White pines, hemlocks, and white birches flourish on the 140 acres of New England countryside that golf-course architect Ted Manning—a Robert Trent Jones protégé—and US Women’s Open champ Mary Mills sculpted into a championship golf course for Townsend Ridge Country Club. Golfers can leave breadcrumb trails to find their way back as they swing through the forested links, hitting over the stream that splits the 3rd hole’s ryegrass fairway before heading uphill on a 474-yard, par-5 12th hole. The course’s signature par-4 14th hole demands a cautious approach, as balls that land past the pin find themselves rolling down a steep slope. At last, with the clubhouse in sight, golfers finish up at the 18th by launching their balls over a pond to land on a double green shared with hole 9.
Although it’s a daily-fee course, Townsend Ridge creates the feel of a private club with a driving range hemmed by 35 hitting stations and a pro shop that hosts two swing simulators. These let players keep in shape during wintery months by tackling digital recreations of the links at Pebble Beach and St. Andrews. For more structured practice sessions, golfers can join lessons and get professional answers as to what’s the best grip for hitting out of the sand and what kind of bird lays golf balls.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par-70 course * Length of 6,188 yards * Course rating of 70.2 * Slope rating of 125 * Three tee options
Andy’s Sport Shop draws upon four generations of expertise in peddling and maintaining gear for skiers, snowboarders, and scuba divers. During the winter seasons, the staff buffs and waxes snowboards and skis, reducing friction that can melt the snow surface and limit traction while careening downhill. The shop also stocks aqua-ready gear, including scuba fins and weight belts, which provide a useful dive-descent alternative to cement shoes. Outfitted explorers can enroll in a vast offering of scuba courses to pursue sundry certifications ranging from open-water diving to wreck diving to ice diving.
The dedicated instructors at Kids Love Martial Arts teach children the techniques of self-defense styles such as karate and tang soo do. But they are just as focused on imparting lessons on discipline, focus, and confidence. The studio's websites shares stories of youngsters who were constantly distracted in school or picked on by their peers. The teachers always prescribe the same medicine: a few weeks in Kids Love Martial Arts classes. The physical aspect of the training engages the youthful participants, but it's the less tangible results that can help them positively channel their energy and confidently stare down the karate-practicing monster under the bed.
All Tuned Up prepares skis and snowboards for the slopes with custom grinding and waxing treatments. First, an experienced technician inspects the equipment, checking for any minor damage or pine branches stuck to the tip and determining the ideal adjustments. Next, a professional-grade stone-grinding machine flattens the base and engraves one of more than 15 preprogrammed patterns. Designed to help the ski or board glide easier based on current snow conditions, markings range from coarse grinds for navigating wet, heavy courses to a Cosby-sweater motif for boogie dancing through the slalom gates. A ceramic disk completes the base-beveling process, adjusting angles and edges so they carve through surfaces more easily and react to turns promptly and safely. Lastly, All Tuned Up's technicians apply PFC-free Purl wax stolen from a mountain beehive and melt it into place with infrared light. Depending on the amount of service required, tune-ups are usually ready for pickup within 24–48 hours.
Michael Donofrio, the founder and lead guide of Vertical World Adventures, maneuvers his limbs up vertical surfaces of all shapes and sizes. Since 1996, he has guided thousands of people on ice, rock, and mountaineering trips to destinations as close as Crow Hill in Leominster State Forest and as remote as the far-flung mountains of the American West. No matter the theme or location of the exhibition, Michael and his team of seasoned guides have successfully guided outdoor adventure trips for people of all ages and experience levels.
In addition to plotting trips and staying safe, guides also make sure that their charges have the skills to surmount even the craggiest cliffs through a full slate of climbing classes. Scaled for all experience levels, classes focus on overcoming challenges and improving communication skills. Popular courses include Basic Mountaineering, Learn to Ice Climb Locally, and Self-Rescue Skills, which imparts techniques for escaping the belay and using prusiks to ascend the rope.
To understand the origins of Red Tail Golf Club's name, just look upwards: that's where majestic red-tailed hawks soar above the region. Down on the ground, Red Tail has soared metaphorically, with plenty of press and awards to back up its status as one of the state's best golf clubs.
The 18-hole, par 72 course embodies classic New England terrain with rows of maple trees, birches, oaks, and pines. Still, other areas are mnemonic of the coast thanks to areas of ample sand and tall grasses. Cleverly named holes help break up the course even further, such as "Bunkers," a chunk of land that was once populated with ammunition storage bunkers?some of which can still be seen to the right of the green.
Course at a Glance * 18-hole, par 72 course * Total of 7,006 yards from the back tees * Five tees per hole * Scorecard