Before golf was invented, grassy pastures were viewed as the exclusive territory of roaming sheep, herds of cattle, and overzealous Civil War reenactors. Celebrate turf's competitive utility with today's Groupon: for $48, you get 18 holes plus a golf-cart rental (a $97 value) at Sugarloaf Golf Club & School in Carrabassett Valley. Recently named Maine's top course by Golf Digest, Sugarloaf's verdant greens carve through Sugarloaf Mountain in a links layout created by legendary course designer Robert Trent Jones Jr. Punctuated by the String of Pearls, a seven-hole run winding along the Carrabassett River, the course challenges divot diggers of all experience levels with its winding fairways and dramatic elevations changes traversable only by the included golf cart or a hydropowered pogo stick. Thick surrounding forestry and mountainous terrain afford stunning views and a unique sense of solitude, and the well-manicured links are constantly cultivated for optimal lighting and growth.
After your round, hang out with other like-minded links lovers at Sugarloaf’s 5,500-square-foot clubhouse to swap swing tips and gab about the latest trends in plaid-based formalwear. The onsite Strokes Bar and Grille is a great place to refuel with a made-to-order breakfast or noon-time beverage while sizing up the 10th and 11th tees, and a putting green allows players to practice their chips, putts, and fores away from the gaze of judgmental birch trees.