a driver, when to play lay-up with a three-wood, and how to coerce fellow golfers into giving you unlimited mulligans. Though challenging from the back tees, the course's inventive layout is forgiving enough for players of all abilities.
Wedgewood Golfers' Club at a Glance:
Named to the 2010 PGA President's Council on Growing the Game, The Country Club of Oxford's head pro Ricky Hamilton hones the swings of seasoned and nascent golfers alike. Over the course of two private 45-minute lessons (a $65 value each), students learn proper stance and gripping techniques, as well as the precise angle at which to sport a jaunty pom-pommed cap. Using high-tech video equipment, Hamilton helps clients achieve optimal ball-walloping form, fine-tuning misaligned swings, adjusting out-of-whack slices, and redirecting sputtering putts with the patience of a seasoned lemming wrangler. Though private lessons are generally offered Tuesday–Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., patrons may schedule later appointments if necessary, as well as team up with a buddy for shared sessions. Players should bring their own clubs.
Now in its 55th year, this year’s FedEx St. Jude Classic marks the return of defending champion Harrison Frazar, who will stride over the scenic knolls, turning sand traps into four-star sand hotels in his wake. The roster of players also includes celebs from other areas of expertise, including former NBA point guard Penny Hardaway, who play during the Celebrity Pro-Am on Wednesday, June 6. All stick-swingers will test their mettle against the challenging terrain of TPC Southwind, designed by course architect Ron Prichard and ranked among 2007's Toughest Courses by the PGA Tour for its deceptively tricky holes, undulating fairways, and distracting natural splendor. Proceeds from the tournament benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, which works to fight common childhood cancers.
Hale Irwin recognizes that most golf courses have only one signature hole. But you don’t win the U.S. Open three times and rack up 87 professional victories in a storied PGA career by doing what everybody else does. So when Mr. Irwin unveiled his design for The Links at Cottonwoods in March of 1998, he included two signature holes: the 13th, a par 5 extending to a whopping 600 yards, and the 16th, a par 3 with a nerve-racking island green. In 2012, readers of Golf Digest presented Mr. Irwin with a 4.5-star rating in the magazine’s “Best Places to Play” section for his audacious design and willingness to flout convention.
His distinctive pair of holes highlights a pristine, 18-hole stretch of Scottish-style links, complete with wide fairways pestered by strong seasonal winds but free of wandering sheep that chew on argyle socks. As players chase dimpled orbs across the Meyer Zoysia fairways and tap them over the Champion Bermuda greens, they’ll encounter water-bordering play on more than half of the holes.
Course at a Glance:
Golf balls have more than 300 yards to soar at Vantage Point Golf Center’s driving range, where golfers hone their swings by taking aim at 10 target greens. The range’s bermuda-grass hitting stations emulate natural course conditions, letting golfers take divots and practice driving tees into the ground without passive-aggressive golf-cart maneuvers. Owner and former touring pro Chris Thompson presides over a staff of independent instructors who use the range as a venue for private lessons. An onsite café serves light fare and libations, and outdoor lights keep the range open after sunset for golfers who like to enjoy a moonlit nightcap with their sand wedge.