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
Aqua-Tots Swim School trains and encourages swimmers in the art of buoyancy through its array of services, specializing in instructing those aged 6 months–12 years in small groups. Instructors boast national certification, completing 32 hours in the company’s Lessons for Life training program and successfully completing the Water Safety Instructor exam.
Children are placed in one of eight class levels, from Tadpoles (6 months–18 months), which acquaints infants with the pool, to Stingrays, which is for children who have more experience and want to refine their strokes and one day sting a jellyfish. Each individual class contains no more than four students training under the watchful eye of the instructor in a climate-controlled indoor pool. In addition to the children’s program, Aqua-Tots Swim Schools also leads adult swim classes and provides training for both swim competition and first aid.
Owned and operated by veteran competitive swimmer David Tait, Evo Swim School leads fun, structured classes that tutor young pupils in the watery arts. The classes start swimmers at a young age, introducing babes as young as 9 months to the water, and range up to lessons in advanced strokes that prep 12-year-olds for competitive swimming. The school sets parents' minds at ease with low student-to-teacher ratios; entry level and intermediate classes have one instructor in the pool for every four students.
During classes, parents are free to relax in the WiFi-enabled waiting room, where pool-overlooking windows provide an easy way to keep an eye on paddling young'uns. A kids' play area is also on hand to keep water-shy siblings and rust-prone sibling bots occupied while their amphibious brethren frolic in the water.
The idea for Waterworks on Wheels blossomed in the backyards of the East Valley. Founder Janice Jaicks traveled from home to home, guiding children's swimming strokes inside their own pools. Soon, the demand for her lessons required her to hire more instructors, and in addition to her summer house calls, Janice set up shop at four health clubs for year-round classes.
Today she and her team acquaint children aged 10 months?10 years with the water through a mix of patience, kindness, and know-how. The instructors seamlessly combine safety with fun, and though they specialize in teaching preschoolers and first-time swimmers, they can engage kids of all skill levels with more advanced aquatic exercises and even have a program to boost the competitive skills of adults. By maintaining a small student-to-teacher ratio, they focus on enhancing each person's aptitude regardless of prior years spent land-locked or recent hours spent swallowing helium.
The mechanics of Bikes Direct and Bike Masters treat cycles to the repairs and tune-ups that keep life rolling along. They also pair riders with brand-specific bike clothing and accessories such as carriages that give kids, dogs, or stuffed animal collections a place to ride with you. Their armada of bikes spans all cycling varieties, helping customers begin their two-wheeled adventures on bikes ranging from mountain and road to BMX and beach cruisers. Anyone who purchases one of these rides also pedals away with lifetime complimentary tune-ups, a 30-day price match guarantee, and a basic bike fitting.
The Bear Creek Golf Complex contains two courses with very different challenges. Stretching across 3,552 yards, the par 59 Cub Course tests experienced players with swales and collection areas but is also a good way to ease beginners into the game. On the par 71 Bear Course, meanwhile, golfers pit their skills against rolling fairways and strategic bunkering.