Briarcrest Country Club's cardio-tennis camp gets hearts pumping with group classes that combine tennis instruction with boot-camp-style circuits in a high-energy workout environment. This one-hour outdoor class is peppered with calorie-burning aerobic tennis drills and agility training exercises such as ladder hopping, cone weaving, and snapping-turtle shuttle runs. Each session includes a warm-up segment, 30–50 minutes of cardio, and a short cool down, and the added use of a heart-rate monitor helps ensure workouts are safe for all participants and that no disguised cheetahs have been able to sneak in.
Pecan Lakes' par 72 course, designed by Houston golf architect Jay Riviere, challenges and delights cart-equipped golfers with over 200 scenic acres speckled with trees, waterways, and more than 50 strategically placed bunkers. Linksters will bandy through a tall grove of pecan, elm, and water oaks on the front nine before sending dimpled orbs off into the formidable, 560-yard abyss of the 11th hole with a yodeled "fore." Athletes also face-off against the elements at multiple holes where water, wind, and ball-thieving carbon molecules can come into play. Golfers can conclude an afternoon on the green by navigating the dog-leg left turn and water-flanked right side of the 18th hole.
Signature Service: Horseback-riding lessons
Staff Size: 1 person
Average Duration of Services: 1–2 hours
Pro Tip: Wear blue jeans or riding pants and boots with a heel. Also wear weather-appropriate clothing.
Nestled near the banks of Lake Conroe, La Toretta's 18-hole, par-71 course showcases a mature layout that was spruced up by renovations in 2007. Carried out by course architect Jeffrey D. Blume, the recent project made the course more playable and dramatic by converting two short par-fives into heftier par-fours and stretching a longer par-four into a par-five that promises scoring opportunities to long hitters. Blume also revamped the putting surfaces, which now boast Bermuda grass that provide a truer roll than a shopping cart without any wobbly wheels. Before rounds, golfers can get a feel for course conditions at the full-length driving range or on the practice green.
Sequestered between the 18th green and the first tee, La Toretta's clubhouse overlooks the dramatic waterways that occupy the edges of its majestic starting and finishing holes. Inside, guests unwind over pub far at the Final Putt Lounge, which nestles underneath soaring, wood-panel ceilings.
Shannon Birkelbach and her trusty staff at Five Horses, LLC are disciples of natural horsemanship, an equitation method that stresses interspecies relationships and self-improvement. Riders learn to communicate with horses through body language and becoming fluent in Horse, building confidence with the animal while developing leadership skills along the way. They also can better their balance, biomechanics, and ability to look positively magnificent while riding.
In addition to their natural horsemanship lessons, the team also specializes in two therapy services: equine-assisted psychotherapy (EAP) and equine-assisted learning (EAL). EAP relies on horse-based activities and trained therapists to help people improve their relationships in all facets of life. EAL, on the other hand, is a learning-focused approach relying on horses’ natural abilities, and is often used by corporate groups to conquer work-related issues. Unlike many other equine facilities that simply offer rides, Five Horses focuses on the ongoing therapeutic effects these animals have on their human counterparts, and is certified through the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association and OK Corral.