The Polo Fields Golf and Country Clubs encompasses two locations—one in Ann Arbor and one in Ypsilanti—each with its own 18-hole course and refined clubhouse. Designed by renowned architect William Newcomb, the par 72 Ann Arbor course channels the blustery hillocks and grass-eating bagpipes of courses in the United Kingdom with a 6,828-yard layout featuring broad, links-inspired fairways and deviously slick greens. A community fixture for nearly a century, the Washtenaw course takes clubbers on a verdant voyage among native oaks and cedars, burbling streams, and tranquil ponds. Both sites house fully stocked pro shops, where guests can peruse the latest in on-course duds, clubs, hats, and remote-controlled golf balls from brands such as TaylorMade, Adidas, FootJoy, and Titleist.
Guests can bask in views of the splendid links while enjoying regionally inspired American fare and frothy drinks at the clubs’ two dining facilities, both of which feature settings for a variety of occasions. Swimmers can stroke through the outdoor lap pool at the Washtenaw location, and sunbathers can lounge by the colossal, resort-style pool in Ann Arbor. Within the Ann Arbor fitness center, hearts race on elliptical machines, muscles pump free weights, and calories melt during group fitness classes, before muscles soak in the warm, golf-ball-free waters of the hot tub.
Ann Arbor Course at a Glance:
Washtenaw Course at a Glance:
The course at Lake Forest Golf Club keeps golfers of all abilities on their toes with two unique nines that wind through 176 acres of natural terrain, which helped earn it a spot as host of LPGA Futures Tour events for five years in a row. The links-style front nine lets big hitters pummel their drives without fear of getting permanently stuck in dense forestation or hearing the unsettling scream of a falling tree. Bookended by par 5s on holes one and nine, the front nine rewards long drives but requires that golfers remain nimble, as the second and eighth holes are both treacherous par 3s that punish improper club selection. Between the 9th and 10th tees, golfers see a rapid transformation from links-style to a back nine more reminiscent of northern Michigan, with tree-lined fairways, wetlands, and areas dotted with wildflowers. Here, course-management capabilities become starkly apparent, as golfers must repeatedly make the choice whether to lay up short of water, muscle shots over water onto the green, or wait for the next drought.
In addition to plenty of opportunities to take strokes that count, Lake Forest Golf Club encourages game improvement through risk-free practice strokes at its 5-acre practice facility. Players work on their entire games from long bombs off the tee on a three-tier driving range to short-game dexterity on two large putting greens, two sand bunkers, and a chipping area. Headed up by LPGA teaching professional Debbie Williams-Hoak, the facility also teaches the game through individual and group lessons with male and female instructors.
Course at a Glance:
As if inspired by the visitors stretching at the fitness center below, a glass spiral staircase extends to the high ceiling, where skylights illuminate the floor below. Heather DuPuis designed Vie Fitness & Spa as an oasis for healthy living, blending health-club amenities and fitness services with a light, airy atmosphere and soaring architecture.
Certified trainers keep clients engaged in an active lifestyle through programs tailored to each individual's goals and lifestyle. In barre classes, an amalgamation of Pilates, ballet, and strength exercises set to up-tempo music work to tighten abs and thighs, and spinning classes test students' endurance while reminding them of their first bicycle's eventual theft.
An onsite juice bar refuels bodies, which stay refreshed with the boutique shop's designer water bottles and hand-poured Illume candles. To unwind after a taxing workout, patrons can stop by the facility spa for a massage or facial or head to the locker rooms equipped with fluffy towels and Pure Fiji bath products with which to wash the towels.
One of three devoted dancers who founded Studio 3 Performing Arts Center, Megan Stanley told the Dexter Patch that she wanted a venue where "girls or guys of any skill level feel they can have a place to dance." Today, the center has broadened her dream by teaching visitors how to become a triple threat onstage. Lessons in music, dance, and theater place its students—some as young as two years—on the road to self-expression, while an atmosphere of fun and acceptance keeps them practicing.
The owners teach most of the classes themselves, building a community of students and parents that trust their expertise and attend regular recitals. This convivial spirit carries over to theater performances, where audience participation and Samuel Beckett's famous call-and-response cheers ensure everyone's involvement. Classes welcome all-comers to try their hand at intuitive cardio workouts and competitive choreography alike, the latter of which has led the studio's crew to a Best in Studio award at the 2012 JUMP dance convention.
The Bogey Golf Tour grants golfers a chance to take to the links and compete against fellow amateurs in tournaments scheduled at some of the finest courses in the London, Windsor, Detroit, and Kitchener/Waterloo areas. At each event, scratch golfers compete in the Birdie division, 0–15 handicaps square off in the Par division, and 16+ handicappers trade pinpoint approaches and sequined divot tools in the Bogey division. The top five finishers in each division receive prize money—which can be paid out in gift certificates or cash—and the Tour also holds prize competitions for longest drive, closest to the pin, and 3-iron jousting. The Tour publishes the results from each tournament in local newspapers, and players can chart the peaks and valleys of their careers on the Tour Members list, which compiles all of their tournament results. Along with providing an outlet for amateur golfers to exercise their long-suppressed competitive side, the Tour and its sponsors have raised $74,000 for various area charities since 2003.
Nestled within the University of Michigan's central campus, Dance Theatre Studio has built an excellent reputation over the 30 years it's been in business. Adults can check out ballet, hip-hop, and dance classes or strengthen their bodies in Zumba or body-sculpting, while kids make the most of their summers in camps that focus on art, tech, video, and acing the obstacle-course portion of college applications. All lessons take place in three large dance rooms that feature mirror-lined walls, a sprung sub-floor, and a marley surface floor, and nearby rooms also contain portable ballet barres. The studio's high level of comfort extends even before and after class, when dancers dress in men's and women's changing rooms.
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