You won't need a driver to reach the first green at the Apple Nine golf course.
And that's the point.
Lyman Orchards' new golf facility, which opened earlier this month and also features The Golf Center, was designed to take intimidation out of the game.
"We've got the ability to teach at all levels," says Kevin Cloud, Lyman's Director of Instruction. "We've put together a pretty first class facility."
First conceived in 1999, the Apple Nine is a 9-hole, 1,600-yard, par-29 course designed by Mark Mungeam of Mungeam Cornish Golf Design. The course features seven par-3's and two par-4's, the longest of which is 315 yards from the back tees.
At The Golf Center, players can work on their swing at a 40-stall driving range, practice putting on a 20,000 square foot green, or chip out of the rough or sand at the short game practice area.
Steve Ciskowski, president and CEO of Lyman Orchards, describes the facility as "family-centric" but says the course is also geared towards experienced players.
"We think people are trying to learn the game, improve their skill set and enjoy the game," says Ciskowski.
The Golf Center offers a number of clinics and instructional opportunities, including private lessons with Lyman's staff of golf professionals. Some golfers may even choose a state-of-the-art launch monitor or putting analysis system.
For beginner golfers, there's SNAG (Starting New at Golf) which utilizes oversized golf clubs, mini-tennis balls and velcro targets.
"To me, this is the ideal way to get somebody started in golf, get somebody to improve and then they're comfortable playing a course like the [Robert Trent] Jones or [Gary] Player," says Cloud.
Lyman Orchards will officially open the new facility on June 16 to concide with Strawberry Fest.
"Middlefield has something really special to offer, right here in the central part of the state," says John Lyman III, Lyman Orchards' Vice President. "We're excited obviously for Lyman, but we're excited for Middlefield too because we feel the more you can bring people to the region it becomes a regional attraction and it just helps all the businesses in town."
Weekday rates at the Apple Nine are $14 and $12 for juniors and seniors. Weekend rates are $16 and $14 for juniors and seniors. Click here for additional rates and membership info.