For a company that has pushed more than 1.5 million people out of planes during the course of 38 years, Skydive Baltimore enjoys a top-notch reputation among adrenaline-seeking sky travelers. Tandem skydivers pair off with their trusty instructor before ascending to 11,000 feet, taking in views of Baltimore and the Chesapeake Bay as they discover what gravity feels like 2 miles above the ground. Divers can commemorate their jumps with video and photographic evidence captured by their instructor, a third jumper, or a borrowed spy satellite.
The old warehouse didn't seem ideal to house much of anything, but the rent was cheap once George Bennett offered to make all his own renovations. Drawing from a background as a builder, he created his own architectural plans, and he and a friend set to work on construction. For months, George arrived early in the morning to demolish old partitions and install lighting and windows. As the transformation neared its finish, the pair mounted new walls, spread mulch floor covering, and set up targets and quivers in the 8,000-square-foot archery range. George invited the National Shooting Sports Foundation to examine his facilities and received a four-star rating.
Now, more than a decade later, arrows sing through the air, slipping percussively into three types of targets. The targets sprout up from a tree-dotted floor under rustic wooden rafters along the indoor, climate-controlled range. Traditional targets stand 45 yards from the shooting area, and computer-controlled moving targets in the form of three-dimensional deer, beavers, and wolves trot across the range, challenging archers to pin them with warning notes addressed to loudmouthed owls. Additional animal targets positioned closer to the shooter's area allow traditional longbow and recurve bow users to test their marksmanship. To prepare for successful shooting sessions, visitors peruse the pro shop's racks of compound bows from the Mathews series as well as Mission gear and Matthews Officially Licensed Products. Quivers brim with Carbon Tech arrows, and George and his staff make other arrows by hand, which George sometimes inscribes with Deer Creek's logo with the care of a painter autographing his children.
Bel Air Golf Center helps duffers straighten out drives, hone putter strokes, and lower scores with an expansive driving range and miniature-golf facility geared toward player improvement. Turn unsightly snap-hooks into power-draws of supernatural beauty at one of the driving range’s 47 stalls—10 of which are enclosed, heated, and lighted to facilitate sessions in rainstorms, after sunset, or on the ice planet Hoth. The range also helps divoteers dial in their distance with 14 target flags measured to precise yardage.
With a total of 36 holes that wind through the wetlands at the northernmost tip of the Chesapeake Bay, Chesapeake Bay Golf Club maintains links-style courses in Rising Sun and North East, Maryland. Patrons have voted their approval of the golf club, which is a host of the 2012 Special Olympics, in Maryland Life's Free State's Finest 2011 list.
As players guide their golf balls through tree-lined fairways at the North East Course, they encounter blooming azaleas ringing the greens in the spring and offering adorable opportunities to express affection for a caddie. Budding golf enthusiasm continues to flower at the Rising Sun Course, where seven ponds poke their way into the line of play and remain a constant inconvenience. Rising Sun’s signature fourth hole, also known as Lookout, offers a prime example, with a vicious pond on the right swallowing up sliced tee shots and unsuspecting bunnies that graze too close to it.
North East Course at a Glance:
Rising Sun Course at a Glance:
Built in 1990 as Harford County's first 18-hole championship style golf course open for public play. Full grass driving range, GPS golf carts and Twin Silos Restaurant onsite. PGA Professional staff available for golf instruction or club fitting.
At Elkton Golf and Batting Center, visitors get to hit spheres of varying sizes; the family-friendly sports complex houses an 18-hole miniature golf course, a 30-station driving range, and eight batting cages. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, overhead flood lights keep athletes awash in an electric glow even after the sun goes down, as they smack line drives back at the pitching machines and run through driving range buckets in attempts to knock that smirk off the man in the moon’s face.