After spending his formative years helping his father to operate multiple golf facilities, John Invernizzi decided to dedicate his adult life to spreading the gospel of the game. The PGA pro opened Hereford Golf Center in 1995 with the aim of creating a pressure-free space for golfers of all stripes to hone their swings, learn to appreciate the game, and debate about which club would be the most useful to ward off feral caddies. In the ensuing 17 years, clubbers have been hitting practice balls at the center’s 36-stall driving range, replete with eight target greens that range from 50 to 260 yards.
The adjacent Lost Falls Miniature Golf Course takes friendly competitors careening past two ponds, a large stream, and a mysterious cave as they steer golf balls toward pintsize flagsticks. True to his mission of making golf fun and accessible for everyone, John and the staff at Hereford Golf Center provide clubs free of charge, sparing clubless players from hastily purchasing one or digging in their backyard for a conveniently shaped mastodon bone.
Nestled in the rolling hills of Maryland's countryside, the Wakefield Valley Golf Club showcases three different nine-hole courses. Each course presents a unique set of challenges, with the green course showcasing lengthy par 5s and the white course challenging golfers with hilly terrain and water holes that lure errant shots and experimental scuba-tank golf bags. The gold course, meanwhile, sets up demanding tee shots into narrow fairways, as seen on its signature eighth hole, where water guards the green on all sides.
Golfers can warm up for rounds at the driving range and practice green or employ the swing-honing advice of PGA Professional Scott Magee, who teaches enough students to believe that he will find one who can pull a putter from a stone. Guests can also refuel rumbling stomachs with casual food and drinks at Fenby’s Restaurant.
Top Flite Super Range golf balls hurtle toward laser-measured targets on Westminster Island Green’s lighted range, where players practice their drives from 50 hitting stations. Guests continue to enrich their golfing skills during lessons with PGA-certified golf instructors, summertime junior clinics (with 7:1 student-teacher ratios), and ladies or couples golf clinics held every other Thursday. Westminster Island Green also accommodates putters with a fully lit 18-hole miniature golf course, with island-themed landscaping and goldfish ponds. Alternatively, baseball buffs can watch their homers fly through an open-air batting park unobstructed by nets. There, pitching machines launch softballs at up to 60 mph and baseballs at up to 70 mph, while batters control the height of each pitch and the speed at which they spit out sunflower seeds.
Designed by respected course creator and star architect Arthur Hills, the gorgeous course gives swingers playable, sweeping greens shrouded by lush scenery. Waverly Woods was carved out of farmland, with wide, friendly fairways. Golfers will appreciate the back nine, which includes a distinctive par four and shifts in elevation.
Bayview Golf Center gives players space to hone their swings all year long with an outdoor driving range and an indoor golf simulator. In warmer months, golfers can send range balls skyward from any of 36 tees, but if the conditions get too cold for even the 18 covered and heated stalls, players can head indoors to hammer drives into the P3ProSwing's simulator screen. Players can practice on their choice of 36 famous golf courses and receive instant swing feedback on every club in their bag, from driver to tire iron. The simulator tracks the entire swing path through the impact zone and provides a detailed breakdown of swing and ball-flight data, ranging from swing tempo to total carry. Former PGA Class A member Norm Vacovsky draws on 34 years of coaching experience to help players get over learning plateaus during lessons held at the center.
Fog floods the 6,000-square-foot arena as youngsters race behind glowing crates and walls to escape lasers, thus fulfilling the business's Active Play Active Kids philosophy of getting wee ones on their feet and keeping them moving. The laser maze's 30 crisscrossing beams put participants' coordination to the test as they navigate through, and the glowing Lightspace Play Floor accommodates up to four players trying to copy each others' dance moves. At the snack station, kids can recharge with pizza and nachos before challenging friends to air-hockey bouts in an arcade with more than 35 games.