A sunny afternoon's work of putting putter to ball does more than bring up latent emotions about middle-school health class—it also brings up a hunger for fine dining. The lunch and dinner menus at the newly opened Fountain View Restaurant feature freshly prepared provisions that pair perfectly with the restaurant's view of Tanglewood's verdant greens. As you gaze at the links and begin to strategize through Fountain View's windows or bat lashes at the landscape from the outdoor patio, appease your grumbling food box with an order of scampi-style shrimp ($9), served over capellini in a mushroom-tomato broth, or a flatbread pizza and grilled veggies ($8), with fresh mozzarella and toasted oregano. With your mouth woken and wide eyed, direct its attention to a Fountain View specialty, the salmon roulade, a decadent buttery fish feast stuffed with shrimp, lobster, spinach, and jack cheese and served with mushroom risotto and asparagus ($14 for lunch, $19 for dinner). If you're collecting bones from your meals to complete your Rube Goldberg machine, order a bone-in “cowboy” rib eye—16 succulent ounces of Angus beef smothered in a bourbon demiglace with pearl onions and mushrooms and served with a jumbo baked potato and broccoli ($34 for dinner only).
The Links at Whitmore Lake challenge seasoned swingers and golf greenhorns alike with 18 diverse holes spanning meticulously manicured fairways. The picturesque course boasts arbor-lined greens and scenic bodies of water hazard, allowing golfers to hone their skills while chipping out of pesky sand traps and tremor holes. During play, masterfully avoid stepping on cracks that break mothers' backs by rolling over them (mothers, that is) in the included golf cart. Whether you head to the greens for a weekend outing or utilize a PTO day, today's Groupon lets you leisurely putter up to putt whenever the time is right. After enjoying your 18-hole roundabout, round up your buddies and take advantage of the links' driving range, practice green, and beautiful, deck-lined clubhouse serving up a wide variety of bar bites and beverages, making a tea party out of tee time. Solidify a solid buddyship by purchasing an additional Groupon to give as a gift, either to your favorite nephew, who learned to play golf on his Wii, or to your favorite grandpa, who learned the old-fashioned way—with stiff-necked flamingos on the queen's court. Call ahead to reserve a tee time.
Indian Trail Golf Center acts as a peaceful practice oasis for players to perfect swings and hone their skills. Upon arrival, golfers insert tokens into the ball dispenser to receive their allotted balls, which cascade into the bucket and jostle to be the first off the tee. The driving range is home to synthetic mats and natural-grass stations. In inclement weather, 10 covered hitting stations keep players dry as they blast balls into lower orbit and try to dislodge hail from rain clouds. After buckets have been depleted and swings satisfied, players can head to the practice green and squeeze in as many tap-ins as daylight allows. Indian Trail Golf Center stays open from 9 a.m. to dusk every day of the week except Tuesday, when it opens at noon.
Hickory Creek's championship-style course challenges golf aficionados and soothes senses with manicured greens and a verdant landscape rife with vegetation. Among the rolling 18 holes is the island green of hole 17, which dares players to conquer its watery defenses before demonstrating their victory-break-dancing skills. Gently rolling hills dotted with trees, traps, and the course’s namesake creek abound throughout the scenery, honing the skills of golf novices and expert club tamers alike. Clinics from fairway veteran Tami Bealert enhance the developing techniques of aspiring PGA winners, customizing curriculum to match each individual's goals, expectations, and collection of argyle socks.
At Hartland Glen Golf Course, players delight in the myriad challenges presented by two 18-hole championship courses. The older North Course wastes no time in showcasing its difficult design, as the second hole is guarded by four sand bunkers and a mischievous water hazard that has been an outspoken advocate for swimming floaties for four decades. The South Course has a slightly shorter layout that demands precise shots with tight, tree-lined fairways.
Players can work on their form at the practice chipping area and two putting greens or at the all-grass driving range. Professional instructors can improve swing mechanics during private and group lessons, and the staff at the club's pro shop stands ready to arm players with the latest gear from top brands such as Nike, Titleist, and Wilson. After rounds of golf or flagstick javelin, golfers can refuel with casual grill food and libations at the clubhouse restaurant.
North Course at a Glance:
South Course at a Glance: