Featuring professional staff members, an impeccably maintained course, and true-rolling greens arranged according to the position of 18 miniature meteor craters, The Ridge offers a golf experience for clubbers both skilled and woefully handicapped. A full round of evasive holes ($25 weekdays, $27 weekends) tantalizes cleek caressers and promises more excitement than a ruptured appendix. A golf-cart rental ($15) and a medium bag of range balls ($5) are included in the package, as well as a caged self-loathing that, according to The Ridge’s policies, can be unleashed upon any golfer who putts an eagle.
For nearly a quarter century, Ultimate Golf & Academy founder Chad Westra has been instructing golfers of all abilities while developing original methods for improvement in his book and instructional DVD, The Ultimate Way. Through Chad's methods, golfers discover the components of a balanced swing, including the turn of the clubface and the point of impact. By focusing on clubface connection, the instructor asserts that golfers can develop natural swings attuned to their unique form and golf bag full of modified soup ladles. Ultimate Golf allows visitors to practice their swings on its 22-acre facility, which features a well-lit driving range, 19-hole miniature golf course, and digital golf simulator. The simulator allows golfers to play on digital replications of 100 legendary golf courses.
Bakker Crossing offers 18 holes of water-laden, sloped-green, rough-n-tough challenges. The course includes many pivotal points such as the 174-yard hole 13, complete with a central, rough-rounded pond, and the notorious 18th, which combines a severely sloped green with a tricky back right pin. No matter how the dimpled spheres fall, pendulum players of all skill levels can soak in the open-air surroundings, hear the wind blow through the beautiful old trees, and refuse to grant frenemies a single mulligan or sarcastic golf-clap. Stroke through two rounds with a corporeal friend or one round with an imaginary friend anytime—Bakker Crossing Championship Golf Course is currently open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to dark through September.
A labyrinthine stream runs alongside nearly every fairway and green of Rocky Run Golf Course's 18-hole course, which blankets 6,434 yards of relatively flat terrain. A basic starting hole eases players into the round, offering a tame preamble to the treacherous second hole, a 406-yard par 4 where slow-starting swings and groggy drivers may struggle to elude a widening stream that occupies the very middle of a split fairway. The artful integration of watery avenues returns on the par 5 16th—the course's most challenging hole—where a creek switches back and forth across the fairway like a snake in striking position, fully crossing the short-grass corridor five times before pooling just off the front of the green. After their reckoning with aquatic interlopers, golfers can explore Rocky Run's immense clubhouse, where a well-stocked pro shop keeps players in the latest on-course duds and a full-service bar and restaurant lets players toast to the tragic passing of their favorite golf ball.Course at a Glance:
Since the first fairway drive in 1998, Northern Links Golf Course has presented players with nine holes of challenging and enjoyable golf. On the course's signature second hole, a 215-yard par 3, players must steer clear of the out-of-bounds road on the left and take necessary precautions to avoid a sunburned ball in order to conquer the island-style green. The 3,176-yard course offers a great opportunity for walking, though carts are also available.
Course at a Glance:
A gauntlet of hazards and omnipresent water reveals a pernicious design sure to challenge any golfer who traverses the picturesque fairways of the Knolls Golf Course. Players enjoy favorable lies when they stay within the verdant framework of rolling bluegrass fairways, yet those who venture astray may find themselves deep inside one of the 46 bunkers or secret caddy caves carved into the course. Four lakes and a river further complicate matters on 11 of 18 holes, culminating in the challenge on holes seven and nine, where a pond intersects the two doglegged fairways at their bends. The back nine presents a more arboreal affair, as players must steer their shots around tree-lined fairways and hope a fellow golfer isn't practicing golf-cart aerials on one of the frequent hills.
Course at a Glance: