Play It Again Sports bedecks kids and adults alike with high-end, wallet-friendly athletic armor so that they can kick, swing, and punt with gusto. Scores of gently used merchandise, perfect for replacing equipment that children have grown out of because of rampant milk abuse, arrive daily and boast brand names such as Adidas, Taylor Made, and Easton. At the Frankfort location, pint-size puck handlers can improve their speed and whittle their hockey sticks with Bauer Supreme One 20 youth skates ($49.99). Crystal Lake's elliptical trainers and exercise bikes sculpt calves into steel, and Downers Grove's Wilson Evolution basketballs ($49.99) keep droves of neighborhood kids active. Each Play It Again Sports store encourages customers to bring in their own old or outgrown equipment to sell or trade for referee signal-decoder rings.
In 1952, downhill pioneers Mr. and Mrs. Keyser?fresh from helping establish Vail, Colorado as one of the nation?s preeminent skiing destination?opened King Keyser to outfit Midwesterners with quality ski equipment and expert advice. The shop continues to carry on the couple's vision while also embracing innovations in the sport. They have stocked snowboard equipment since 1982 and currently carry a full supply of Burton boards and bindings, K2 boots, Giro helmets, and Anon goggles. Skiing gear is well represented as well, including V?lkl skis, Lange boots, Look Nova bindings, and K2 poles.
When not busy equipping riders with proper equipment and rentals, staff members preserve personal gear with in-house maintenance services. The team stone-grinds and waxes skis to enhance glide, and they also provide complete tune-ups to keep snowboards? motors from breaking down on long trips.
In 1958, Charlie Hartley's dream of supplying and maintaining quality bikes began to take shape in the form of an upstart shop operating out of his basement. More than half a century and two moves later, Charlie's son Ken still clings to the belief that bikes should be assembled and serviced with meticulous care. Ken and his technicians tune up ailing cycles and direct patrons toward the accessories and apparel needed for safe, smooth excursions and successful getaways from tricycle gangs. They also stock fully grown cycles from popular brands such as Eddy Merckx, a company that has been manufacturing bikes for three decades.
Bob Miller has kept men, women, and children off the ropes for more than 25 years. As a certified U.S. amateur-boxing Level II coach and professional trainer, he's armed men and women with confidence and competence to jab, bob, and weave into professional boxing careers. Bob continues to focus his pugilistic pedagogy on the nitty-gritty of footwork, conditioning, and practice lessons of aspiring boxers of all skill levels. The boxing gym sports boxing rings, heavy and speed bags, and an avalanche of tools to keep warriors light on their feet and free from the wrath of inflatable, bottom-heavy clowns. After sparring, kickboxing, or jujitsuing with one of the coaches during any number of cardio-blasting classes, students can ratchet down adrenaline levels by taking a relaxing shower in the locker rooms with free towel service.
Golfsmith's online and in-store showrooms house an almost endless list of golf gear for men, women, and children alike. Clubs, balls, and accessories from brands such as TaylorMade, MacGregor, and Callaway give players precise control over their game, and polos and long-sleeved shirts from Nike and Snake Eyes garb players in course-appropriate attire now that tuxedo T-shirts no longer qualify. Along with the extensive collection of equipment and golf bags, Golfsmith also carries GPS systems to give players a high-tech edge.
A stone-lined fountain mists in front of Bolingbrook Golf Club?s 76,000-square-foot clubhouse, foreshadowing the 18-hole golf course that teems with pristine water features. Designed by prolific design team Arthur Hills and Steve Forrest?whose footprint of original courses spans the globe?the 7,104-yard layout plays alongside seven lakes that impede passage on multiple holes, including a par 3 with a true island green that players can access only by footbridge or buoyant golf bag. A particularly challenging course with a par 5 that's 600 yards when played from the farthest tees, the layout levels the fairways for players of all abilities with five tee options. Alongside the course, PGA Master Teaching Professional Carl Rabito?who was named one of Golf Magazine's Top 100 instructors?oversees the club?s driving range and Rabito Golf Academy, which help players to nurture their relationship with each wood, wedge, or hard-hitting spatula. The space includes grass tee and short-game areas, with lights on for night practice through the end of September. A clubhouse with men?s and women?s locker rooms and a full-service restaurant is available to maximize comfort and convenience during visits to the club.
That restaurant, the Nest Bar & Grill, breathes out a nearly regal opulence in deep red carpeting and upholstery, rich wooden fixtures and furnishings, and a roaring fireplace with a tiny crown on top. It's the perfect place for a wedding, a bridal shower, a business meeting, or even just a hearty meal of gourmet cuisine. Those entrees include pork chops with peach-ginger chutney, baby back ribs in a bourbon barbecue sauce, and plump scallops doused in white wine and herb sauce.
Course at a Glance: * Designed by Arthur Hills and Steve Forrest * 18-hole, par-72 course * Length of 7,104 yards from the farthest tees * Course rating of 73.8 from the farthest tees * Slope rating of 135 from the farthest tees * Five tee options