Putt N Glow Recreation Center illuminates group entertainment under an assemblage of black lights and glow-in-the-dark fixtures. The 18-hole indoor mini-golf course sets putting foursomes on a par-threatening voyage through scores of neon obstacles scattered about pitch-black greens, such as a rotating ferris wheel and a troposphere-slicing airplane propeller. Warm up club-toting biceps with a 30-minute session of either air hockey or ping-pong. Like on the mini-golf course, dimly lit fluorescence accompanies paddlers as they deflect disks and ping-pong balls back-and-forth like a hot potato or a room-temperature porcupine.
Working at the 1996 Summer Olympics and the 1994 World Cup are a few of the sporting events on camp director Shelly Watkins's resumé, which she draws on to run a summer camp for kids of all ages. A mother herself, she believes in giving each child individual attention, recognition, and respect, rewarding campers with high-fives and compliments for jobs well done. Together with assistant camp director Cortney Spiegel, she runs fun-packed day camps focused on arts, sports, field trips, and specialty programs. Professional counselors work with pintsize Pacinos in the Lights, Camera, Action class to make short films; kick off Nerf-themed sports events in the Nerf Extravaganza class; or venture out to bowling, movies, rollerblading, and laser tag during the Mega Adventure Field Trip. Shelly and her friendly crew also lead precamp and aftercamp activities for early-morning and evening supervision, and junior camp for campers aged 4¬–7 or 10-year-olds having their pre-preteen life crisis.
Though it may be the decorative centerpiece of a miniature golf course, there is nothing miniature about the waterfall at Lake Nepessing Golfland. The perpetually gushing rock formation looms above the emerald putting circuit, casting a mist into the air that cools down golfers as they attempt pressure-packed putts or handle golf balls fresh from the microwave. In addition to its Lilliputian links, the family fun center helps golfers groom their swings with a lighted driving range that offers both grass and artificial turf hitting areas. A staff of instructors roams the driving bays, doling out instruction and video-based swing analysis.
The thrum of humming engines fills Lake Nepessing Golfland’s grounds, emanating from the center’s outdoor go-kart track. The track is lighted for after-sunset racing, and guests can choose to drive solo or ride along friends, family, or adopted mannequins in a tandem kart.
The PGA-certified instructors at Boyne Golf Academy use advanced technological tools such as radar and form-analysis software to improve the strokes of students of all levels. Pupils receive one-on-one attention during the hands-on practice session, which focuses on identifying the strengths and weaknesses of each golfer’s swing mechanics. The V1 Pro swing-analysis software provides club kids with visual feedback on their slicing or hooking tendencies, and the Sam PuttLab employs ultrasound to determine the gender of each golfer’s putter. As the ball's postswing sojourn commences, the Doppler-based TrackMan radar system relays a 3-D real-time view and provides data on the dimpled orb’s trajectory. Although this Groupon is only valid for lessons, King Par Superstore is jam-packed with golf equipment and apparel and performs professional club fittings to ensure that wrists and 9-irons get along instead of attacking each other with golf clubs.
A 63-hole golf complex carved through rolling, water-kissed terrain, Hawk Hollow features several sprawling venues for golfers of all stripes to hunt for birdies. The club's signature course, Eagle Eye, showcases 7,323 yards of fairways and greens sculpted with consultation from course architecture guru Pete Dye. Water comes into play on 14 holes, including the par-three 17th, which features an island green that—like peace between two feuding couples—can only be reached by bridge.
With 27 championship-length holes, the Hawk Hollow course itself lets players select which sets of nines to combine for a full 18-hole round, and two more executive courses—the par-36 Woodside and the links-style Falcon—round out the club's diverse range of courses. The emerald grounds also encompass the Little Hawk Putting Course, a circuit of bent-grass greens carved through sand traps and mounds shrouded in thick rough.
Designed in 1989 by architect Harley Hodges, Pine View Golf Course sends golfers weaving through forests of towering Michigan pines, attempting a variety of shots using most of the clubs in their bags. Players choose from five sets of tees, varying the Championship course from as short as 4,101 yards from the green tees up to 6,490 from the blues. Golfers first traverse wide fairways that forgive slight errors in the front nine, then take on the back nine?known as "Rolling Pines" because of the large tree trunks that regularly roll across the course at incredible speed. Difficulty intensifies noticeably after the turn, as players must flex their par 5 prowess on the 10th and 18th holes.
Though only one body of water rests on the front nine of the Championship course, Pine View's third nine, known as "Little Pines," features water much more prominently. This relatively short par 30 test makes for a great introduction to the game, as players lob shots over ponds and streams or fit golf balls with goggles and send them to explore the depths.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Total length of 6,490 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 71.6 from the back tees * Course slope of 126 from the back tees * Five sets of tees per hole * Scorecard