Spread across 270 historic acres, Knollwood Golf Course is a challenging 36-hole facility comprised of the Old Course set right alongside the New Course—both designed by well-regarded course superintendent Jack Harris in 1970 and 1990, respectively. Players can opt for a round on the Old Course or the New Course links and enjoy hole designs that embrace the natural Ancaster topography. Elevated tees and long, perplexing par 5 holes with ominous names such as Buried Treasure and Redemption lead to finely timed fairways that open up into stirring panoramas. The New Course entices advanced club swingers, and the Old Course's more accessible series of par 4 holes with large, accommodating greens is appealing for beginners.
Knollwood players don clean-cut golf attire and enjoy a golfer's paradise that has been open to the public since 1970 and keeps players happy with sprightly paced 10-minute tee times, on-site restaurants and beverage carts, and a "no-argue" rain cheque policy. The facility's proud groundskeepers maintain large, naturalized areas on the course intended to encourage the wildlife to thrive and occasionally join in on a game.
As the centrepiece of a sprawling 32-acre site, the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum preserves Canada's rich baseball heritage while leading visitors around the base paths of the game's history. In one room, fans ogle displays dedicated solely to the Expos and Blue Jays, and in another, artifacts from across the globe trap eyes in a pickle between vintage photos and authentic uniforms. The consistently rotated lineup of displays also saves a spot for current Canadian ballplayers, as well as for autographed Babe Ruth mementos that, despite their age, still retain their new hotdog smell.
Each year, the Hall of Fame adds new members to a select group of inductees, which currently includes 93 individuals and ranges from pro ballplayers and amateurs to umpires and trainers. In 2012 alone, the museum and its surrounding ball fields will play host to more than 450 events, highlighted by training clinics and minor league games. The 10th annual Kids on Deck summer camp also calls the site home, giving youngsters aged 8–14 the chance to perfect such vital skills as bunting and spitting a sunflower seed at least 10 feet.
Some of the drills practiced at Dream Large Basketball are what most fans would classify as fouls. There’s the one where players crash into padded mats while trying to maintain their dribble. If that isn’t difficult enough, there’s another drill that demands players to dribble two balls simultaneously while being pushed from the front and pulled from behind. Coach Phil Ramirez, the man behind these challenging drills, believes that young ballers will excel during games if they’re physically tested during practice. That means a mix of basketball training and fatiguing exercises, which include cone drills, wall sits, heavy rope routines, and memorizing Dr. James Naismith’s thesis paper. Through hard work and plenty of sweat, the training facility hopes to get youth ballers closer to earning a spot on their middle school, high school, or college teams.
Instinct Windsports gives humans the means to defy gravity and evolution. Everyone from beginners to experienced hang gliders can learn the ways of flight, with instructors making safety their top priority. Ground schools explore the gliders and their underlying principles before a scooter-mounted towing winch and a computerized simulator let beginners ease into flight. Although not included with this Groupon, more experienced students can work through certification courses that give them the techniques necessary to soar on their own.
For a safe, immersive introduction to the world of hang gliding, the center’s certified pilots also offer tandem flights. A high-powered winch or an ultra-light airplane tows the duo to as high as 1,500 feet before releasing the glider to the instructor’s control. During the next 10–30 minutes, adventurers gain a birds-eye view of the surrounding area and the possibility of controlling the glider so they can brag to their land-bound pets after landing.
Spanning 100 tree-lined acres, Silverdale Gun Club gives its members nine ranges to refine their marksmanship skills, from action shooting to precision rifle work at up to 200 yards. The club further supports these pursuits by housing a pro shop onsite. Though the ranges are chiefly reserved for Silverdale's members, they do open at select times to nonmembers.