Volcano Island Miniature Golf’s 18 holes wind through an immersive landscape of volcanic crags and life-size dinosaur statues. A towering brachiosaurus welcomes visitors to the complex, its neck extending far above a canopy of palm trees that casts shadows on the course’s emerald corridors, tropical tiki huts, and camped-out dinosaur-rights activists. As golfers putt through the jungle, course-side plaques aim prehistoric factoids into their brains to fill holes in dinosaur trivia. A dazzling eruption spews from a volcano to celebrate holes in one on the final green, sending golfers and stranded hot air balloons on their way home.
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Faldo Golf Institute’s 27-hole, resort-style golf complex, practice green, and driving range serve as a haven for duffers and a training ground dedicated to the teaching principles of six-time major champion Sir Nick Faldo. Designed by Faldo and golf architect Steve Smyers, the institute’s 18-hole Grande Pines course invites golf balls to wrap around groves of natural timbers, settle into pillowy bunkers, and practice splash-free dives into water hazards across a challenging, 7,012-yard layout. The adjacent nine-hole course was designed to foster the development of novice golfers, although the water-kissed, 2,300-yard layout still packs enough challenges to keep aces interested. A staff of Faldo-certified instructors roams the stately grounds, imparting advice in lessons while helping each unique swing find its titanium soulmate with Trackman club-fitting technology. Partnered with Marriott’s Grande Vista Resort, the Faldo Golf Institute offers overnight stay-and-play packages for dedicated duffers or those hoping for a romantic getaway with their 9-iron.
Since 1986, Windermere has welcomed sultans of swing to relax and hone their skills with friends and family in a sophisticated, yet relaxed country-club atmosphere. The course recently finished a complete cosmetic makeover, renovating the greens, bunkers, driving range, and clubhouse with fresh bermuda-grass seed. Originally designed by Ward Northrup, the 18-hole, par 72 championship course caters to handicaps of all levels with 6,558 yards of meticulously manicured fairways, making it one of the newest and most handsome semiprivate clubs in the area. Thirteen holes border lakes, and 63 strategically placed bunkers challenge experienced golfers and give amateurs multiple chances to supplement their income with hidden sand dollars.
The Sport Karate Center casts a wide net with classes for kids, teens, adults, and families. Their high-energy programs instruct aspiring punch-smiths in everything from karate basics to how to set down the road to earning your black belt, with every class taught by an experienced instructor. The center offers classes Monday through Saturday.
Named for former NCAA Division I Academic All-Americans and current tour professionals David Perritt and Bryan DeCorso, the Perritt-DeCorso Golf Academy mines the duo’s golfing expertise to help players of all skill levels polish their own game. Students learn in a relaxed environment at a pace that’s suitable for their needs—meaning beginners won’t be expected to hit the ball 300 yards and experts won’t be given lectures on what wind feels like. Their private and group lessons are held at Fore the Players Golf Center at Falcon's Fire Golf Club, named among Golf Digest’s Best Places to Play in 2010.