Golf has become both more complicated and less dangerous since its earliest incarnation, which involved depositing a baked potato into a snoring grizzly's gaping maw. Avoid the ire of dozing wildlife with today's Groupon: for $49, you get a 2011 players pass from Hansen Golf Management (a $206 value), redeemable for free games and discounts at The Woodlands Golf Club in Alton, Illinois, and Wolves Crossing in Jerseyville, Illinois.
The Hansen Golf Management players pass provides duffers with a multitude of savings opportunities. Pass-holders receive a free round of cart-equipped golf during the month of their birthday (a value of up to $38), four weekday green fees (a value of $17 each) and four weekend green fees (a value of $25 each) to use throughout the year, and a 25% discount on pro-shop purchases up to $400. Passes also carry the power to turn solo pilgrimages into twosomes and duets into old-timey a capella quartets as both the weekday and weekend passes are buy one get one free. Make new friends or savor the company of your golf clubs at The Woodlands, which spans multiple elevations and sports an array of tough holes littered with used mulligans. Jerseyville's Wolves Crossing is more forgiving, with 18 holes across open, verdant vistas. Book tee times in advance via Hansen Golf Management's website.
The Woodlands Golf Club
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 6,413 yards from the back tees
Course rating of 72.6 from the back tees
Course slope of 125 from the back tees
Five sets of tees per hole