Diver's World, Northwest Pennsylvania's only NAUI Worldwide Pro Platinum Dive Center, offers sub-aquatic explorers state-of-the-art training and instruction in the safe confines of an on-site, heated pool. Owner Linda Huston and her brigade of divemasters boil down 90 years of combined underwater wayfaring into each scuba lesson. The Try Scuba Lesson functions as a gateway course, allowing nautical neophytes to learn the ropes, then gear up, sink down, and rise again to the safe, less exciting surface. Held concurrently with the center's more extensive diving courses, this fins-on lesson requires students to bring both a bathing suit and towel, with the remaining equipment provided.
Every Friday night, Lakettes & Lakers Gymnastics Academy hosts a jovial horde of miniature gymnasts aged 3–13 for a three-hour jaunt across a jungle of adventurous play stations. A USAG-safety-certified staff of athletes keeps an alert eye on stimulated sprouts as they rocket from an in-ground trampoline, casting their sky-bound seal of approval on 7,200 square feet of gymnastics equipment and fitness games. Tots can safely perfect plummets on a 40-foot-long tumbling trampoline or escape from imaginary koala stampedes by coasting down a toddler zip line. An energizing feast of pizza and juice sate agile appetites before doe-eyed leapers take a postmeal constitutional down one of Lakettes & Lakers' balance-beam thoroughfares. The Kid's Night Out program lets parents drop off their children to enjoy a quiet evening devoid of lamp-shattering handsprings over the family dog.
Touted by The Sand Trap as "Erie's best public course," Whispering Woods Golf Club provides a comfortable yet challenging environment for beginners to smooth out the rough edges of their game and veteran ball-whackers to whittle their skills to a finer point. The John Exley-designed, 18-hole course encompasses sprawling, lush fairways lined with huddles of tall trees and streams crisscrossing the rolling terrain. Five sets of tees afford golfers varied approaches to the water hazards and 50 formidable bunkers peppered throughout the scrupulously maintained course. A cart rental for two relieves the burden of those playing exclusively with 17-irons.
Since 1993, Crab Apple Ridge Golf Course has been challenging fledgling club-wielders and golf gurus alike with a par 72 course sprawled out across more than 125 acres of rolling terrain. Tee off from blue, white, ladies, or seniors tee boxes and avoid course-speckling crab-apple trees, ball-gobbling ponds, and knicker-adorned ghost caddies prone to offering up unsolicited fashion advice on your 18 hole-in-one attempts. Sloppy shanks and great drives both enable players to embark on exhilarating cart rides in search of their short-lost friend.
Established in 1905, The Country Club of Meadville is a not-for-profit organization with more than 100 years of experience catering to links lovers' golfing needs. As part of the club's 2011 membership drive, today's deal lets buyers enjoy the perks of membership for a day, including 18 holes of golf, cart rental, and dispensation to wear plaid and argyle in the same outfit. The par 72 course runs 6,800 yards from the back tees, and the club uses the USGA Ghin handicap system, allowing exciting play between players of all skill levels. Golfers also get access to the clubhouse and restaurant, opening the door to defeat-assuaging drinks in the cozy lounge or victory-celebrating feasts in the family dining room (food and drink are not covered by this Groupon). A certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary, the course ensconces golfers in a pristine environment unspoiled by overdevelopment or cackling animatronic gophers.
The story of Rose Brook Golf Course dates back to the late 1960s, when—according to course lore—a retired iron worker who had found success by inventing the popcorn machine set out to turn his lifelong dream of owning a golf course into a reality. In the process of achieving his goal, a course maintenance mishap culminated with the man driving a bulldozer over a 100-foot gorge. The man survived the plunge, the story goes, and drove the heavy machine 2 miles out of the creek before returning to sculpt the rugged earth and relentlessly remind the dozer that it owes him its life. Styling itself as “the working man’s country club” ever since, the course has retained the vision of its founder, as friendly, laid-back vibes resonate across 18 holes of rolling terrain in a diverse, 5,806-yard layout, providing guests a pressure-free respite from their vocations. During each round, players contend with 12 ponds as well as frequent encounters with the aforementioned gorge, which runs across multiple holes and sends shudders down the cybernetic spines of passing golf carts. After their birdie-hunting expedition, clubbers can enjoy succulent meats right off the grill or sudsy beverages to wash down inadvertently swallowed divot tools.
Course at a Glance:
Flanked by deciduous trees that emblazon the landscape with deep ambers and yellows in the autumn, the course at Pelham Hills Golf and Country Club guides play along an emerald tapestry awash in natural beauty and obstacles. Water comes into play on 14 of the 18 holes, punishing overzealous shots on holes 9, 12, and 15 with the shooter's choice of a penalty stroke or a self-service swirlie. Elsewhere, mounds thwart easy play onto greens, and strenuous bunker positioning and elevated tee boxes reward deft club selection. Players who can keep their shots on the straight and narrow, however, will enjoy the fruits of generous fairways and numerous scoring opportunities afforded by pins awed into submissiveness.
Course at a Glance: