The 18-hole course at Chapel Hill guides golfers along lush fairways framed by dense tree lines and confronted by water on 11 holes. Six holes—beginning with No. 1—demand precise course-management skills when navigating shots around the stream that cuts through their fairways, demanding that players lay up, muscle their shots over, or swap their golf ball out for a beach ball. Laid end-to-end, the course measures 6,089 yards from the blue tees, the farthest of four available for play on each hole.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 70 course * Total length of 6,089 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 69.7 from the back tees * Course slope of 125 from the back tees * Four sets of tees per hole
In the 1930s, Prohibition-era bootlegger Max Hassel was blacklisted by a Pennsylvania country club due to his illicit wheeling-and-dealing?so he took matters into his own hands. Hassel commissioned Sir Robert White, a renowned Scottish course designer, to craft a 9-hole course on his Robeson Township estate, where no one could deny him access. Though it's received several upgrades since its original construction, the 2,934-yard, par 36 course still bears the characteristics of links-style golf, with intricately contoured greens, deep bunkers, and blotches of thick rough that punish inaccurate play.
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.
Instead of beating players over the head with extreme length, Ingleside Golf Club forces them to rely on accuracy and cunning course management if they want to perform well. Throughout the layout, water comes into play on seven holes, tall grass sways just beyond the second cut of rough, and deep, greenside bunkers are scrawled with "S.O.S." by fallen golf balls. Club selection proves especially important. The par fours and fives may bait players into pulling out their drivers, but a couple successes with the often wiser fairway metal or long iron?or a few errant drives?may show that the extra yards simply aren't worth the risks. Ingleside Golf Club also has a driving range, fully stocked Pro Shop, putting green and short game practice area.
Just removed from the eastern banks of the Schuykill River lie the 18 holes of Linfield National Golf Course, a hybrid layout that incorporates elements of both links and parkland course design. True to the links code, deep bunkers cluster astride the fairways and around the putting surfaces, ensnaring the wayward golf balls of golfers who fail to offer up course praise via messages scrawled in their sandy entrails. Meanwhile, thick tree groves and lakes on eight holes extend the intimidation factor, hemming in the playable areas and spelling doleful consequences for unchecked power. Having putted out on the 18th green, golfers can retire to the outdoor dining area at Mulligan?s Bar & Grille, where views of the first and 18th holes hover over beer glasses and tasty grille fare.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 71 course * Total length of 6,365 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 69.8 from the back tees * Course slope of 123 from the back tees * Four sets of tees per hole * Scorecard
Combining the best aspects of amusement parks and triathlons, The Golf Zone runs guests through a gauntlet of activities that promotes warm-hearted laughs and icy nerves of steel. Armed with a bucket of 75 balls ($8), golfers slay distant target posts at the driving range or put numbered clubs through the paces at the nearby short-game area. After practicing putts and postputt fist pumps, golfers can take to the roundabout greens of the miniature golf course ($6 per round for adults; $5 for children), where sharp turns and perilous slopes spell doom for all but the craftiest balls. Three paintball fields host large brigades or lone soldiers as they blast enemies with colorful projectiles during two-hour firefights ($25 including gear), providing shelter in the form of wooden forts and a replica of the Maginot Line. Challenge land-speed records at the nearby Speed Zone, where the Python go-kart track tests drivers with harrowing twists and sneaky speed bumps that take indiscriminate bites out of single and tandem karts ($7 per race).