Hale Irwin recognizes that most golf courses have only one signature hole. But you don’t win the U.S. Open three times and rack up 87 professional victories in a storied PGA career by doing what everybody else does. So when Mr. Irwin unveiled his design for The Links at Cottonwoods in March of 1998, he included two signature holes: the 13th, a par 5 extending to a whopping 600 yards, and the 16th, a par 3 with a nerve-racking island green. In 2012, readers of Golf Digest presented Mr. Irwin with a 4.5-star rating in the magazine’s “Best Places to Play” section for his audacious design and willingness to flout convention.
His distinctive pair of holes highlights a pristine, 18-hole stretch of Scottish-style links, complete with wide fairways pestered by strong seasonal winds but free of wandering sheep that chew on argyle socks. As players chase dimpled orbs across the Meyer Zoysia fairways and tap them over the Champion Bermuda greens, they’ll encounter water-bordering play on more than half of the holes.
Course at a Glance:
Wedgewood Golfers' Club and North Creek Golf Course integrate the scenic landscapes of northern Mississippi into their par 72 layouts, taking golfers across rolling hills and rippling waterways.
The North Creek course's bermuda-grass fairways weave along the edges of Horn Lake Creek with a relatively open layout and mounded terrain that channels the links-style charm of golf's Scotch-Irish forebears. Slightly easier than its counterpart, North Creek caters to clubbers of all stripes with four tee options and optional bumper greens.
North Creek Golf Course at a Glance:
Cleaved through a combination of dense tree lines and intervening ponds, The Wedgewood course's bermuda-grass fairways sprawl across 6,863 yards of arduous terrain. With trees hugging most holes, and water hazards kissed against the underside of two doglegged fairways, the course frequently forces players into tough course-management decisions, such as when to smash a driver, when to play lay-up with a three-wood, and how to coerce fellow golfers into giving you unlimited mulligans. Though challenging from the back tees, the course's inventive layout is forgiving enough for players of all abilities.
Wedgewood Golfers' Club at a Glance:
True to its name, Dixie Rents and its subsidiary, Party Concepts, rent out all manner of equipment for construction and landscaping projects along with furnishings and play equipment for big fetes. Dixie's arsenal of machinery, including generators, log splitters, and backhoes, teams up with propane-tank refills and airless paint sprayers to tackle home-improvement and construction goals. For party rentals, Party Concepts' expansive inventory suits most any occasion, from wedding décor such as candelabra, skirted tables, and wine fountains to business-conference gear such as podiums and dunk tanks.
Thrill-seekers of all ages weave through Golf & Games Family Park’s 40-acre mini metropolis of indoor and outdoor attractions. Scampering legs can dart and dash through the neon-clad, 6,000-square-foot indoor laser-tag arena. A burbling waterfall streams through the park’s 54-hole mini-golf course, hemmed by lush landscaping and statues of various jungle-inhabiting creatures. Bumper boats bob in cerulean waters churned by colliding vessels as they circle a central, life-size elephant statue, and two go-kart courses cater to future and present-day adults. Guests can engage in more conventional contests such as volleyball, basketball, and horseshoes within the bucolic tree lines that frame the open picnic pavilions or hone various swing types at the park’s batting cages, 120-stall driving range, and spacious putting green.
Mark Grace has more than 18 years of teaching experience, including stints as the Director of Instruction at Colonial Country Club and the Director of the Memphis Golf Association. His golf academies occupy two locations, and both utilize the power of technological instruction aids such as video swing analysis, TrackMan Doppler radar ball tracking, and a computer coaching system that can compare the swing to those of more than 400 PGA model swings. Mark bases his teaching philosophy on the foundation of grip pressure, believing that the correct grip is the key to a fluid, balanced, and well-shaped swing.