Playing a round of golf is always unpredictable. Rain can spoil it. Any storm can, really. And in most places, golf courses lay dormant for half a year, their fairways untouched as they await the passing of the season. Fortunately, the courses at Fore Season Indoor Golf never close. That's because they exist in the massive, high-definition screens of seven Full Swing golf simulators and are impervious to weather. Best of all, the simulators let golfers play replicas of 42 world famous courses, including Pebble Beach and Pinehurst No. 2., without having to book airfare or turn their golf bag into a personal jet pack.
Along with the golf simulators, the facility’s driving net and indoor putting green allow for golfers to work on every facet of their golf game or schedule lessons conducted by the center’s two instructors. Fore Season Indoor Golf also shares space with a Pub that serves a menu of hot dogs, burgers, and sandwiches that golfers can eat by spearing them with golf tees.
Wonder Mountain Family Fun Park sternly rebuffs boredom with two mini-golf courses and a challenging human maze. Adventurers can negotiate the twisting turns, dead ends, and elevated checkpoints of the Treasure Trap ($5/person for ages 5+) in less than 10 minutes to enter weekly drawings for cash and T-shirts or to outrun overzealous Pac-Men. Alternatively, opt for a round of mini golf ($10/adult; $8/senior or child ages 5–12) on one of two courses strewn with lush foliage, flowing waterfalls, and muttering streams. Send dimpled balls spinning across the Mountain Mania course, recently rebuilt with five new hole layouts, or test your mettle on the Nautical Nightmare course, whose challenging holes may be better suited for teens and adults than youngsters or those who depend on holes-in-one for life force.
Sculpted into tree-studded mountain slopes, Ragged Mountain Golf Club's 18-hole course plots a winding path over dramatic elevation changes. When played from the double black diamond tees—the club borrows skiing terminology in an homage to the winter activities hosted at the same site—club pros compare the layout to a U.S. Open course and advise only scratch golfers or those with remote-controlled golf balls to brave the tips. Along with tight tree lines and rolling terrain up and down the mountain, the course runs over streams that come into play on 14 holes. With onsite lodging and golf-and-stay packages, Ragged Mountain invites golfers to set aside a weekend amid the mountain air. In the winter, Ragged Mountain activates a high-speed, six-person chairlift, from which skiers, snowboarders, and snow-angel enthusiasts gain access to two mountains with 50 trails, including 11 glades and three terrain parks. Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Course rating of 74.9 from the farthest tees * Slope rating of 149 from the farthest tees * Four tee options
Apple Hill Golf Club entices golfers of all abilities with a 27-hole tapestry weaved into rolling, New Hampshire woodlands. The club?s 18-hole course meanders across 6,184 yards of wide, bermuda grass fairways and bentgrass greens flanked by ponds that come into play on more than half of the holes. Those looking to hone their short game can tee it up on the nine-hole, par 3 course, an 800-yard layout that duffers can complete in an efficient 45 minutes, enabling them to squeeze in a session before dark or in time to drop off their 9-iron at soccer practice.
During the summer, PGA professional Steve Lundquist utilizes the multifaceted grounds to host a junior golf academy, which grants pupils free play on the par 3 course throughout the season. Along with a wide selection of clubs, balls, clothes, and shoes available for purchase, the club?s pro shop curbs appetites with fresh sandwiches, drinks, and hot dogs that can be braided together to form fully functional putters.
Championship Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 70 course * Length of 6,184 yards from the farthest tees * Course rating of 68.6 from the farthest tees * Slope rating of 124 from the farthest tees * Three tee options
Originally sculpted into the New Hampshire countryside in 1889, Exeter Country Club's nine-hole course stretches across 2,801 yards for a par 35 layout. Wreathed by waterways flowing south from the Great Bay, the course cools off clubbers and hot-tempered carts with seaside breezes that waft across the greens. Though consisting mostly of straight-ahead fairways, the course forces players to adjust at the fifth hole, a 365-yard par 4 where golfers must bend drives around a dramatic 90-degree dogleg left obscured by dense tree lines. Exeter Country Club's on-site restaurant, Grill on the Hill, awaits at the end of the ninth green, serving up a menu of American fare to quench appetites after a day of dedicated pin-hunting and scorecard falsification.
Course at a Glance: * 9-hole, par 35 course * Length of 2,801 yards from the farthest tees * Slope rating of 114 from the farthest tees * Link to scorecard
Rowley Country Club is a 9-hole golf course, but lumping it together with the majority of 9-hole courses would be doing it a major disservice. The newly renovated clubhouse is home to a roaring fireplace, comfortable men's and women's locker rooms, and a fleet of golf carts ready to ferry players across lush fairways. The course itself proves to be as challenging as it is scenic; players hitting from the tips face a 3,098-yard test filled with bunkers, water hazards, and roving gangs of orcs. Novice swingers can reduce that distance to as few as 2,600 yards from the front tees.