When renowned course architect Ellis Maples first laid eyes on the rolling expanse of land in the Sandhills, he knew he had found the venue for his next course. Whispering Woods Golf Club encompasses both gentle slopes and steeper hills, offering a dynamic canvas atop which Maples designed holes with stark elevation changes. Today, golfers encounter a diverse layout that showcases anything from treacherously undulating bentgrass greens to a small roller coaster for bored caddies to enjoy. Carolina pines line the edges of the fairways and greens throughout the round, stretching out their thin trunks to snag any errant shots. The end product of Ellis’s vision is an 18-hole, 6,324-yard layout described by course architect Dan Maples, Ellis’s son, as “a golf course designed with the average player in mind, but good players won’t find a pushover.”
Bowlers can pursue pin-felling prominence for two hours at Family Sports Center, strapped securely inside a pair of aerodynamic rental footwear. Send weighty orbs careening down the center or swirling in the shape of your signature on any of the alley's 32 lanes, in as many games as you can muster in two hours. Automatic scoring appears on TVs that float overhead, preventing the need for recounts and game-settling thumb wars. Children younger than 12 years old can bank lighter balls off of bumpers summoned from underground slumber. Purchase up to two additional Groupons as gifts and come as a crowd, or extend the focus from your solitaire tournament to side-by-side solo bowls.
Host of the PGA’s Wyndham Championship from 1977 to 2007, Proehlific Club at Forest Oaks's private course incorporates natural elements such as looming trees and severely sloping hills with manmade sand traps and water obstacles, challenging beginning and experienced golfers alike. Opened in 1962, the terrain was renovated in 2002 after the renowned Love Golf Design group reached out to professional golfers to find out what makes an ideal course. The main improvement, helmed by Davis Love III, was the resprigging of the fairway with bermuda grass, a strain of turf that can handle extreme temperature changes, and a redesign of the new greens. The course was featured on the PGA for over 30 years, and was enjoyed by Davis Love III as well as Rocco Mediate and many other professionals. While the golf course is the main attraction, the club also houses a pro shop, a 25-yard professional-size swimming pool, tennis courts, and a restaurant.
The piercing sounds of clubs hitting golf balls echo across the fairways at Winding Creek Golf Course, an 18-hole, 6,367-yard course that bobs and weaves through the Thomasville countryside. The par 72 course incorporates elevation changes, doglegs that bend both directions, and intermittent water hazards to challenge every element of golfers' games. The course's full-length driving range also serves as the training ground for Thomasville Golf Academy, where veteran instructor Lloyd Scarberry helps golfers lower scores with swing advice and tips on how to read greens silently so their opponents can't overhear their techniques.
Course at a Glance:
Tucked away among tranquil North Carolina pines, Olde Sycamore Golf Plantation inspires and challenges golfers of all levels with its rolling hills and fetching fairways. Par-seeking patrons cruise the luscious bent-grass grounds in a stylish cart (a required $23, not included in price of Groupon) for 10 birdie-filled games of golf, putting and generously slicing their way through the 18-hole, par 72 course. Playing 7,000 yards from the back tees, Olde Sycamore provides ample opportunities to unsheathe the driver and sail a sphere down the fairway or into the elf-infested woods. Strategically placed bunkers and water hazards test mental strength on approach shots, making strategy and precision essential to beating back bogeys.