A lot of people think of golf as a pretentious pastime, but the St. Louis region is lucky enough to lay claim to several really fine courses that require neither a platinum card nor the putting on of airs to go with it. Exhibit A: the Spencer T. Olin Golf Course across the river in Alton, Illinois. These Arnold Palmer-designed links span 7,000 yards in the middle of a county park, in a plush, natural setting. No McMansions or under-seventeen golf-cart drivers in the vicinity. Greens fees generally range from $24 to $49, depending on day and tee time, but those in the know can get an even sweeter deal online with a very user-friendly cyber-reservation system. Olin's greenskeepers deserve a nod for their fine job keeping fairways fast and greens well watered. Of course, the paucity of ball marks signals a well-bred clientele: good, unassuming folks who may wield a platinum card but don't feel the need to brandish it till the nineteenth hole.
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