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: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Length of 6,828 yards from the farthest tees * Course rating of 73.3 from the farthest tees * Slope rating of 141 from the farthest tees * Four tee options * Link to scorecard
Washtenaw Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Length of 6,524 yards from the farthest tees * Course rating of 71.7 from the farthest tees * Slope rating of 135 from the farthest tees * Four tee options * Link to scorecard
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: * Par 72 course * Length of 6,620 yards from the farthest tees * Course rating of 72.8 from the farthest tees * Slope rating of 135 from the farthest tees * Four tee options:m]]
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.
Planet Rock challenges novice and experienced climbers alike to discover the depth of their willpower reservoirs. Towering as high as five stories tall, the ever-changing climbing walls offer climbers a sense of adrenaline-pumping accomplishment and allow short folks to finally see what grows on top of the human head. And to help climbers reach these great heights, a team of experienced instructors lead free-climb programs, summer camps for kids ages 4 and older, and classes for those of all ages.
But it's not all rock climbing, lead climbing, and bouldering. At the Madison Heights location, the altitude addicts have debuted an aerial silks program, in which they teach students to scale up and slide down long, flowing silks?an activity that can improve the balance and strengthen the core of any participant. The instructors also work one-on-one with climbers who have special needs, assisting individuals with hearing, visual, or physical impairments, and the climbing gym has hosted the climbing portion of the Extremity Games for individuals with amputations.
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.