Sculpted through the water-kissed terrain of the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area, The Island Country Club challenges golfers with a lengthy course that measures 7,010 yards from the farthest tees. Water hazards await on nearly every hole throughout the course, giving advantage to golfers with confident swings and disciplined refusal to give golf-ball treats to the aviary creatures that occupy The Island’s wooden duck houses. The course’s most difficult hole, the 441-yard, par 4 11th offers a PGA Tour-worthy test from the tee, as drives must steer clear of a water hazard that hugs the entire right side of the hole while also shaping the shot to compensate for the fairway’s right-ward bend. In respect of the wildlife that shares the course grounds, The Island uses solar panels to power its clubhouse, golf carts, and herds of robotic caddies hired to graze in the native long grasses.
To prepare for upcoming rounds, golfers can enlist the services of PGA master professional Dave Baron, the club’s head golf pro. After a long day of launching drives and managing 9-irons' tender egos, golfers can unwind at The Island Grill, where executive chef Mark Maggio artfully blends elements of Italian and Louisiana cuisine.
Course at a Glance:
At Fleur de Leaf, encouraging belly-dance gurus demystify the ancient shimmying impulse during lighthearted two-hour workshops. Scheduled sessions corral 10¬–15 pupils for a soiree in which they learn to undulate with more grace than a gummy worm riding a slinky. Colorful tapestries and drums suspended on the studio’s walls set the mood as the kindly instructor demonstrates proper posture and hip-oscillation maneuvers. Shakers enthralled with their taste of belly dancing can join one of the studio’s regular classes (not included with this deal) to master the craft of lulling a nearby camel to sleep with hypnotizing shimmies.
Pole Play Diva Fitness Studio's flirty fitness classes blend sassy entertainment with a calorie-burning workout, bolstering women's self-esteem and diminishing their waistlines. During sessions with five students, experienced instructors provide encouragement while guiding dancers of all skill levels through the variety of fitness classes and pole-dancing lessons. From Pole Fit, which focuses on rudimentary technique, to Pole Pleasure 102, an advanced class that teaches tricky dance moves, bodies of all shapes and sizes spin, twist, and shimmy on the practice poles. Each lesson has a suggested wardrobe, and pole pupils should wear shorts with a fair amount of exposed skin to help them to grip and acclimate poles to human contact.
Founder Kerry Jenkins infuses 225 Dance with her passion for moving arts that she developed through her 17-year dancing career and a childhood love of dance. To boost cardio fitness, guests can shake hips through Latin-inspired Zumba classes that whip bodies into shape with heart-pumping dance steps. Born and raised in Baton Rouge, Kerry works to pass on her family’s tradition of Cajun dancing with classes on Cajun waltz, two-step, and shuffle and hosts an energetic dance party and dinner on Saturday night.
Whether they're striving to unwind after a stressful day or working toward confronting a bully, all students at The Chi Institute of Martial Arts are taught the importance of self-actualization from the start. Founded by Grandmaster Kwan Jang Nim R.S. Chontas—who began his martial-arts training in 1976—classes urge students of all ages and experience levels to work to their full potential, whether that's shooting for a black belt or learning tactics for defending themselves against sexual predators. The school also offers restorative hatha yoga, wherein practitioners can work to better their minds and bodies while releasing stress and tension.
A center of tae kwon do instruction since 1992, David Vincent's Martial Arts & Fitness instills discipline and physical mastery in martial-arts students of all ages. After signing up for their one-month membership, students will be given a karate belt and roundhouse-kick license. Programs run the gamut from the Little Dragons (4–6 years old), Children (7–10 years), Teens (11–16 years), and adults (17+ years), ensuring instruction appropriate to every age level. Youngsters can sharpen their technique at various class times scheduled throughout the week. At the end of the one-month membership, students who wish to continue their training or explore how other colored belts complement their eyes can apply the price of their Groupon toward a full membership.