Working at the 1996 Summer Olympics and the 1994 World Cup are a few of the sporting events on camp director Shelly Watkins's resumé, which she draws on to run a summer camp for kids of all ages. A mother herself, she believes in giving each child individual attention, recognition, and respect, rewarding campers with high-fives and compliments for jobs well done. Together with assistant camp director Cortney Spiegel, she runs fun-packed day camps focused on arts, sports, field trips, and specialty programs. Professional counselors work with pintsize Pacinos in the Lights, Camera, Action class to make short films; kick off Nerf-themed sports events in the Nerf Extravaganza class; or venture out to bowling, movies, rollerblading, and laser tag during the Mega Adventure Field Trip. Shelly and her friendly crew also lead precamp and aftercamp activities for early-morning and evening supervision, and junior camp for campers aged 4¬–7 or 10-year-olds having their pre-preteen life crisis.
Putt N Glow Recreation Center illuminates group entertainment under an assemblage of black lights and glow-in-the-dark fixtures. The 18-hole indoor mini-golf course sets putting foursomes on a par-threatening voyage through scores of neon obstacles scattered about pitch-black greens, such as a rotating ferris wheel and a troposphere-slicing airplane propeller. Warm up club-toting biceps with a 30-minute session of either air hockey or ping-pong. Like on the mini-golf course, dimly lit fluorescence accompanies paddlers as they deflect disks and ping-pong balls back-and-forth like a hot potato or a room-temperature porcupine.
Though it may be the decorative centerpiece of a miniature golf course, there is nothing miniature about the waterfall at Lake Nepessing Golfland. The perpetually gushing rock formation looms above the emerald putting circuit, casting a mist into the air that cools down golfers as they attempt pressure-packed putts or handle golf balls fresh from the microwave. In addition to its Lilliputian links, the family fun center helps golfers groom their swings with a lighted driving range that offers both grass and artificial turf hitting areas. A staff of instructors roams the driving bays, doling out instruction and video-based swing analysis.
The thrum of humming engines fills Lake Nepessing Golfland’s grounds, emanating from the center’s outdoor go-kart track. The track is lighted for after-sunset racing, and guests can choose to drive solo or ride along friends, family, or adopted mannequins in a tandem kart.
The PGA-certified instructors at Boyne Golf Academy use advanced technological tools such as radar and form-analysis software to improve the strokes of students of all levels. Pupils receive one-on-one attention during the hands-on practice session, which focuses on identifying the strengths and weaknesses of each golfer’s swing mechanics. The V1 Pro swing-analysis software provides club kids with visual feedback on their slicing or hooking tendencies, and the Sam PuttLab employs ultrasound to determine the gender of each golfer’s putter. As the ball's postswing sojourn commences, the Doppler-based TrackMan radar system relays a 3-D real-time view and provides data on the dimpled orb’s trajectory. Although this Groupon is only valid for lessons, King Par Superstore is jam-packed with golf equipment and apparel and performs professional club fittings to ensure that wrists and 9-irons get along instead of attacking each other with golf clubs.
A 63-hole golf complex carved through rolling, water-kissed terrain, Hawk Hollow features several sprawling venues for golfers of all stripes to hunt for birdies. The club's signature course, Eagle Eye, showcases 7,323 yards of fairways and greens sculpted with consultation from course architecture guru Pete Dye. Water comes into play on 14 holes, including the par-three 17th, which features an island green that—like peace between two feuding couples—can only be reached by bridge.
With 27 championship-length holes, the Hawk Hollow course itself lets players select which sets of nines to combine for a full 18-hole round, and two more executive courses—the par-36 Woodside and the links-style Falcon—round out the club's diverse range of courses. The emerald grounds also encompass the Little Hawk Putting Course, a circuit of bent-grass greens carved through sand traps and mounds shrouded in thick rough.
Founded in 1994 as a community-based recreation center, Joe Dumars Fieldhouse is a 100,000-square-foot facility that houses sports leagues and camps in addition to an arcade-equipped entertainment center and an indoor/outdoor restaurant. Dumars' value of sportsmanship lives on through league play and pickup games on one of nine basketball courts and in two full-sized hockey arenas. Camps and clinics provide activity-based instruction to little ones, and the entertainment center's mini-golf and mini-bowling areas host small-scale enjoyment without enforcing miniature-shoe rentals. After rigorous activity, guests can head to Joe's Southern Grill, an arena-themed eatery with tables made from the Pistons' NBA-championship basketball court and a kitchen supervised by head chef Bill Laimbeer.