At Fennwood Hills Country Club, the transformative fairways of a nine-hole course invite golfers to play 18 holes, presenting different tee boxes during the second act for a distinct back nine. As clubbers loop the course, which was frequented by former sweater-vest model John Daly, they are faced with difficult drives into narrow, tree-lined fairways and approach shots over treacherous bunkers. The course’s innovative front-to-back layout asks players to approach three holes from entirely new angles on the back nine, which declaws the par 5—rendering it a par 3—and forces golfers to look at the course’s five perilous ponds from a new perspective, especially on the 16th hole, where rippling water pressures players to lay-up or risk sending golf balls into an eternal search for underwater Atlantis.
After a long day of putting and strutting in the sun, the club invites players to cool off with a beverage while watching sports in the clubhouse, test their forehand at one of four tennis courts, or practice splash-free cannonballs at the swimming pool.
Course at a Glance:
More akin to a small, self-contained town than a fitness center, each of Spectrum Fitness?s seven locations kowtows to packed schedules and multitasking parents. A slew of classes arranges social body blasting?customers can tone their torsos with squats, presses, and curls in a BodyPump barbell class or sweat in spinning classes atop a stationary bike equipped with pursuit-style handlebars, adjustable resistance, and a front-mounted E.T. Members of Spectrum Fitness can swing by its Central location and trot on the treadmill until dawn. They can drop off their tykes at the childcare center and take a yoga or kickboxing class. And they can follow a swim by basking in the bronzing light of the tanning bed before sauntering up to the Pro Shop for smoothies.
The staff takes great pains to accommodate newcomers of all ages, levels, and car-stacking abilities. Personal trainers concoct customized fitness regimens during solo and group training sessions, and Silver Sneakers and water aerobics classes bring seniors into the fitness fold.
Wedgewood Golfers’ Club and North Creek Golf Course serve as memorable landscapes for Southern swingers looking for a challenge in a professional, etiquette-enforced environment. Each of the 18-hole, par 72 championship courses boasts more than 6,000 yards of creatively laid out play space from the back tees. Like the last four measures of “Oh! Susanna,” golf was meant to be played at the appropriate pace. Wedgewood Golfers' Club is the home of the four-hour round, in which golfers are required to finish 18 holes in less than four hours, 10 minutes, perfect for golf carts with a schedule to keep. Wedgewood's sister course, North Creek Golf Course, strives to create an accessible round of play that can still challenge the putt reflex of experienced golfers. The champion bermuda-grass greens and Mississippi Choice bermuda fairways make North Creek easy on the eyes and soles alike.
The topography at Beaver Creek Golf Course doesn't shape the course as much as it divides the layout into two distinct nine-hole designs. The front nine stretches across plains with open expanses and very few trees, relying on shifting winds to challenge golfers as they loft approach shots into the stratosphere or attempt to steer their cart by sail. While the winds may be perplexing, golfers shouldn't be caught off guard by the front nine's other unique characteristic: a double green. Holes five and seven share the same putting surface, which hosts a separate, well-marked flagstick and cup for each respective hole. Bounded by dense woods, Beaver Creek's second nine presents a completely different design, where golf balls are sheltered from the winds but imperiled by protected wetlands throughout and a large lake that comes into play on holes 11 and 12. After rounds, golfers can unwind at the Creekside Grill or make underperforming putters run sprints across the practice green.
Measuring 6,403 yards from the farthest tees, Dumas Memorial Golf Course's par 71 layout provides plenty of opportunities for golfers to post low scores—at least once they make it past the first hole. The par-five first presents an intimidating start: at 548 yards, it's the longest hole on the course and the number-one handicap hole, so golfers might want to spend some extra time at the on-site driving range to avoid a slow start. Any early-round transgressions can be redeemed on the finishing holes: the two shortest par-threes on the course, holes 16 and 18 will reward solid tee shots with birdie opportunities and a congratulatory handshake from the final flagstick.
Creeks are typically benign features, so it tends to raise some eyebrows when one is named after a natural disaster. At Howell Park Golf Course, Hurricane Creek earned its fearsome moniker for the mayhem it can cause on the course: the creek intersects ten different holes, making it imperative that players select the proper club when attempting to clear the water or laying up to the front of its bank so that their golf cart can drink when thirsty. A parkland-style, 5,700-yard, par 70 layout, Howell Park's player-friendly fairways give golfers a chance to shoot a solid round, as long as they can keep their ball dry.
At the Zachary Gleaux Run, runners, joggers, strollers, and bikers gather for an evening 3.1 mile neon-colored glow sticks and black lights. After the invigorating glow-lit run, friends and neighbors gather for a party with drinks, a DJ, and prize giveaways, with proceeds benefiting the Zachary Chamber of Commerce and building new walking and biking trails in the Zachary area.
At Baker Range, Inc. cups of freshly brewed coffee accompany rented firearms and shooting lessons. Former Airborne Infantry Lieutenant of the 82nd Airborne Division and longtime lawman Gordon Hutchinson leads private lessons, where he dispenses tips on technique and safety. Instructor Shael Stringer heads up the range's security-training department. Required by the Louisiana State Board of Private Security Examiners, his training classes have steadied the hands or prehensile feet of thousands of security guards.