A round of miniature golf on Ace’s tropical-themed course, complete with waterfalls, streams, ponds, and lush Floridian vegetation, fills afternoons with fairway fun for friends and family (children ages four to 10 are admitted for $4.99, and kids under four get free admission). PGA pros and sand-trap stragglers will enjoy the upscale practice range, with covered swinging areas to protect golfers from weather, as well as stadium lighting for nighttime play and elaborate Field of Dreams fantasies. For harder hitting, baseball batters and softball sluggers step into batting cages, where professional pitching machines can vary speeds from lightning-bolt throws to lackadaisical lobs.
In golf, it's important to choose the right club for each shot. It's equally important to choose the right educational approach for each student. Coach Marc intuitively understands this, which is why he helps golfers improve their swings with everything from one-on-one instruction to group clinics and on-course playing lessons.
Over the years, Marc has shared his wisdom with more than 1,000 students. Take a look at his playing résumé, and you'll see that he's uniquely qualified to do so. At age 16, when most kids are busy goofing off, he set a course record at the challenging Chi Chi Rodriguez Golf Course in Palm Harbor. He's also a two-time PGA Tour qualifier with three holes-in-one to his name. Today, Marc stays sharp by schooling new golfers at locations across Florida. To help him analyze what even his keen eye can't catch, he uses modern technology such as video analysis and balls that explode when you don't hit them correctly.
At Gracie Tampa, instructors mainly emphasize clients’ safety, working to ensure that students can execute technically-sound chokeholds without actually inflicting harm. As far as disciplines are concerned, the MMA studio focuses on Muay Thai kickboxing and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, with a flexible curriculum that can accommodate competitive fighters and fitness buffs alike. The trainings take place in a state-of-the-art facility, complete with a full-size ring, heavy bags and speed bags, and a fight cage ideal for holding your opponent captive and avoiding a match altogether. Available in group class and open mat formats, these trainings are designed to build functional muscle as well as intangibles, such as discipline and perseverance.
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.
The golfing gurus at Edwin Watts Golf Academy diagnose and correct their students' poor swing and putting habits in an effort to help them improve their shots and lower their scores. In one-on-one swing-analysis sessions, students learn a repeatable swing that eliminates tendencies they may have to slice, hook, push, or pull the ball. A special laser attaches to the end of the player's club and tracks the swing path while JC Video swing-analysis software records the session from two separate angles, lest analysis be thrown off by only looking at the golfer's good side. Putting analysis employs Tomi technology to measure eight separate parameters of the putting stroke, from clubhead orientation at address to swing path and tempo. After swing and putting lessons, students may access the recordings on a password-protected website, so they can forward videos to friends or sports-documentary filmmakers.
With a successful career as a golfer and a coach that earned him a 2011 induction into the U.S. Golf Teachers Hall of Fame, Mike Stevens draws from a lifetime of experience to foster golf-game improvement in his clients. Mike’s custom, six-week golf training program—the flagship curriculum for his On Target Golf Schools—uses a biomechanics-based understanding of the golf swing to help students hit the ball farther and straighter without having to sell their soul for a corked 3-wood. Mike enhances lessons with the competitive insight gleaned from his continued success in tournaments, including a 2011 victory at the Copperhead Cup in Tarpon Springs. In addition to his six-week course, Mike offers clinics designed for kids and one-on-one lessons for those who want more private counseling.