Looking to put a new spin on a classic family activity, the minds behind Glowgolf decided to give the game a phosphorescent update. Incandescent courses place friends and family amid a tropical-fantasy golf world of neon orange, green, and violet surroundings. Players putt luminous orbs through vibrant treasure chests and glimmering windmills while negotiating tricky obstacles near walls portraying black-light-lit aquatic scenes. With more than 20 locations spread over 10 states, Glowgolf's fluorescent labyrinths challenge human players and traveling gnomes.
The ping of golf clubs and baseball bats rings out across the grounds and rises above the thrumming engines and squealing tires of go-karts at Golfland USA. Part training ground, part recreational respite, Golfland invites golfers to hone their game at a driving range or enjoy more laid-back par-hunting at a mini-golf course. Guests can also perfect a different kind of swing at the batting cages, which sling baseballs at three different speeds and offer two slow-pitch softball machines. The fun center also encompasses a quarter-mile go-kart track where drivers speed down straightaways and drift around tight turns.
At Lederach Golf Club, golfers drive, pitch, and putt through 7,023 yards of lush, forested fairways on a challenging course designed by architect Kelly Blake Moran. Link with a partner and navigate the undulating greens against a backdrop of picturesque ridges, majestic valleys, and rows of singing, cartoon trees. The par-71 municipal course boasts a smattering of grass bunkers and swales that naturally dupe clubbing enthusiasts of various skill levels. Junior players can belt dimpled projectiles on tees designed specifically for their swing, and advanced players try and balance their golf balls on toothpicks before test-driving their strokes full-tilt onto fairways.
With four sets of tees to choose from, each of the 18 holes that comprise Flatbush Golf Course reveal rewarding mental and physical challenges for golfers of every stripe. The course's lush chlorophyll-laden carpet stretches to 6,671 yards from the back tees, and brings into play obstacles such as water hazards on eight holes, elevated greens, and sudden impulses to plant a vegetable garden. The most difficult hole on the course proves to be number 4, a 450-yard par 4 with water on either side of the fairway and a wide, shallow green guarded by a large bunker to the front right. On the back nine, number 16 grants players a clear view of the hazards that lay before them, allowing them ample time to triangulate a route to safety.
Course at a Glance:
Rolling hills, wooded terrain, and shimmering waterways serve as the canvas upon which Beckett Golf Club’s 27-hole, 9,577-yard golf complex shines. The swath of verdant playing grounds forms three distinct nines that golfers mix and match to create varied 18-hole rounds. The longest layout, the blue course, confronts players with bends and jumps in the form of dogleg fairways and water hazards on three holes. A fast-starting swing is a must for golfers starting on the red course, where the first hole—a 498-yard par 5—is also the layout’s most difficult, bending sharply to the left with a lush patch of trees that prevents shortcuts and golf-cart drag races. The shortest of the three nines, the white course puts water in play on two holes and revels in the rolling fairways and medium-size greens that characterize the entire 27-hole layout.
Former Marine and PGA-section-tournament champion Brian Machen assists his students’ swings by teaching techniques that he's refined across 12 years of instruction experience. Brian tracks swings using slow-motion and stop-action video, which help to isolate wayward movements so that he can suggest subtle adjustments in stance or switching out polka-dotted sweater vests for plaid polos. His fact-based, comprehensive cadre of tips applies to golfers of all ages and abilities, and after perfecting long drives on indoor or outdoor greens, pupils can access an online video lesson to force loved ones to watch during family movie nights.
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