Players have to find peace and serenity while they're on a golf course. The gentle babbling of the Blue River as it cuts through the Bear Chase Golf Club's par 72 Championship course helps golfers uncloud their minds when setting up for booming drives and precise approaches. But Bear Chase Golf Club is more than a place to play a round of golf. A 1,600-square-foot banquet room with attached outdoor patio overlooks the club's 127 acres of swaying trees from alongside the course's 18th hole, where hosts can invite guests to enjoy the fresh air and try to catch passing tee shots during wedding receptions or other celebrations. An onsite pro shop also helps players prepare for future games by pairing them with gear and apparel from trusted brands.
Course at a Glance:
First-run movies, including 3-D and family films, light up the screens at Republic Theatre Group, LLC's six locations in Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky. Concession stands attract nostrils and stomachs alike with fragrant popcorn, taste-bud-tickling candy, and canteens of soda.
Opening its first fairways in 1926, Hillview Country Club prides itself on a charming course that envelops golfers in an emerald ecosystem replete with L93 bentgrass fairways and smooth, fast-moving greens. Players must contend with tree lines along the fairways and several water hazards as they corral golf balls over the 6,495-yard Robert Simmons design. Before a round, players can warm up at the practice facilities, which include a driving range with natural-grass hitting stations and a short-game area. The chipping green allows for approaches from up to 75 yards away, precisely the distance of Jack Nicklaus’s bathroom putting green.
Course at a Glance:
Since purchasing the 73-acre Piney Acres Farm in 1999, Rex Zenor and his family have put in countless hours of hard work to make it a holiday destination for families, including planting more than 50 acres of Christmas trees. Every November and December, a wagon ride whisks guests to a field full of Scotch and white pines, Frasier and Douglas firs, and Colorado blue spruces, some standing up to 16-feet tall without heels. While parents select the right tree, a visiting Santa Claus listens to youngsters' gift requests and a gift shop stocked with seasonal gifts and treats inspires return trips to Old Saint Nick as kids amend their wish lists.
Families don't have to wait for the first snowfall to plan a trip to the farm, however. September and October usher in autumn with a potpourri of family-friendly activities, including a gem-mining sluice, a pumpkin patch, and a kids area complete with a two-acre mini corn maze. Rex even designed, laid out, and cut the farm's grown-up eight-acre maze himself, and personally conjured each of the spirits that haunt it after dusk.
Otte Golf and Family Fun Center is a perennial fixture in Golf Range Magazine’s list of the country’s Top 100 Golf Ranges. Its 300-yard driving range houses more than 50 stalls—guests can choose between grass and mat hitting surfaces—set under high-powered lights that keep the target greens illuminated at night. The range provides a venue for independent practice or preparation for rounds on the center's 18-hole executive course, a circuit of par-threes and fours that takes a convenient 2.5 hours to complete, which gives golfers more time to trick out the vintage golf carts in their garages.
A lighthouse stands sentry over the 18-hole miniature golf course, where guests advance through flowerbeds, willow trees, and tidy rows of shrubs and hedges. Those interested in striking balls that aren't placed on tees or the noses of their best friends can visit one of nine batting cages, where pitching machines dispense a steady stream of baseballs and softballs at various speeds.