Long ago, Scottish polo players longed for a game where they could explore scenic terrain, ride an obedient mechanical horse, and wear more courageously plaid knickers. Marvel in their subsequent invention with today's Groupon: for $122, you get three one-hour golf lessons and 18 holes of golf with a cart (a $305 value) at The Georgia Trail at Sugarloaf in Duluth.
Eschewing the exclusivity of an executive golf club, The Georgia Trail welcomes experts and novices alike with a picturesque, family-friendly environment, expert staff members, and a full-service restaurant. Hone fairway finesse and club-twirling skills during three one-hour lessons, including one on the course with a cart, all led by one of The Georgia Trail's highly experienced instructors.
Under the skilled eye of PGA member Ernie Boshers, the first lesson increases club wielders' natural swing, stance, and knickerbocker-modeling ability, and a detailed practice plan outlines additional ways to sharpen athletic aptitude. Return for a second visit and trade your car or motorized stilts for a riding cart, which will transport you and a staff instructor around the course for further teachings. A final follow-up session provides a once-over to maximize game-playing skill. Georgia Trail's golf gurus recommend a two-to-three-week break between each lesson, allowing ample time to practice and allay golf balls’ hurt feelings.
The orb drubbing continues with a cart-accompanied 18-hole round on The Georgia Trail's 9-hole course, which comprises four par 4s and five par 3s. Situated around a 2.5-acre lake and dotted with aquatic obstacles such as streams and ponds, the course combines aesthetics and hazards as seamlessly as a live-wolverine top hat.
The Georgia Trail
A golf getaway for clubbers of all abilities, The Georgia Trail encompasses a nine-hole executive course, an outdoor miniature-golf course and practice facilities. The executive course traverses 2,313 yards of diverse terrain, where five par 3s beckon to players seeking their first hole-in-one three par 4s and a tempting risk/reward par 5 measuring over 500 yards to ensure that drivers' self-esteem won't deflate from a day of inactivity. A 2.5-acre lake and multiple streams and ponds loom near critical landing zones on all but three holes, placing a premium on pinpoint drives or 9-irons that double as snorkels. Alongside the course rests a 25-station, all-grass driving range, where players can hone their orb-blasting form before a round. The Champions Trail putting course challenges players across a par 42 layout that emulates a full 18-hole course with hazards that include bunkers, fairways, rough, and out-of-bounds areas. Putt-putt posses roll orbs across lush synthetic grass, which deftly stands in for natural grass as its kept hedges beckon to lonely lawn mowers.