Designed by PGA champion Mark Brooks with the classic layout of Scottish and early American links in mind, Southern Oaks Golf Club organically incorporates the natural landscape into a challenging 72 par course. Ideal for average to advanced players, the course keeps haphazard whackers in check with bunkers lurking on nearly every hole and talkative teens waiting to distract on each green. Rented carts come in handy as the peaceful grounds encompass 300 acres and yardage per hole ranges between 5,350 and 6,650 yards from front and middle tees and 7,100 from the back.
After becoming an all-American at the University of Houston, qualifying for the U.S. Open twice, and making the cut at The Masters during his professional career, seasoned golf instructor Jim McLean has added one more accomplishment to his resumé: Jim McLean Golf Schools was touted as one of the country's top 25 golf schools in 2008 by Golf magazine.
Following Jim's innovative philosophy of biomechanics, a team of instructors—with levels ranging from certified, master, and lead master—teach the components of a successful golf swing, focusing on each player's physical capabilities and limitations and developing a tailored lesson plan. In order to become a Jim McLean golf instructor, pupils must pass a rigorous certification process that includes one to three years of teaching at the club, conducting their own extensive golf-swing-research projects, and learning to grow natural spikes out of their feet. During private lessons and clinics, golf gurus use 3-D graphical imaging and data analysis to provide instant feedback.
At Jim McLean Golf Schools, players hone their games with indoor and outdoor practice facilities that include a 50,000-square-foot short-game range, a lit driving range, and a practice bunker. The complex is also home to the Legends Scoring Nine course, which, along with the practice facilities, has been a training ground and putter-jousting arena for rising PGA star Jason Day, who placed 3rd at the 2013 Masters.
Designed by former PGA Champion and Texas native Don January, Fort Worth Golf Club’s 18-hole course takes golfers on a club-swinging expedition across 6,600 yards of tree-lined fairways and emerald topography. Though towering arbors provide the bulk of the course’s sphere-impeding obstacles, a medley of other obstructions augment their twiggy efforts, including six water hazards known to feast on the life-force of errant golf balls. Formerly known as the private Eagle Mountain Country Club, Fort Worth Golf Club has opened up its emerald corridors to the public for the first time in 40 years, allowing new golfers the chance to drive, pitch, and shot-put their balls across the rolling hills of Eagle Mountain Lake. Before each round, golfers can warm up for the round by joyfully pummeling golf balls at the club’s driving range, where 48 natural-grass hitting bays serve as outdoor laboratories for players’ swing experimentations and their ongoing attempts to cross-breed divot tools with worker ants.
The golfing gurus at Edwin Watts Golf Academy diagnose and correct their students' poor swing and putting habits in an effort to help them improve their shots and lower their scores. In one-on-one swing-analysis sessions, students learn a repeatable swing that eliminates tendencies they may have to slice, hook, push, or pull the ball. A special laser attaches to the end of the player's club and tracks the swing path while JC Video swing-analysis software records the session from two separate angles, lest analysis be thrown off by only looking at the golfer's good side. Putting analysis employs Tomi technology to measure eight separate parameters of the putting stroke, from clubhead orientation at address to swing path and tempo. After swing and putting lessons, students may access the recordings on a password-protected website, so they can forward videos to friends or sports-documentary filmmakers.
From the top of a two-level fort, the sniper surveys the grounds below, where opponents lurk behind mounds and ready their semiautomatic markers from within two school buses. Those props, which adorn The West Lot, are among the many obstacles and barriers littering the 10 courses at Fun on the Run Inc. Guests can duck behind army jeeps at The Fuel Depot, navigate The District's maze-style village, and storm the 15-foot, two-story castle, whose 3,000 square feet accommodates battling participants and court jesters performing medieval USO shows. Meanwhile, teams prepare for forthcoming competitions on three grass-turf tournament fields in the park's 3-acre training facility. Elsewhere in the park, players wield paintball markers equipped with laser light beams during outdoor hide-and-go-seek laser-tag games.
Cofounded by dancing legend Fred Astaire to train new generations of rug cutters with his signature easy grace, Fred Astaire Dance Studio uses a unique curriculum to create comfort on the dance floor. Instructors start with steps and rhythms common to most social dances, steadily building toward more specialized combinations of moves for a variety of rhythm-dance styles such as cha-cha and samba and smooth-dance styles such as the foxtrot and waltz. Once they've learned to follow, lead, or just pare down unnecessary finger-snaps, students can take to the purple-walled dance floor to practice their steps and try on new partners at social parties.