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
Saguaro Aquatics' indoor and outdoor swimming pools double as recreational venues and classrooms. Instructors guide swimmers 6 months and older in group or private swimming lessons that cover the techniques for mastering strokes and growing gills. The noncompetitive synchronized-swimming club practices their aquatic art form twice weekly, and boot camp participants jump in and out of the pool for boxing, cardio, and swimming exercises. During Kids' Night Out, little ones enjoy themed games, crafts, and snacks while a projector showcases a kid-appropriate movie on a 15-foot screen. The club recently expanded its portfolio to include the landsport tennis.
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.
Foothills Golf Group’s four golf courses each carry the company’s signature: immaculately groomed sweeping landscapes. The 7,142-yard behemoth that is Club West Golf Club showcases this purity of the turf with a challenging course design filled with elevation changes and stunning views of the surrounding hillsides. The Duke At Rancho El Dorado and The Foothills Golf Club represent classic Arizona golf, leading players along a lush emerald carpet that winds through a desert landscape peppered with shrubs and cacti. The 6,713-yard Ahwatukee Country Club rounds out the portfolio with a fair layout that challenges all skill levels to keep the ball out of the desert sands haunted by the ghost of Peter O'Toole's caddy.
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.