Co-owner and PGA player Doug Martin and his fellow golf experts dedicate The Golf Range to the cause of perfect putts and smooth swings. An 8,000-square-foot putting green and short-game area doles out new golf balls for patrons to practice, minimizing misplaced shots and paychecks lost to preteen mini-golf sharks. The indoor putting green guards clubs from the elements, and players sharpen their skills beneath the all-seasons shelter of 37 heated and covered bays. Brush up with The Golf Range's online golf tips before taking to the tee.
While most people know how to breathe, very few can do so underwater without the proper equipment and training. In Too Deep Scuba’s open-water PADI certification courses provide just that, pairing classroom instruction with swimming-pool practice dives in which participants don full scuba gear. Students can plunge deeper into the world of aquatic exploration by pursuing other certifications, earning a new status as a rescue diver, master scuba diver, or ship’s mermaid figurehead. In Too Deep Scuba’s team also schedules trips where divers can hone their skills in exotic waters, such as Florida’s Crystal River and Bonne Terre Mine. Before excursions, divers can stock up on an array of gear from Pinnacle Aquatics, Cressi-sub, Ocean Reef, and other outfitters.
The Five Seasons Family Sports Club houses tennis courts, a dining area, fitness facilities, swimming pools, and a full-service spa under one roof. Within air-conditioned indoor courts or on outdoor clay courts, racquet slingers compete in friendly bouts to sharpen swings, refine backhands, and showcase grunting abilities. Members can also break a sweat in exercise areas speckled with modern cardio equipment and weights or cool off in an Olympic-sized pool with diving wells and wading areas. Before meeting others for a postgame beverage at the lively café, clients can wander to the spa for a relaxing massage or partake in a sports workshop to gain a firm grasp on game mechanics.
Attentive staff ensure the safety and cleanliness of Jump!Zone's inflatable indoor play center, which facilitates frolicking with its moonwalks, bouncers, and giant slides for children aged 2–12. With a pass good for six open play sessions, mini humans can slip on a pair of socks and experience all eight of the facility's bouncy attractions. An 18-foot fire truck makes a great slide and provides an excellent career idea for kids who still haven't decided what they want to be, while the playplace's giant alligator and the Jurassic Adventure help grade-schoolers explore the softer side of everyday predators., Meanwhile, growing minds can strengthen problem-solving abilities and lab-rat impressions by navigating the bouncer maze. A toddler area occupies tinier hands with toys and activities, and tuckered-out tykes can set up shop at the air-hockey table, leaving their adult counterparts free to recite the periodic table of elements backward in peace.
One of Golf Digest’s 100 Best Clubfitters, Golf Exchange equips duffers with brand-name gear and fairway-appropriate apparel. A two-pack of FootJoy WeatherSof golf gloves prevents calluses and provides palm traction ($19.99), and a Club Glove microfabric towel detarnishes balls sullied after landings in sand traps, water hazards, or the groundskeeper’s ice-cream cone ($24.99). A collegiate gift card ($24.99) emblazons games with balls, tees, markers, and towels accented in U.K. blue and white, and the Ping golf backpack piggybacks pros and newbies as they limbo under challenging pars ($49.99). Golf Exchange’s experienced team of player-staffers stands ready to assist equipment searches with well-timed answers or suggestions. Today's Groupon slips snugly into holiday gift exchanges, warming hearts when folded into greeting cards, slipped into stockings, or stuffed into hollowed-out fruitcakes.
Members of the independent Frontier League, the Florence Freedom salute the 2012 season under the helm of second-year manager Fran Riordan. Once the spring-training invitees have made the 24-man roster by being the first to whittle down telephone poles to appropriately sized bats, the squad opens the year with a series against the Traverse City Beach Bums on May 17.
BB Riverboats began with a deceptive motto and a fleet of zero. In 1977, Ben Bernstein opened a restaurant in a converted steamboat, whose motto was “The Romance of Riverboat Dining.” Intended as tongue-in-cheek, the motto instead confused customers, who arrived hoping for a scenic cruise down the Ohio River. To placate his clientele, Ben Bernstein went into business with riverboat industry veteran Betty Blake, and BB Riverboats—named for their shared initials—was born.
Now run by Bernstein’s son, BB Riverboats has increased its fleet to three vessels, including the Belle of Cincinnati, a riverboat outfitted with Victorian details and two climate-controlled decks. On daily cruises down the Ohio, historical narration complements the scenery, while passengers play swashbuckling games and learn to read treasure maps on family-friendly pirate cruises. On the company’s dining cruises, visitors drink in the scenery while noshing on a Hawaiian buffet spread or sampling award-winning wines from StoneBrook Winery. Additionally, holiday cruises honor occasions from Valentine’s Day to Thanksgiving.