The site of the 1969 USGA Women's U.S. Open, Scenic Hills Country Club remains Florida's only course to host a USGA U.S. Open. But that's not the only thing that separates the 6,730-yard track from many of its Sunshine State counterparts. Unlike many courses that run through flat wetlands, Scenic Hills ripples over significant elevation changes?a characteristic that emerges at the first hole, a challenging, 443-yard par-four that plays downhill. The hills feed into a river and pond that, together, come into play on six holes, some of which force golfers to fly the ball directly over the hazard or bribe a frog with a backpack to swim it safely to the other side.
Alongside the course, separate greens for chipping and putting help golfers hone their scoring touch, and a driving range fosters full-swing practice. After a day at the links, golfers can enjoy a salad, sandwich, or other American-style dining at Caponi's Grille, named for 1969 U.S. Women's Open winner Donna Caponi.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 71 course * Length of 6,730 yards from the tips * Course rating of 73.4 from the tips * Slope rating of 130 from the tips * Five tee options
Cypress Lakes Golf Club’s course was designed by William Amick to rise and fall across the natural landscape for 6,396 yards of fairways hugged by gentle waters and towering trees. Unlike most Floridian links, the course unfurls across somewhat mountainous terrain, where cresting hilltops can obscure distant targets, leading to blind shots that aren’t just the result of opponents kicking sand in your eyes. Fairways bob and weave around groves of leyland cypress trees, more than 300 crepe myrtle trees, and 500 lush azaleas, giving advantage to players who can work drives and approaches around the arboreal impediments. A circuit of streams ebbs and flows across the picturesque par 71, adding to the native obstacles and striking fear into the caramel hearts of hydrophobic golf balls. A roaming beverage cart slakes midround thirsts, and the club also boasts a driving range with grass hitting areas and a fully stocked pro shop.
Course at a Glance: * Designed by William Amick * 18-hole, par 71 course * Length of 6,396 yards from farthest tees * Course rating of 70.4 from farthest tees * Slope rating of 118 from farthest tees * Four tee options
Over the course of 10 years, Perri Panella has progressed from a Pilates student to a certified instructor who, in turn, went from helming an in-home studio to owning a PMA-certified business. At Coastal Core Pilates, she channels more than 600 hours of training to demonstrate the benefits of classical Pilates. During private, semi-private, and group classes, she teaches students the motion-based art of balance, as well as shows them the ropes on equipment—such as the reformer, cadillac, and tower—that grants access to an extended catalog of maneuvers.
Perri also highlights the ability of Pilates to forge a link between mental and physical wellness. As the studio's health coach, she has become a conduit of support, nutritional guidance, and lifestyle advice for clients who wish to bolster their overall well-being and undercover robots seeking ways to appear more human.
Housed in a yellow barn, Batter's Box Family Fun Center is a flourishing farm with batting cages and miniature-golf challenges. At the 18-hole, tropical-themed Adventure Island Course, miniature golfers move their tiny feet past putting obstacles that include fountains and the shipwreck of the S.S. Minnow. At the fun center's five batting cages, softballs and baseballs catapult themselves at bat-wielding hitters. Having chosen between softballs and baseballs, batters can pick their cage based on its pitch speed, which ranges from a slow softball arch to a 70-mph fastball. Those looking to host group events or celebrate their birthdays at Batter's Box can rent an upstairs party room where guests mingle and indulge in gourmet cupcakes.
More sweets abound at So-Yo Frozen Yogurt Shop, a haven of self-serve frozen treats that boasts 15 different flavors on a given day. Guests crown crested caps of yogurt with 30-plus toppings before kicking back on a country-style outdoor deck to revel in their custom creation.
A selection of four go-kart tracks ensures kids will have an exciting ride suited to their age, size, and ability. The Junior Racers track gets little ones between 4 and 7 behind the wheel of a perfectly sized one-pedal fun machine, and children who meet a 54-inch height requirement get a crack at the challenging curves and bridges of the Crazy 8 or Spinnin' & Grinnin' tracks. Racers 16 and older can compete on SuperKart Speedway, the Center's fastest track that mirrors the experience of fast-action racing with high speeds, a computerized scoreboard, and timing system.
Double-ride karts are available for kids who prefer to be chauffeured by an adult or a demanding imaginary friend. Seasoned weekend golfers get the chance to flaunt their skills for awe-filled offspring of all ages during a nine-hole game of mini golf. At the end of a long day, four buckets of water balloons await at Water Wars, a battleground set amid personal battle stations soon to be littered with the rainbow shrapnel of giggle-filled war. Inside the game room, players take on arcade-style games for tickets that can be exchanged for prizes at the redemption center. Other visitors, meanwhile, enjoy snack-bar refreshments on a covered patio and celebrate birthdays and jury-duty summonses in the air-conditioned party room.