Built 40 years ago on the Clifford Fennedael farm, NorthBrook Country Club’s 18 bucolic holes burst with verdant foliage and the babbling of a small brook. A bar and grill on the first floor of the clubhouse answers postgame appetites with soups, sandwiches, and casual fare, and in the second-story restaurant, hearty steak, shrimp, and chicken entrees adorn tables. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer sweeping views of course play and indiscreet golf carts morphing into Optimus Prime.
Fairways stitched by mature trees connect across 6,802 yards of rolling greenery to form Royal Scot Golf Club’s 18-hole, par-72 course. Water hazards come into play on 10 holes, including the par-4 fifth, where a bashful green flanked by bunkers on both sides conceals its ballmarks by hiding behind a front water hazard. Replete with eight yardage signs that extend 250 yards into the distance and a large grass hitting area, the club’s 30-stall driving range gives guests the upper hand by straightening out swings before upcoming rounds.
After hacking their way from green to green, hungry golfers can replenish at the club’s two full dining rooms—both with full-service bars—or place an order from their perch on the expansive outdoor deck. Wireless Internet keeps devices abreast of the latest news, personal emails, or domestic-cat sightings, and golf supplies and veteran instructors wait to enhance games at the pro shop.
Course at a Glance:
A Zumba instructor, certified personal trainer, and dancer since he was 7 years old, FitNice owner Paul Schneider helps students tone their bodies with a variety of Zumba classes. His Zumba fitness classes help adults shed pounds as they use Latin-inspired dance moves to burn calories, whereas Aqua Zumba classes transfer the same properties to the pool for an intense and therapeutic aqua fitness workout. Paul also leads Zumbatomic classes for kids, yoga, and aqua yoga.
XO Fitness's Ryan and Karin Jennings, a husband-and-wife duo, lead a staff of certified trainers, including a former Team USA swimming coach. XO's team doesn't make clients teach themselves how to lift weights or participate in complicated workouts. Rather, the staff schedules clients for small-group or personal training sessions focused on both exercise and nutrition. The staff members design their trainings to meet distinct fitness goals, such as weight loss or lean-muscle gains. The studio also presents specialized classes for clients aged 60 and older, and helps new moms shed residual weight. XO Fitness also lends its expertise in providing adventure guidance, whether it's for running a marathon, participating in canoe or kayaking expeditions, or ding-dong ditching a belligerent world-champion sprinter.
Ryan’s marriage proposal was a little unusual. Rather than taking a knee and offering Karin a diamond ring, he stood proudly and offered her a seat—on a tandem bike. The duo has taken off on one adventure after another ever since, from tandem races to “extended field trips” across the United States with their kids in tow. But it wasn’t all fun and games for Team Jennings as they ventured from coast to coast. They also sleuthed around the nation’s gyms, knowing that they would soon settle down and open a true health club of their own, a club where members could receive individualized attention and assistance to achieve their health and fitness goals. They incorporated the knowledge they gleaned from that expedition when they launched XO Fitness.