Valley Pines Golf Club challenges golfers with its nine-hole, par 35 course, stretching 2,499 yards from the longest of its four tee positions and composed to test a player's precision golf game. The David McQuary–designed course presents fairway trekkers with a manicured landscape dotted with perilous water hazards. One hole features a true island green—similar to the TPC at Sawgrass's signature 17th hole—that challenges golfers to airmail their shots over the moat and onto the island, where it will join a marooned, heavily bearded Tom Hanks.
Snuggled among 35 acres of wild flowers, old-growth trees, and verdant greenery, Country Oaks Golf Course delights divot diggers with a slew of scenic yet challenging holes. The course, full of narrow fairways and strategically located greens, rewards golfers' accurate drives and skillful approach shots with the ability to speak French. Errant whacks may land in Country Oaks' treacherous water obstacles, tree stands, and sand traps, while the undulating terrain demands subtle reads as players prepare their shots. Golf carts are included, allowing players to save their energy for more important tasks, such as retrieving errant shots, showing off on the driving range, or forging unused clubs into a mega club at the course's 3,500-square-foot clubhouse.
Giant oak trees and old-growth flowering camellias surround The Daffodale Estate, a grand Victorian home built in 1897. Those trees create an aura of mystery that matches the puzzling rumors and ghost stories associated with the property. Ghost-hunting teams have visited in the past, documenting paranormal activity with cameras and motion detectors. One of the teams sensed the presence of a ghostly family with a young child. There's also a Civil War?era slave cemetery nearby, and an Indian mound said to date back more than 1,000 years.
Despite its paranormal reputation, the manor is home to more than just ghosts. The spirit of hospitality also permeates the stately house, which hosts outdoor weddings and parties that spread out across three acres of manicured garden space. Inside, a Victorian dining room filled with period furnishings frequently fills with the friendly din of conversation during the house's lively luncheons and tea parties.
Factor X Fitness's twin 24-hour training facilities each feature more than 11,000 square feet of cardio and strength-training equipment, including free weights and fleets of treadmills, ellipticals, and bikes. The 24-hour access extends to tanning services, which offer a choice between UV-free spray tanning or booths with built-in stereo systems that allow guests to listen to their own music or a recording of bacon sizzling while tanning. Their pro shop helps fuel workouts with plenty of gear including T-shirts, supplements, and energy drinks.
Designed by the late Dean Refram, a former PGA Tour pro and course architect who worked with Arnold Palmer, The Golf Club at Summerbrooke's 18-hole, par 72 course bounds over a diverse landscape of rolling hills, dense groves of trees, and waterways and ravines. Measuring 6,845 yards from the farthest tees, the course begins with a relatively open, par 4 first hole, graciously letting duffers find their groove before hitting into tighter fairways and treacherous tree lines. An 80-foot-deep ravine surrounds the green of the par 3 15th, which marks the beginning of the three-hole Contemplation Corner, a climactic gauntlet that challenges clubbers with forced carries, bottomless ravines, and burbling water hazards. A relaxing finishing hole, the par 5 18th settles the nerves, letting golfers swing freely as their pin-hunting odyssey draws to a close.
Course at a Glance:
GroupFit Studio’s owner Sherman Rosier is an NSCA-certified personal trainer, NSTA-certified running coach, certified nutrition specialist, and holds a first-degree black belt in tae kwon do. But no matter how advanced the accreditation he receives, he does not lose sight of the most basic tenant of exercise: whatever workouts you choose, have fun doing them. He tailors his classes to meet this requirement: his GroupFit90 classes work the entire body with lively tandem exercises aided by Bosu balls and resistance bands, and his DanceTance workouts fuel dance-based workouts with energetic funk, Latin, and hip-hop music. Exercisers who need an extra shot of oomph can also meet for a nutritional-coaching session, which provides a clearer insight into workout-friendly munching than spying on Sylvester Stallone while he shops for groceries.