As the only par-three course in Chittenden County, Arrowhead Golf Course connects nine holes ranging from 90 yards to 210 yards in length. Arrowhead's small size doesn't just make it easy to slip into a carrying case after rounds: it also makes it an ideal practice course for seasoned and beginner golfers alike. Three sets of tees per hole enable golfers to lengthen and shorten their shots, and gently rolling fairways outfitted with sand bunkers, water hazards, and other quirky traits present a different challenge at every hole. After rounds, players can even continue to work on their game at Arrowhead's driving range and practice putting green. Before or after being outside, golfers can grab a bite or a drink at the onsite cafe.
Framed by the tree-spotted foothills of Vermont, Rocky Ridge Golf Club’s 18-hole course unfurls across a verdant expanse of rolling farmland. Throughout the course, elevated fairways and greens offer breathtaking panoramas of the surrounding mountains, as well as a safe lookout from which golfers can detect rival armies of croquet players. Flower beds and rocky outcrops along short-grass corridors further accent the layout’s bucolic environs. Clubbers looking for lessons can seek out golf pro Ed Coleman, who roams the grounds in a zen state attained through 20 years of coaching experience and aromatherapy that uses the odor of freshly mowed fairways. Cozy, green-side seating and tables nestled in shaded porches await golfers for post-round relaxing at the clubhouse restaurant.
Thunderbird Sports Centre challenges clubswingers' short game on its nine-hole, par 27 Thunderbird Golf Course. Honouring the undulating terrain, plentiful evergreens, and deciduous trees, the course layout sets a brisk pace with a 10-storey metronome at the center and holes ranging from 88 to 142 yards. Design elements elevate play even further, intermingling bodies of water, sand traps, and deep rough. The fully lit course stays open until 10:30 p.m., or whenever the area's stone gargoyles come to life. Pull cart ($3.75) and club rentals ($9.15) are also available, and golfers can refresh before or after a game at the pro shop.
Whether trading groundstrokes on the tennis courts, hunting birdies on the golf course, or practicing cannonballs in the swimming pool, guests make the most of the summer sun at Amberwood Village Golf and Country Club. On the nine-hole, 2,387-yard executive golf course, golfers are presented with three par 4s, five par 3s, and one 463-yard par 5 that prevents drivers and 3 woods from napping in their head covers all day. The whooshes of ace serves and forehand winners echo above the club's three hard-surface tennis courts, where players can schedule open court times or register for lessons.
Appetites piqued by outdoor recreation can be sated at bistrofiftyfour, where chefs put their spin on European bistro classics with an expansive menu that features jumbo shrimp linguini, open-faced smoked salmon sandwiches, and thin-crust pizzas. Guests can unwind amid granite countertops and straight-backed leather chairs in the indoor diner or bestow pet names on every club in their bags from the outdoor patio, which overlooks the golf course.
As they traverse Capital Golf Centre's course, players will notice that there aren’t any water hazards or sandtraps to contend with, or, for that matter, any par 4s or 5s. This is entirely by design: the course architects designed a low-stress experience for all players, but primarily those who are just taking up the game or picking it back up after a long time away. The result is a par 3 course that winds through the Ottawa Valley forest, composed of 18 holes measuring up to 202 yards. The layout helps novice and veteran players alike focus on accuracy with their irons and short game, without the difficulties from long water carries or tight lies in bunkers riddled with sunbathing tourists.
Players can head to the practice area and make use of the driving range’s mat or grass tees, putting green, and chipping green. A portion of the driving range is specifically dedicated to short iron play, with targets spaced out between 50 to 350 yards away.
Hips start swiveling with grace at White Sands Golf Course & Practice Centre, where golfers hone their form at a nine-hole executive course, extensive practice facilities, and academy classes. On the 1,477-yard course designed by Graham Cooke, golfers can choose from three tee options and finish rounds in less than two hours. To gear up for the water hazards and serpentine sand bunkers that stud the fairways, players can sharpen their technique at the extensive White Sands practice facility. Here, 30 fibre mats and 42 grass tees await along the driving range, and players can work on their victory half smiles after chipping out of the practice sand trap onto a green.
White Sands Golf Course & Practice Centre is also the site of the Graham Gunn Golf Advantage School, whose head is a member of the European Senior Tour and spent a decade as head professional at the Carleton Golf & Yacht Club. Gunn teaches clinics and offers private coaching for students who don’t want to be overheard asking how long you have to sit on a golf ball before it hatches.