When designer Robert Trent Jones Jr. made Prairie View Golf Club his first Indiana project in 1997, he peppered 18 holes across 206 acres of natural beauty. His design hugs the White River, which rings the course on three sides, but only interferes with shots at four holes. Native grasses trim the entire perimeter of the former soybean- and cornfields, while oak, sycamore beech, and cottonwood trees surround the back nine holes. But the natural obstacles pale in comparison to the manmade impediments ? 90 sand traps, including one that stretches 135 yards, make the par-72 course a challenge for even the most avid golfer. Creative flagstick positioning invites visitors to modify their technique for approach shots, with an emphasis on precision rather than power, much like surgically extracting a swallowed engagement ring.
For some added muscle on the course, patrons can practice swings at golf lessons or map out a plan of attack over a meal at The Covered Wagon, which overlooks the course.
Course at a Glance:
It’s hard to imagine a trainer more dedicated to fitness than Josh Kuklak, the owner of Survival Fitness Gym. An ACE-certified personal trainer, Josh holds state records in powerlifting on the bench-press and deadlift platforms, and has also competed in hockey, tennis, karate, and weight training. Along with Diana Fisbeck, also an ACE-certified trainer, he leads boot camp-style workouts that call upon muscle confusion—through constantly varied routines—to promote building strength and melting fat.
Their boot camps fuse cardio, resistance training, and plyometrics into workouts that change every day to prevent workout burnout. Leaving treadmills and weight machines behind, the sessions incorporate a slew of nontraditional fitness equipment. Students might flip oversize tires and hang from gymnastics rings one day, and then heave sledgehammers and box heavy bags until they cry uncle the next. Their basic-training class focuses on core work and endurance, and strength training blends elements of powerlifting, bodybuilding, and functional training to pack on muscle and annihilate fat. The fitness duo also leads personal-training sessions, motivating clients to reach their goals and harmonizing with them during workout songs.
The staff members at Muldoon's attribute their success to the craic, a term that they say describes the atmosphere of fun and fellowship often found in a true Irish pub. That laid-back vibe has paid off: Muldoon's has been crowned Best Neighborhood Bar by CityVoter for four years running. Washed down with an extensive beer selection, the hearty food menu stocks such Irish classics as shepherd's pie, Irish beef-and-potato stew with Guinness broth, and hand-breaded fried-cod fish ‘n’ chips. Chefs also prepare more local favorites, such as a classic Midwest breaded tenderloin that, in accordance with tradition, looks kind of like Abraham Lincoln's profile if you squint. Meanwhile, guests can cozy up by the fireplace to listen to live music or admire the antique cash register at the bar.
At Carmel Total Fitness? 20,000-square-foot facility rows of cardio machines, strength-training equipment, and free weights stretch as far as the eye can see. The enthused staff of certified personal trainers eagerly await clients to design one-on-one training sessions or to answer questions from members as they fly through their own self-devised regimes. The center offers more than 40 fitness classes, such as Pilates mat, power core, yoga, heart race cycle, and Zumba are held in the wood-floored fitness studio, while pickup games of dodgeball, racquetball, or Red Rover take place on one of the onsite courts. After a tough workout, members can relax and rest in the sauna, or enhance their sculpted physique in the tanning booth.
Though Bang Fitness Project stands by traditional gym staples?a welcoming setting, programs suitable for families or singles, and affable trainers?it also embraces high-tech advancements. With DotFit Nutrition, guests plan their meals by accessing a gigantic database of food statistics and advice from NASM professionals. The gym's Visual Fitness Planner pulls 3-D images from potential futures, showing users how an exercise or diet regimen could affect their physiques and ability to make carry-on luggage fit. Visitors armed with this knowledge can then jog aboard television-facing treadmills, heft free weights, and test their muscles on strength machinery from Precor and Life Fitness.
Boredom is a foreign concept at Stacked Pickle. From its lengthy and eclectic menu to the games broadcasted on 92-inch projectors, the dynamic eatery provides something for every taste. Diners can bite into one of nine half-pound burgers, wrap their hands around spicy-chicken tacos, or build a castle with their golden-fried fish and chips, all while admiring professional athletes run, jump, and score on one of many 50-inch plasma TVs. On some nights, live bands storm the eatery’s intimate stage, providing a soundtrack to bargoers as they take swigs from a bottle of Blue Moon or gracefully sip a glass of wine. In the warmer seasons, Stacked Pickle opens its doors to nature and encourages patrons to enjoy their meals and drinks on the spacious outdoor patio.