Skyland Golf Course, in Hinckley was built in the Twenties, when a man's suit could be bought with a double sawbuck and it included two pairs of pants. It's a snug little country course with idiosyncrasies and delights not found at courses built recently. --John Tidyman
In 1976, busy California mother Joan Barnes wanted nothing more than to find a play place where she and her kids could enjoy age-appropriate, educational activities. Finding none, she developed her own innovative play environment within a developmental-based program structure now known as Gymboree Play & Music. Today, kids tumble and learn in more than 650 locations in 33 countries around the world, engaging in open play and classes designed to build cognitive and motor skills. As parents participate in their children's development, their kids learn to paint, play music, and interact socially outside of their preschool knitting circles.
Golf: Inside & Out’s resident golf guru David Geier offers a comprehensive approach to golf training, helping golfers on their path to mastering the technical, tactical, physical, and mental elements of the game. As players pulverize golf balls at the studio’s indoor hitting bays, the watchful instructor observes and analyzes each swing with video technology. Golf students benefit from watching a video of their swings in slow motion, helping them understand nuggets of corrective advice and sympathize with brutally compressed golf balls. Geier also teaches principles of course management, physical training, and the mental and emotional training necessary to execute golf shots on a subconscious level, a process which can incorporate hypnotherapy.
Golf: Inside & Out also helps aspiring Arnold Palmers refine their skills with advanced club-fitting services. The shop's high-tech module evaluates customers' putts and swings, then tailors a custom blueprint that helps determine correct shaft flex, launch angle, and grip size. The device can also clarify the most compatible ball for a particular club.
The first hole on the course at Rustic Hills Country Club carves an arc along the westerly banks of Rustic Hills Lake, a dramatic opening to the relatively short nine-hole track. With a par of 32, the course is dominated by four par 3s, yet makes up for its shorter layout with frequent hills that force swing adjustments and a steady diet of golf balls for the course's many water hazards—including one that almost entirely surrounds the island-like sixth green.
Just off the golf course, the stately grounds of Rustic Hills Country Club encompass a fine-dining restaurant, tennis courts, a heated swimming pool, fishing, and numerous winter sports.
Latin Soul Ballroom's experienced instructors tutor fledgling and finessed two-steppers alike in ballroom jives, mambo moves, and an array of dance styles. A packed schedule of evening classes entices dancing shoes to take to the hardwood floor during four-week sessions that explore the East Coast swing, the sensual steps of Argentine tango, the club-style cha-cha's syncopated steps, and more. During 45-minute private lessons, students train their toes to follow the steps of an instructor with a diverse dance repertoire that incorporates styles such as bachata, lindy hop, and the touchdown celebrations of Nikola Tesla.
Throughout a golf-teaching career that spans more than two decades, Greg Jones has taken everyone from inner-city students to PGA professionals under his wing and showed them how to properly swing the golf club. Greg takes a natural approach to the game by helping pupils develop a comfortable swing that fits their style of play, rather than instructing students to mimic the swing of a PGA professional or legally adopt an Iron Byron. In addition to his excellence on the course, Greg also has a keen eye for identifying quality instructors. That knack for recognizing innate talent is what recently led him to welcome two new instructors to the academy's faculty. A well-known juniors coach, LPGA trainer Pam Stefanik brought glory to the Highland High School golf team during a recent string of four consecutive state championship appearances. Meanwhile, when he wasn't adding length to his already impressive 456-yard drive, distance expert Frank Campitelli helped clients add yards to their own drives with a training system that he designed and built himself. Now, the trio helps students add well-rounded depth to their games. Regardless of whether the lesson is for juniors or adults, private or in a small-group setting, the three break techniques down into their basic components, making it easier to develop a repeatable game both on the course and on the range.
The staff at The Golf Improvement Center knows that shaving strokes is all about getting the little things right. This precision is evident in the center’s facilities, from the 7,500 square-foot putting green modeled after the famous Himalayas putting course at St. Andrews to the seven target greens scattered around the 320-by-300-yard driving range and laser measured to every hitting station. Instead of the oversize range balls at the great majority of driving ranges, which get tired of flying after 100 yards, players hit real regulation golf balls that get recycled every year, which provides the invaluable feel and results of actual strokes. The center also recognizes that golfers committed to improvement can’t sacrifice practice time just because the course is full of rain, snow, or carnivorous fog. Thus, when the 24,000 square feet of grass tees aren’t available due to these or other concerns, players can continue to practicing their drives and chips on the 38 covered Fiberbuilt mats, some of which are also heated. At dusk, stadium-level lights flicker on to ensure the continuous bombardment of golf balls into the night sky.