It's unlikely that any historic kingdom had batting cages and water slides, but to be fair, Knight's Action Park is a lot more fun than an actual castle. On one side of the park, guests can don swimsuits and hop aboard bumper boats, slip down slides, or set out in paddle boats. Seven mini slides teach smaller children the fun of water-park attractions, while statues of giant sea creatures teach them that life is terrifying. Across the way, a 50-tee driving range lets golfers hone their swing, and an 18-hole mini-golf course caters to putters of all ages. The park's assortment of land-based amusements also includes a Ferris wheel, an arcade, and go-karts.
What is known today as Rolling Hills debuted in the spring of 1965 as Country Fairways, a nine-hole golf course carved out of a 40-acre parcel of pastureland on Droste?s farm in rural northwest Madison County. Back in the day, patrons were spared any hint of ceremony as they laid down modest greens fee on the counter of an unassuming starter ?shack? that was fashioned from the bed of a long retired grain truck.
Today, Rolling Hills Golf Course still supports the modest ideals of a bygone era with an emphasis on course maintenance and approachable design. The 5,765-yard layout features water that comes into play on at least seven holes, but the course makes it playable for all skill levels with open fairways, sparse tree lines, and large greens. After a round of sinking birdies or snapping fairway irons in half, players can relax with a snack or drink at the bar and grill inside the clubhouse.
Carved through the heavily wooded bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River, Lockhaven Golf Club's 18-hole layout takes golfers into an undulating circuit of tree-lined corridors. The par 72 course spans 6,880 yards from the tips, presenting a formidable challenge as the arboreal obstacles compound the length and fast, bentgrass greens pose an equal test to short game skills. Golfers can prepare for their round at the on-site driving range and practice green.
An Olympic-sized swimming pool fosters warm-weather fun with lanes for swimming laps and a walk-in kid pool for younger swimmers. After a day of recreation, guests can unwind at the bar and grill or enjoy a gourmet meal in the formal dining room that overlooks the golf course.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Length of 6,880 yards from the tips * Course rating of 72.0 from the tips * Sloep rating of 129 from the tips
The golf carts at The Woodlands Golf Club take players on a grassy roller-coaster ride over frequent changes in elevation and down fairways brimming with challenging lies at every turn. Play intertwines perilously with a winding creek at many points, with a scant three holes, like a cautious wicked witch, managing to avoid water altogether. All 18 holes launch players down zoysia grass fairways from one of four tees, challenging each club in the bag en route to greens that hold approaches and roll true. On the last hole, the newly refurbished clubhouse provides a scenic backdrop for the homestretch.
Course at a Glance:
18-hole, par 72 course
Total length of 6,418 yards from the back tees
Course rating of 70.6 from the back tees
Course slope of 123 from the back tees
Four sets of tees per hole
Winner of the Places to Play-4 Star Award from Golf Digest, Belk Park Golf Course presents challenging play across 234 acres of well-manicured grounds. Water in play on five holes and a fair number of doglegs make the course difficult for players who don't pay close attention to club selection, shot trajectory, and perfectly timed spitballs. On the 5th and 14th holes, fairways veer sharply around water hazards and reward errant shots with an unfavorable lie on the lake bottom.
Course at a Glance:
Stonebridge Golf Club challenges and entertains beginners and old pros alike with its picturesque rolling hills, changes in elevation, and tree-lined fairways. Before embarking on their 18-hole journey, players may practice on the expansive practice and chipping greens to perfect their wedgework, putts, and celebratory shimmies. Meticulously manicured bent-grass tees serve as launch pads for sky-bound balls, and verdant bermuda grass clings to the fairways. The par 72 course ensures golfers have a chance to employ every club in their arsenal, from the pitching wedge to the 3-wood to the rarely used Gatling driver. A golf cart helps players zoom from hole to hole with motorized grace and efficiency, rather than wasting precious minutes saddling, mounting, and cajoling surly bactrian golf camels. Although food and equipment are not covered by today's Groupon, Stonebridge is also home to a pro shop and Putter's Bar and Grill, making it easy for golfers and their bags to stay well-fed.