Across nearly three-fourths of the United States, AMF Bowling Co. reverberates year-round as families, friends, and competitors send bowling balls in search of upright pins careening down slick lanes. The company first established itself as an industry leader in 1946, the same year the sport introduced automated pinspotters.
Today, more than 20 million bowlers annually make AMF their battleground for wars against pins. As the largest owner and and operator of bowling centers in the US, AMF locations offer high-tech scoring technology, a classic design, and a menu stocked with American-inspired classics such as wings, pizzas, burgers, and beer.
Montebello Barnyard Zoo's animals are like rock stars, touring local homes and meeting places for one-on-one encounters and shows. Pony rides headline this traveling attraction, which also incorporates a petting zoo with various farm animals: goats, sheep, chickens, and even a llama.
The animals still spend the most time at their home venue, however. Here, fenced off areas contain larger animals such as cows and zebras, who always show up to work wearing the same black-and-white outfits. Bales of hay, wooden barrels, and a large, red barn create a rustic setting for picnics and birthday parties. Nearby, a merry-go-round spins endlessly and a truck?decorated to resemble a locomotive?pulls train cars on a tour of the grounds.
While many golf instructors compete on professional tours, few can also include the title of “TV star” on their resumés. John Lepak of Renaissance Golf Academy is one of those few: in addition to touring for the better part of a decade, he appeared as a contestant on Golf Channel’s reality show Big Break, which awards pro-tour exemptions to the winner of the show’s various challenges. Students of all levels can gain from John’s expertise and see if he really looks 12 feet tall off camera by enrolling in lessons at his private academy, where they’ll hone putting strokes on a 6,000-square-foot putting green and shore up full swings on the 16-tee driving range. Each lesson incorporates video analysis, providing immediate feedback of golfers’ swing mechanics.
Since it was built in 1965, Pico Rivera Golf Course has attracted challengers hoping to bag birdies and dodge bogies on its nine-hole layout. After a significant renovation in 2012, the course features wide emerald fairways dotted with sandy bunkers, glimmering ponds, and mature, 40-year-old trees to challenge shots. Play can continue even after dark, as both the course and driving range are lit by overhead lights until 10 p.m. to chase away the ghosts that second-guess club choices.
Named a top place to play in Southern California by Golf Digest, the course at Rio Hondo Golf Club leads players on a zigzagging path toward glimpses of glittering lakes and waterfalls. Separated from adjacent holes by aisles of stately pine, the narrow fairways traverse rolling hills and mounds strategically placed to create tricky lies and inhibit golf-cart drag racing. When a rusty swing holds back progress, the club facilitates game improvement with a lighted, 30-stall practice range, as well as lessons with head PGA professional Steve Labarge and his band of instructors. The new 23,000-square-foot clubhouse houses the buzz of activity, inviting players to down cold beers while enjoying the emerald panorama.
Course at a Glance:
18-hole, par-71 course
Total length of 6,360 yards from the back tees
Course rating of 70.5 from the back tees
Course slope of 122 from the back tees
Four sets of tees per hole