A former United States Navy fighter pilot with more than 30 years experience, chief flight instructor Cecil Tune personally selects each new member of Mint Air's staff. These handpicked educators parachute out of their offices and welcome pupils aboard a Flight Design CTLS, the company's primary training aircraft. The German-manufactured planes enclose pilots in a full-glass cockpit, allowing for unencumbered views while soaring above rolling foothills on discovery flights or certification programs. Combined with the school's ground instruction, the flight training can secure the sport, private, or commercial licenses required to finally patronize the world's floating drive-thrus. Mint Air's crew also manages and sells planes.
When she moved to Greenville, Marquin Campbell noted that, short of dragging your easel to the pub, there was no outlet for people to practice painting while indulging in their favorite beverage. She began Vino & Van Gogh as a laid-back art lesson for the benefit of a few friends—as they chatted and drank wine, she led them through brushstroke after brushstroke. The spirit of those first sessions exists today, and her business hosts BYOB classes for up to 30 aspiring artists at a time. Though Campbell has added several professional instructors to her staff, she preserves the low-key, social ambiance of her first session, helping students to showcase their creativity with intuitive teaching methods.
At each painting class, attendees focus on reproducing the same picture, which changes from session to session. Subjects in the past have ranged from colorful trees and blooming flowers to oyster shells holding a pearl. Each budding artist infuses it with their own personal style as they follow along with their instructor. The studio also offers classes on different art disciplines, including collage and pottery. The instructors' step-by-step process accommodates all skill levels—most pupils are first-time painters—and camps for kids encourage youngsters to construct crafts based on a certain theme, such as sea creatures or bracelets that aren't just dad's neckties rolled into a loop.
Just across Swan Lake from the Furman University campus lie the 18 holes of the school's golf club, hallowed training grounds that have produced graduates-cum-pro golfers Dottie Pepper and Brad Faxon. The par 72 layout underwent a major renovation in 2008, showcasing an updated version of the same fairways and greens walked by those famous alumni. Players tee off from one of five sets of tees—the tips are painted the school's trademark purple—in their pursuit of true-rolling greens, composed of a hybrid Bermuda grass called Champion.
As a college course, it's only fitting that players can also look to the club for help brushing up on their skills. The onsite driving range presents better opportunities for solo study than putting among the deep recesses of the library stacks, while a cadre of PGA professionals offer their expertise when players need a nudge in the right direction.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Total length of 6,994 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 73.4 from the back tees * Course slope of 127 from the back tees * Five sets of tees per hole * Scorecard
Five bowling pins wait at the end of each of Allen Arms Indoor Range's shooting lanes. At the signal, competitors fire, and the first to strike all five claims victory. Such is a common scene at the range, where friendly competitions foster a communal environment. Depending on the day, it might be a low-lighting match, a bowling-pin match, or a bulls-eye match, which uses traditional paper targets. Of course, neophytes can't start competing right away. To that end, Allen Arms' certified instructors teach classes such as Intro to Action Handgun Competition. They also train in non-competitive areas, including handgun maintenance and defensive shotgun shooting.