The moment his father first put a golf club in his hands, the then 11-year-old Bruce Parker knew it was the beginning of a lifelong dedication to the game. Bruce went on to star as the No. 1 golfer on his high-school team for four years and play on scholarship for the Georgia State University team. Through it all, Bruce never thought of leaving golf to pursue a career in the more glamorous world of croquet. When asked, Bruce still says that spending a day at the links is his favorite activity.
Today, Bruce puts his pin-hunting prowess and enthusiasm for the game to work while conducting lessons at Golf Depot. A driving range with both grass and artificial-turf hitting areas, lights for after-hours practice, and high-caliber practice balls provides an ideal training ground for Bruce to cure all forms of golf-game maladies, such as a slice-prone swing or a driver that has an irrational fear of fairways. Bruce has also created his own style, the effortless golf method, which is taught to players of all levels of experience.
Silence fills the forest as a masked paintball player creeps over logs and leaves, unable to find the opposing team he knows is there. Suddenly, a shower of colored paint spews from behind a nearby tree, and the battle begins. Such moments unfold daily at PBC Paintball Park's facilities during the regular season. Their staff, all of whom are paintball players themselves, have designed both wooded and concept fields at Greensboro, Charlotte, and Greenville. At Greensboro, wooded landscapes transform into a battlefield with bunkers, creeks, and large forts. Felled trees and dense foliage give players ample cover amid the undeveloped woods of Greenville's fields, while tournaments unfold across PBC Charlotte's level terrain. Additionally, PBC Paintball Parks are affiliated with Paintball Central, which runs two stores in North Carolina and one store in South Carolina where players can stock up on enough paintball gear to ready themselves for the inevitable cartoon-character rebellion.
It all started because David Chesnutt was looking for something to do after a hunt. He set up a manual clay thrower for some target shooting, and more and more people wanted in on the fun. Eventually, David needed about 300 acres along Mountain Gap Road and another 300 acres leased from the Oak Grove Plantation to accommodate all of his participants. That's where people find Rocky Creek Sporting Clays today. Rolling hills and wooded areas set a backdrop for clay targets, which simulate the movements of quail, pheasants, and other game birds.
A treadmill might not be the first thing you’d picture in an athletic store, but for the skilled staff of Charlotte Running Co., it’s a key step in the art of finding the perfect fit. After lacing up or sweet-talking on a pair of shoes from Adidas, Nike, or Saucony, patrons hop aboard the treadmill, and the ‘gait analysis’ begins. Aided by a video feedback system, the specialists analyze each both the customer’s strides and the performance of the shoes to identify the ideal levels of support and cushioning, as well as the perfect fit–a process made much more precise by seeing the fancy footwear in action.
In addition to running shoes that can help increase speed and safety, Charlotte Running Co. can outfit its patrons in other jog-friendly gear. The FuelBelt keeps much-needed fluids at the ready on long runs, while shirts from Nike and Asics help to keep bodies cool, reducing runners' need to jog in the penguin habitat at their local zoo.
In TrySports's perfect world, everyone would aspire to a higher level of fitness and healthiness. Whether they choose running, swimming, cycling, charging into triathlons, or sweating through a gym regimen, customers receive help from the staff in acquiring the supplies they need to reach an improved state of physical wellness. They custom-fit shoes by analyzing each patron's gait and help to select bicycles according to legs' length and mouths' ability to make motorcycle noises. The crew also curates a collection of water bottles, wristwatches, nutritional supplements, apparel, and cushy insoles to further ease athletic pursuits. The colorful array of products bears labels from brands including Under Armour, Mizuno, Asics, Brooks, Saucony, Hoka, Altra, and Colombia, which prepares patrons to sprint through races or catch up to the one guy who knows the rules for competitive hide-and-go-seek.
Owner Jessie Smith and the staff at Barefoot Archery maintain a pro shop packed with an all-encompassing array of gear for enthusiasts of all skill levels, from dedicated hunters to hobbyists. Every time a customer purchases a bow from the shop, one of Barefoot Archery's experts takes time to show him or her how to properly wield and maintain the new piece, reducing the chance that customers will accidentally pull the self-destruct string. Jessie also relishes the opportunity to teach youngsters the art of the bull’s-eye through Junior Olympic Archery Development classes held in the shop's indoor range.