Desert Skydiving Center carries people into the air in Cessna 182 and 206 planes and then sends them gleefully careening toward the ground. The center offers static parachuting, tandem jumping, and accelerated freefalls alongside experts. Participants can work with an instructor for 30-minutes to eight-hours, depending on the type of jump, before pulling on a parachute and jumping from two miles high. The ground grows rapidly as divers freefall with the wind whipping their faces before they pull the parachute cord and float to the ground or attempt to land on a passing goose.
The 6th hole at Sundance Golf Club may be easy on the eyes, but it can be hard on a golfer’s scorecard. As the course’s signature hole, the 175-yard par-three requires a tee shot over the placid waters of Sundance Lake in order to reach a multi-tiered green. It may sound simple, but the considerable length from tee to green and the psychological challenge of the water hazard is a formidable combination—so much so that legendary course designer Greg Nash decided there was no need to add any greenside bunkers or trap-doors to the layout. The 6th hole is one of only two holes that have water in play—the rest of the 6,944-yard, par 72 layout ripples through desert tundra and arroyos, a mostly flat expanse that offers endless views of the White Tank Mountains to the north and the Estrella Mountains in the south.
To help golfers prepare for their round, Sundance Golf Club offers a driving range, a putting green, and a staff of PGA pros eager to assist in golf lessons. After a day at the links, visitors can unwind over a burger and a beverage at the Crooked Putter Restaurant, which is named after the only kind of eating utensil the restaurant offers.
Course at a Glance:
Raven Golf Club at Verrado’s 18-hole course paints a bright chartreuse stripe through the desert foothills of the White Tank Mountains. The design team of British Open winner Tom Lehman and architect John Fought thought up the course’s tricky landscape, which makes players work hard to keep their dimpled orbs on the carpet-like fairway grass, away from the three nearby lakes, and out of the hands of jugglers roaming the desert. Since its opening in 2005, the course has garnered much praise for its pristine beauty and its challenging, more than 7,000-yard layout, including being named the top course in Phoenix by Sports Illustrated and a Top 10 New Course by Golfweek.
Course at a Glance:
Feats of wheel-based athleticism flourish at American Made Ride Shop, where staffers stock bikes, skateboards, and sporty accessories and apparel. Not Cal Clothing and Rath Industries tees and hoodies shield bodies from weather or falling bits of sky as they zoom down boulevards atop DK bikes or beach cruisers. Bmx tires and seats transform personal cycles into pro two-wheelers, and Bucky Lasek helmets guard noggins in case of a spill. The shop’s bike techs back up their sales with detailing services that guarantee safe, smooth excursions, erasing damaged caused by years of off-roading or popping wheelies in tar pits.
Bunker's indoor golfing center is home to a team of technologically advanced simulators and talent-honing programs that facilitate a fun clubbing experience without the hassle of actual water hazards or lava traps. Virtual golf provides an approachable and efficient 18 holes for novices and aficionados alike, who can choose from 20 different courses to digitally explore, such as Kettle Creek, Pebble Beach, Spanish Bay, or Broken Putter Peak. After practice, the $10 café credit can be used to treat tired arms to some grub at Bunker’s Daily Wine Café or the 19th Hole Café.
When an attack comes, the ensuing hand-to-hand combat rarely remains on the vertical plane. That’s why the instructors at Phoenix BJJ & MMA Academy tout Brazilian jujitsu (BJJ) as the most effective form of defense—it emphasizes grappling on the ground. They guide students through flips, throws, chokes, and locks that return the advantage to the attacked using precise leverage and body position. In addition to BJJ, instructors also teach judo (another grappling art), wrestling, kickboxing, and classes specifically for kids and women.