Sculpted into 160 acres of rolling hills and forests of oak, pine, and dogwood, Oak Hills Golf Club provides a scenic challenge for golfers skilled and novice. The course designed by Steve Melnyk and Davis Love III features manicured Tifway 419 bermuda-grass fairways and elevated, undulating greens. Players might want to keep a still-life painter in the bag for when they reach the elevated tee box on the par 5 hole 18, where a viewing of nine different holes manifests itself in a verdant panorama of course and countryside. The Oak Hills staff of veteran PGA professionals amends swings during private lessons for adults and youths.
It's well-documented that relationships blossom when groups of individuals work together toward a shared goal. It's equally true that every golfer who has ever played the game wants to get better. Enter Executive Golf Links LLC, an enterprise that uses the game of golf to help individuals build business relationships. The company matches businesspeople and their clients—or potential clients—up with a golf professional for playing lessons out on the course. As each participant works to shave strokes and demonstrate ethical cork-free putters, the enjoyment of being out on the course and improving encourages interpersonal bonds to develop and strengthen.
Just across Swan Lake from the Furman University campus lie the 18 holes of the school's golf club, hallowed training grounds that have produced graduates-cum-pro golfers Dottie Pepper and Brad Faxon. The par 72 layout underwent a major renovation in 2008, showcasing an updated version of the same fairways and greens walked by those famous alumni. Players tee off from one of five sets of tees—the tips are painted the school's trademark purple—in their pursuit of true-rolling greens, composed of a hybrid Bermuda grass called Champion.
As a college course, it's only fitting that players can also look to the club for help brushing up on their skills. The onsite driving range presents better opportunities for solo study than putting among the deep recesses of the library stacks, while a cadre of PGA professionals offer their expertise when players need a nudge in the right direction.
Course at a Glance:
Inside South Carolina’s 47 state-registered parks, visitors explore secluded forest trails, sweeping cerulean lakes, roiling saltwater surfs crashing on white beaches, and streams and rivers overgrown with thick canopies of trees. The protected areas, many of which were assembled nearly a century ago by the Civilian Conservation Corps, encompass more than 80,000 acres and span turf from the rambling Blue Ridge Mountains to the sandy Atlantic-coast beaches. Abundant activities for guests include canoeing, fishing, mountain biking, horseback riding, and accidentally startling long-forgotten lumberjacks wearing headphones.
Visitors experience colonial history up close at some parks, where registered historic homes, plantations, and landmark buildings stand preserved or in their natural state. These structures grant a glimpse into the lives of European settlers, Native Americans, and African Americans through building tours, archaeological collections, and live history demonstrations. Overnight camping is available at many parks, ranging from primitive campsites to cabins, villas, and tent sites that offer running water. Much like a scientist designing a soda-can-powered robot, park administrators follow a rigorous recycling program to ensure the preservation of the wilderness.
From the wedge to the driver, every club gets to spend time out of the bag and under the sun at The Caddy Shak Restaurant & Driving Range. The lighted driving range offers both artificial and Bermuda grass hitting stations, where golfers aim into an expansive target field with plenty of space for towering shots. The range even rewards players who hit consecutive balls into target buckets with cash prizes, which golfers can use to finally purchase that diamond-encrusted ball marker they’ve had their eyes on. The practice facility also encompasses a putting green, sand trap, and chipping areas. PGA instructor Jim Williams oversees the facility’s action, dispensing advice in lessons for players of all ability levels.
But Caddy Shak is not merely a practice venue. Staffers also maintain a 12-hole, par-three course, which packs all the pressure and fun of a live round into a compact 1,788-yard layout. The course tests golfers’ touch with the short stick on holes as short as 80 yards, while forcing some to reach for a 3-wood or oversized crow bar to reach greens 190 yards in the distance.
Golfers across Texas, Arizona, and Georgia get an expert's opinion on their local private and public courses through AvidGolfer Magazine. The professionals also offer some basic instructions, in-depth product reviews, and careful explanations of why a lower score is better. Besides expert advice, the magazine releases an annual passbook that grants subscribers entry into several local courses.