Nestled in the cool shadows of Cheyenne Mountain, Cheyenne Shadows Golf Club’s 18-hole course invites clubbers with its scenic layout cleaved through high-desert terrain. Drives knife through the air with a little extra gusto, as the dry desert air—at an elevation of 6,224-feet above sea level—and golf angels conspire to add length to shots. The club’s verdant expanse also encompasses a multifaceted learning center, including a driving range with grass hitting areas, a short-game green flanked by a practice bunker, a putting green, and a three-hole children’s course. The casual dining room of Mulligan’s Grill awaits to quench hunger pangs with a menu of burgers, Philly cheesesteak sandwiches, and salads.
Valley Hi Golf Course’s 18 fairways have been flourishing with rye grass and deciduous trees since 1954, when golfers first began cursing the course’s tricky water hazards and bunker-guarded greens with old-timey swear words such as "leaping argyle!" The 1st hole boasts the course’s longest fairway, whereas the 7th hole stops short to become the shortest par five – the best hope for a birdie. The putting green at the 18th hole keeps golfers on their cleated toes until the very end by demanding, like medieval kings, to be approached from the left and on one’s knees. Those hoping to hone their game can take lessons with a staff headed by PGA golf pro Mike Northern, whose more than 30 years in the game have netted him a full trophy case. Before hitting the greens in the morning, golfers drop by the Caddie Shack Restaurant and Bar to fill their bellies with omelets, and those finishing up a later round can bite into sandwiches or burgers.
Course at a Glance:
Voted Best Climbing Wall by the Gazette in 2010, CityROCK's walls and staff are tall in both experience and, depending on the instructor, height. Rock wranglers can ascend a variety of towering structures laden with cracks, overhangs, boulders, hungry baby eagles, and more. Because traditional rope climbing is a two-person team endeavor, all first-timers and returning rock-jocks must undergo a course in belaying basics. The quick class enables climbers to master the techniques while building confidence in themselves and their partners.
At Little Fins Swim School, students of all ages hone their underwater skills through private and group lessons. Classes are separated into six levels, allowing students to master safety basics before learning how to glide effortlessly with butterfly strokes. The pool, which is surrounded by colorful murals of sea creatures, also plays host to birthday parties and the Falfins Swim Team.
Snow-capped peaks peer over Springs Ranch Golf Course, adding a scenic backdrop to a 7,107-yard layout that reflects the player-friendly design philosophy of course architect Richard M. Phelps. In a gesture of sympathy for golfers who crush seemingly perfect drives only to find their ball in the angry grip of a well-concealed bird watcher, Richard placed hazards in plainly visible locations with few to no blind spots. However, transparency doesn't always transfer to success on the course—Springs Ranch packs plenty of hazard-ridden holes that demand precise shots, including the 404-yard, par-4 third hole, where golfers must avoid a pond off of the tee and clear a waste bunker with their approach shot or a perfectly timed kick. Along with two ponds and a gauntlet of bunkers, tall grasses line the fairways, tempering aggressive play and adding an authentic, Scottish feel to the links-style layout.
Springs Ranch also offers a driving range, lessons, and clinics taught by resident aces. After a day at the links, golfers can revive muscles weary from bench-pressing golf carts with a burger, bratwurst, or platter of fish 'n' chips at the Springs Ranch Bar and Grill.
Course at a Glance:
Operating at 13 tracks coast to coast, FAASST Performance Driving School gives novice racetrack drivers a chance to tear up professional-grade pavement in their own car or in a rental. As an SCCA-accredited program, the school’s daylong racing classes help earn a Novice Racing license and the right to unlimited high-fives from pro stock-car drivers. In most cases, students drive on their own outside of classroom sessions—unless the need for up-close-instructor help is required—and the car is safe for a passenger.
The enthusiastic coaches at Soccer Buddies educate youngsters on the value of physical fitness and impart much-needed confidence through drills and practices that refine fundamental skills. Lessons aim to build on the foundations of balance, agility, and coordination for budding athletes as young as 10 months old. As kids get older and their skills begin to mature, they’ll also have the chance to advance through age- and skill-appropriate classes, which increase the chance that students will be fully prepared for advanced moves such as bicycle kicks and the act of kissing a World Cup trophy. Youngsters will find new physical, cognitive, and emotional challenges at every leg of the training track, and those who excel will be eligible for an invitation to the Soccer Buddies Select class, a higher-level learning environment for competitive-minded players younger than 12.