Painted the distinctive international orange of the Golden Gate Bridge, to which it bears more than a passing resemblance, the signature bridge at Browns Lake Golf Course crosses the Fox River in style. Players walk over this sleek structure after they’ve made their play off the tee on the par 3 12th hole. Thankfully, they need not fly the San Francisco Bay or lay up on Alcatraz to reach the green in regulation: a 150-yard strike with enough loft ought to do the trick.
Players have been attempting this feat with varying degrees of success since 1921, when the course opened. Wedged between the river to the west and Browns Lake to the east, it's designed to challenge golfers of all handicaps. A round here represents a 6,449-yard loop from the back tees, filled with enough elevated greens to make players reconsider both their club selections and their reluctance to ask their caddies for a piggy-back ride. Though they may want to steer their golf balls clear of it, visitors can admire a bunker in the shape of comic-strip character Andy Gump on the par 3 fourth hole, which was designed to pay homage to local native Sidney Smith, his creator.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Total length of 6,443 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 70.8 from the back tees * Course slope of 124 from the back tees
The Gladiator Assault Challenge confronts racers with a 7+-mile course surrounded by scenic woodlands, cheering spectators, and 30 intense military training obstacles. Gladiators aged 18 and older go solo or join forces with other competitors to ford the waist-high waters of Mud Mayhem, rope-swing through Jungle Love, and use oversize novelty scissors to break the finish tape. Additional obstacles test physical stamina with 12-foot vertical walls, fallen trees, and cargo nets that act as moats blocking the finish line. After the Slideway ushers racers to a skidding finish, a complimentary beer and raucous after party lend ample time to scrawl "wash me" on opponents' backs.
When Mark Frey was a boy, he dreamed of being an astronaut or a fighter pilot and that fascination with flying eventually led to the formation of MF Helicopters LLC. Today Mark oversees a trio of Robinson R44's named Tweety, Smurfette, and Kermit. Crop dusting copters by trade, these vehicles also take to the skies to take guests, wedding parties, and photographers on picturesque flights over the fields of Wisconsin. These nimble crafts are able to zoom quickly through the air or hover over one location so passengers can trade insults with scarecrows while staying a safe distance away from hurl-able corncobs.
In more than two decades spent teaching golf, PGA instructor Kevin Crusan has found that being dogmatic about a particular method or a model swing can be counterproductive. Instead, Kevin uses what he calls a "student-centered" swing model, tailoring his teaching approach to the strengths and abilities of each individual pupil—while still drawing inspiration from the numerous successful techniques used by the world's best golfers. This approach has proven effective, as Kevin has helped coach golfers who have won state championships and competed at the collegiate and professional level.
A tractor rumbles along the rolling hills of Green Meadows Petting Farm's back 40 as it pulls hayride passengers toward the farm’s animals' barns and pens. There, hands of all ages can snuggle on the fuzzy fleece of a baby goat or sheep, brush against the bristly hide of the 700-pound Patty the Pig, or comb fingers into the soft mane of Lad the Pony. Farmers on the staff also share insights and anecdotes on the farm and its four-legged friends as guests roam the farm at their leisure. For Charlie and Mavis Keyes, of all the sights and sounds on a farm that's been in the family since 1964, the ones they enjoy most watching and hearing are from the children and parents who come to visit. It's a thrill, Charlie says, to hear the kids say that they had "the best day ever," providing a happy counterpoint to childhood days that include trips to the doctor's and punishments to file and catalogue a sister's dolls' dresses.
There may be several different structures for thrill-seekers to ascend at Aerial Adventures, but one thing's for certain: they'll find a bird's-eye view waiting for them at the top. If they choose the zipline, they'll soar through the treetops at heights of up to 45 feet. On the ropes course, adventurers clamber up rope ladders and teeter across balance beams, all the while safely attached to a belayer below. Whereas on the climbing towers, guests crawl skyward until they reach a door at the top of the towers for a breathtaking view of the surrounding foliage. Visitors can also ride a mega ball down a 300-foot runway or jump from more than 35 feet in the air from the free fall jump.