Renowned golf architect and Pacific Northwest Golf Association Hall-of-Famer Arthur Vernon Macan conceived Glen Acres’ nine-hole course to challenge golfers of all skill levels and reward their exertions with picturesque views of downtown Seattle. Lush, emerald fairways and impeccably manicured greens coalesce to form one of the most difficult courses in the Puget Sound area—one notorious for its sleek surfaces and caddies who play defensive with tennis rackets. Pairs or quartets must don their argyle thinking caps as they navigate the course’s many hazards, lining up shots and launching them across expanses speckled with lakes and thick curtains of trees. A powered golf cart speeds up the action, though players may stop periodically to spy on Seattle University’s golf squad and glean secrets from the collegiate masters.
The brainchild of swing shaman Ian Havill, Havill Golf fuses state-of-the-art golf-improvement technology with top-notch instruction from the studio’s band of PGA Teaching Professionals. Hone club cadence with a one-hour swing study that includes a five-minute warm-up, 45-minute lesson with one of Havill’s expert instructors, and 10 minutes of review and practice. Each session includes a video analysis that grants students a chance to review and improve upon their technique, outfit, and postswing strut.
Within Gregg Rogers' Golf Performance Centers' indoor facility, a team of PGA- and TPI-certified instructors harness [technological teaching aids and golf-fitness programs to groom golf games with pro-level tools and techniques. During lessons, the passionate aces can augment their golf knowledge with swing data captured by TrackMan launch monitors or cure chronic cases of the yips with ultrasonic sensors and soothing cybernetic bedtime stories of the SAM PuttLab. Named one of America's 100 Best Clubfitters of 2011 by Golf Digest, the center helps lonely swings find their crooked-stick counterpart with a formula that takes into account a multitude of scientific parameters. Along with fostering pin-hunting skills, the center pinpoints golf-deficient muscles and develops strategies for consistent movements with Titleist Performance Institute fitness assessments.
One of just 23 TaylorMade Performance Labs in the world, the location at Willows Run Golf Club uses modern swing technology to gather data about golfers’ games, resulting in club recommendations that are uniquely suited to each player. A certified TaylorMade Club-Fitting Professional guides athletes through the entire experience. While the client swings inside a golf simulator, the pro helms the Motion Analysis Technology by TaylorMade, an apparatus comprised of six high-speed cameras. These cameras turn the golfer into a three-dimensional digital rendering, similar to the process used by video-game developers. Whether a customer opts for fitting with all 14 clubs in his or her bag or a single category—such as irons, woods, putters, or wedges—the technology captures their mechanics down to a tenth of a degree, revealing optimal club parameters ranging from loft angle to shaft flex.
Meadowmeer Golf & Country Club’s nine-hole course takes golfers on a pin-hunting odyssey through fairways and greens nestled in the shadows of dense tree lines. The scaled-down layout boasts dual sets of tees, creating front- and back-nine experiences unique enough to convince near-sighted sand wedges that they are playing a full-length course. The course shares its grounds with a practice area for chipping, pitching, and driving, as well as a nine-hole practice green, which helps players get a feel for the speed of greens without having to bribe an earthworm.
At Swing Doctors, PGA-certified instructors use state-of-the-art video-analysis software to improve each golfer’s swing mechanics and overall skill set. A camera captures swings and divides them into freeze frames to pinpoint weaknesses in posture, technique, and color coordination of clothing.
Swing Doctors is also home to more than 100 virtual golf courses. Links including Firestone and Pinehurst unfurl on 10'x13' screens, simulating surfaces such as fairway, green, and sand bunker.
At Redwood Golf Center, club-swinging cadets send range balls flying from personal mats housed within their cozy, covered stalls. After first selecting a bucket size – large buckets contain 85 balls while small buckets have 34 – golfers then set to practicing their 2-iron stingers, wedge game accuracy, and triple pump-fake drives off the tee. Frequent visitors can also take advantage of the per-bucket discounts found within the center’s punch cards, which are redeemable for 9, 25, or 50 buckets over the course of a year.