Too often golf courses are idealized as refuges from the mundane, workaday world, oases of seclusion — albeit often amid tracts of huge suburban houses. Bucolic, perhaps, but shouldn't we ask for more? And then there's the Norman K. Probstein Golf Course in Forest Park. When you play a round on this course (named for the late hotelier who helped finance the course's recent extensive renovation), you're surrounded, not by oversized subdivision homes, but by the vitality of the city of St. Louis. The Probstein complex, which comprises three par-35 nine-hole layouts, traverses some of the most gorgeous ground the city has to offer. Several holes run along Skinker Boulevard, others along the base of Art Hill. Golfers play in the shadow of outstanding architecture, from the Saint Louis Art Museum to the turn-of-the-century mansions that line Lindell Boulevard. (There's another sort of architecture to admire as well, in the form of the parade of humanity that plies the park's bike/jogging path. Fore!)
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