Lush fairways, a trio of lakes, and more than 1,500 mature trees comprise the Golf Course at Francisco Grande Hotel and Golf Resort. It's all part of the vision of renowned architect Ralph Plummer, a man known for his uncanny ability to shape greens and bunkers by the eye instead of first sketching them on a Magna Doodle. Visitors reap the benefits of Plummer's picturesque design
as they work their way across the par 72 course, especially at the signature third hole, where they step up to a two-tiered elevated tee. Beautiful as this course is, though, it's not architect Plummer's only masterwork: his portfolio also includes Shady Oaks Country Club, the home course of golf icon Ben Hogan.
Course at a Glance
* 18-hole, par 72 course
* Total distance of 7,545 yards
* Five tees per hole
* Course rating of 75.3 from the tips
* Course slope of 130 from the tips
The roughly 5K Mud 'n' Guts Mud Run challenges athletes from around the country with 20 mud-soaked obstacles, including knee-deep sludge pits, hill slides, and net climbs. The dirt-drenched course allows participants to put their stamina, physical fitness, and mental determination to the test in a much more fun and safer way than challenging a Central African chimpanzee to a staring contest. Adrenaline and sheer force of will boost runners over walls and across ropes slung over the mud-filled trenches, leading them to the finish line where a postcompetition party awaits with drinks, music, and food. After each race, announcers honor the top participants, bestowing a special distinction upon the runner who was brave enough to don the wackiest costume.
Skydive Coastal California's air-riding experts take first-time and experienced jumpers to the stratosphere for jumps above the scenic vistas of southern California. Tethered to clients, they guide tandem rides to facilitate first tastes of terminal velocity before coasting in for a soft landing. To accommodate licensed skydivers with a current reserve parachute, the staff guides planes over the business's own scenic landing zone so jumpers can take to the air on their own. Beginners who wish to become full-fledged divers can opt for the Accelerated Freefall program, in which aficionados teach the skills necessary to make solo jumps such as how to handle equipment or merge into goose traffic without a blinker.
The RV park at Casa Grande Trap & Skeet encourages its visitors to linger for days on end. Full hookups and seasonal appearances from an onsite caterer bring comforts to the desert, as sunsets paint the sky above the Casa Grande Mountains every evening. But it's during the daytime hours that Casa Grande truly shines. On the grounds, areas for Five-stand and Skeet shooting challenge visitors, as do 13 fields of Traps. The owners?comprised of Tiger and Don Volz?welcome visitors of all experience levels when it comes to shooting, with lessons for beginners and frequent competitions for the more advanced.
Phoenix Area Skydiving’s professional staff specializes in training and instilling confidence in first-time skydivers. They accompany these novices into compact aircraft for up to 120-mile-per-hour tandem free falls over the expansive Arizona desert landscape. Once up in the air, they field visitors’ questions about flight mechanics and often let them control the parachute, granting a more effective hands-on skydiving experience than wrestling with a ceiling fan. They also prepare visitors for solo flights with an accelerated free-fall program, and safeguard each diver’s safety with a technique briefing and gear check before every flight.