Apple Hill Golf Club entices golfers of all abilities with a 27-hole tapestry weaved into rolling, New Hampshire woodlands. The club’s 18-hole course meanders across 6,184 yards of wide, bermuda grass fairways and bentgrass greens flanked by ponds that come into play on more than half of the holes. Those looking to hone their short game can tee it up on the nine-hole, par 3 course, an 800-yard layout that duffers can complete in an efficient 45 minutes, enabling them to squeeze in a session before dark or in time to drop off their 9-iron at soccer practice.
During the summer, PGA professional Steve Lundquist utilizes the multifaceted grounds to host a junior golf academy, which grants pupils free play on the par 3 course throughout the season. Along with a wide selection of clubs, balls, clothes, and shoes available for purchase, the club’s pro shop curbs appetites with fresh sandwiches, drinks, and hot dogs that can be braided together to form fully functional putters.
Championship Course at a Glance:
Originally sculpted into the New Hampshire countryside in 1889, Exeter Country Club's nine-hole course stretches across 2,801 yards for a par 35 layout. Wreathed by waterways flowing south from the Great Bay, the course cools off clubbers and hot-tempered carts with seaside breezes that waft across the greens. Though consisting mostly of straight-ahead fairways, the course forces players to adjust at the fifth hole, a 365-yard par 4 where golfers must bend drives around a dramatic 90-degree dogleg left obscured by dense tree lines. Exeter Country Club's on-site restaurant, Grill on the Hill, awaits at the end of the ninth green, serving up a menu of American fare to quench appetites after a day of dedicated pin-hunting and scorecard falsification.
Course at a Glance:
Wonder Mountain Family Fun Park sternly rebuffs boredom with two mini-golf courses and a challenging human maze. Adventurers can negotiate the twisting turns, dead ends, and elevated checkpoints of the Treasure Trap ($5/person for ages 5+) in less than 10 minutes to enter weekly drawings for cash and T-shirts or to outrun overzealous Pac-Men. Alternatively, opt for a round of mini golf ($10/adult; $8/senior or child ages 5–12) on one of two courses strewn with lush foliage, flowing waterfalls, and muttering streams. Send dimpled balls spinning across the Mountain Mania course, recently rebuilt with five new hole layouts, or test your mettle on the Nautical Nightmare course, whose challenging holes may be better suited for teens and adults than youngsters or those who depend on holes-in-one for life force.
The ping of sharp line drives and towering drives echo over the grounds at Legends Golf, where athletes of all ages compete in rounds of miniature golf and hone swings in the batting cages or at the driving range.
Golf balls trickle down topsy-turvy tracks at the 18-hole miniature-golf course, which weaves through rock faces and tiny geysers that erupt with glee any time a player misses an easy putt. Eight target greens populate the 300-yard driving range, where new Wilson Staff Range Balls touch down after taking flight from 45 synthetic mats or 35 grass tees.
Under the vaulted roof of the batting cages, nine pitching machines send baseballs and softballs speeding toward hitters as they get the most out of every at bat and discreetly argue balls and strikes with imaginary umpires. To pass the time in between mini-golf rounds or during kids' golf lessons, guests can use Legends' wireless Internet connection free of charge.
With 35 years of golf experience and as a shoo-in for Golf Digest's Best Teachers in the State list five years running, Rick DePamphilis brings a bounty of stroke-shaving wisdom to each lesson he conducts as a part of his player-development program, NexLevel Golf. Whether students are greenhorns or green-jacket holders, the PGA master professional tailors his instruction to the player's individual needs, ranging from small tweaks in course-management strategy to deciding which end of the club to grip.
Private lessons help a player improve his or her number of fairways hit in regulation, short-game play around the greens, and shot selection. V1 Pro cameras analyze the student's swing for later reflection on mechanics and tendencies, such as swing-plane angle or ending the follow-through with a pirouette. Rick also takes stock of the player's arsenal of equipment and makes recommendations based on their skills and style of play. Lessons take place at Paradise Driving Range in Middleton.
With 160 driving range tees, 72 miniature golf holes, and 16 batting cages spread across its three locations, Golf Country provides ample opportunity for visitors to hone all aspects of their swings. Each driving range features overhead lights for practicing after the sun goes down for the evening, as well as a number of covered, heated tees that allow for practice when the sun goes down forever. The Easton and Saugus locations offer one 18-hole miniature golf course apiece, while the Middleton location showcases two courses. Nicknamed the Millpond Course and the Stone Bridge Course, Middleton’s miniature tracks meander through large flower beds, flowering trees, and ample water features.