Though he’s a registered PGA Apprentice and holds a degree in Professional Golf Management from The Ohio State University, golf teacher Nick Maietta can’t give you a single, tried-and-true method for succeeding at golf. And that’s because he doesn’t believe in one: he thinks every player learns the game in his or her own unique way. In keeping with this mindset, Nick will take into account each golfer’s swing, preferences, body type, and goals when putting together a lesson plan—a much more reasoned approach than telling them to “stop super-gluing other players’ golf balls to the fairway.” Nick hopes to make the game a more-enjoyable activity for each student as they whittle strokes off their average scores.
A windswept canopy of palm trees and tiki huts cast shadows over Golf Safari’s 18-hole mini-golf course, where putters explore a safari-themed pastiche of life-sized lion statues, jungly gardens, and misting waterfalls. Built upon a foundation of rocky outcrops, the emerald passageways swerve among the hooves of zebra sculptures, pretend giraffes, and real-life goat-human hybrids. Sprightly flowers and ponds dotted with lily pads greet putt-putt posses along the way, providing a tranquil contrast to pressure-packed putts. With each hole in one, players gain a lifetime of bragging rights against their competitors, as well as the eternal friendship of George T. Gorilla, the course’s primate mascot.
As a former collegiate golfer and member of the Nationwide Tour, PGA teaching professional Jon Butler synthesizes his own experiences with the teachings of influential colleagues to form a unique teaching philosophy. Jon believes that each golfer’s swing should be custom fit to their set of physical characteristics to improve their play and lower their score. To achieve this, he uses advanced swing tools and demonstrations to help players find a balanced swing plane, as well as video analysis so golfers can determine whether they’ve eliminated the instinctual pirouette from their follow-through.
Though most instruction takes place on the range at West Bay Beach and Golf Club, Jon can also follow golfers out onto the course to teach course-management skills and strategy in different situations.
Inside the 1,300-square-foot training area of Estero Martial Arts & Fitness, experienced and certified instructors teach classes for children and adults. Their curriculums include mixed martial arts, martial-arts drills for children aged 3–6, kickboxing, and aikido. The facility also hosts a pro shop for equipment, as well as an observation area with seating for onlookers.
The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studio, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the Charleston. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba. For dancers hoping to hoof it up in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur firewalking.
The eclectic elegance inspired by Rinie’s sprawls from a multifarious menu of American-Italian dishes fused with bursts of Thai and Asian flavoring. Rinie’s travelogue of cuisine heightens the epicurean senses as the lighting dims, setting the scene for toothsome proposals to rich risotto or crab cake appetizers for two ($9). Succulent entrees of north atlantic salmon come baked in a rich curry sauce or pan fried and topped with white wine dill sauce, both served over asian rice ($18). Spicy chicken pad thai dressed in sweet chili sauce grazes the lips seductively before moving into the mouth’s apartment with rice noodles, vegetables, and a futon for when guests visit ($16). Lovers can lap from Rinie’s copious wine selection, though this Groupon is not valid toward alcohol purchases.