The 18-hole course at Winter Pines Golf Club was first drawn up in 1968, and continues to surround golfers in a Technicolor terrarium marked by brightly flowered landscapes and deep emerald turf as it celebrates its 45th birthday. The front nine presents a traditional, par 36 layout that stretches to 3,026 yards, complete with two par 5s just upwards of 470 yards apiece but still well southwards of the 100,000-yard distance at which holes can apply for statehood. Golfers having trouble with the par 5s will find a respite on a par 31 back nine stocked with five par 3s—including four in a row from holes 14 through 17. Those hoping that these indicate can-of-corn iron shots and no-hands aces will come to a rude awakening, however, when they find themselves staring down tee shots of more than 210 yards on holes 12, 15, and 17.
At TITLE Boxing Club, professional boxers, kickboxers, and mixed martial artists may lead the classes, but their goal is fitness, not fighting. They push patrons to strengthen their bodies from head to toe during one-hour sessions, instructing them to pummel 100-lb. heavy bags with jabs, hooks, and roundhouse kicks. Making classes accessible to those of all fitness levels, they encourage members to hit the bags as hard or soft as they like and to move at their own pace. The trainers also lead one-on-one training sessions, leading custom routines of weight lifting, cardio, and sparring, showing them how to float like a butterfly and sting like a venomous butterfly. Further motivating patrons toward healthy lifestyles, they develop custom diet plans and exercise routines to help them meet fitness goals.
While most people’s biggest water-related fear might be sharks, Phil Pektas's was children. Not the kids themselves, of course, but the prospect of teaching them. This terror first surfaced when he was tapped to fill in for the Pre-K instructor at the swim school where he taught. Fortunately, he conquered that fear during the very first lesson and 20 years later is still introducing young people to the necessary skills for ensuring safe, aquatic fun. Pektas and his staff of American Red Cross–, CPR-, and First-Aid- certified instructors use activities, toys, and analogies to improve performance in the pool. With games such as Bird Catcher, kids will learn how to control their breathing and hunt for sub-aquatic fowl indigenous to chlorinated pools.
UFC Gym's staff features a team of professional fighters who come from backgrounds as boxers, mix martial artists, professional Muy Thai fighters, and Bruce Banners.The proprietary style of the UFC Gym workout is a mixture of genuine fight training, engaging fitness, and stronger-than-Earth gravity. Quasi-boxers and martial artists can burn from 800 to more than 1,000 calories during these total-body routines, which combine external inspiration and jukes, jabs, and kicks. The instructors demonstrate as students practice techniques on 150-pound punching bags. The facility includes a regulation-sized boxing ring, quarter octagon, full weight room, cardio equipment, and showers for both men and women. Session sizes are kept to a minimum, ensuring personal attention and manageable battle-royale numbers.
Grandmaster Y.K. Kim’s whirlwind life has taken him from Korea to the United States while wearing many hats including author, public speaker, philosopher, entrepreneur, and founder of Martial Arts World. The latter has grown into a family tree of locations spanning four states. At each location, dedicated instructors guide kids and adults through martial-arts classes that aim to instill a sense of confidence, self-discipline, and respect in each and every student. Classes serve as sweat-inducing workouts and an outlet to learn self-defense techniques, which come in handy when you dream your blanket has attacked.
In New Dimensions Dance Academy's 4,800-square-foot studio, instructors exude enthusiasm and excitement while teaching kids the art of dance. The art provides various means of expression, so they teach myriad dance classes, including ballet, hip-hop, and tap. Aside from giving young dancers the tools to express themselves, they also make discipline a focus of each program in order to teach kids the value of hard work and achievement.
In 1917, toward the end of WWI, the greens of Winter Park Country Club’s golf course echoed with baaing and bleating. In response to the wartime meat shortage, golfer cleats had given way to hooves: the course’s links, designed by John Dunn of Scotland just 17 years earlier, became grazing pastures for sheep and goats.
This was just one of many course reinventions during its more than 100 years of history, which has seen Winter Park’s fairways expand from 9 to 27 and shrink back to 9 again. Perhaps the course's greatest claim to fame has been the legendary figures who have graced its narrow, tree-hampered fairways, including players with surnames such as Hogan, Snead, and Sarazen.
Players of all stripes, from greenhorns to green-jacket holders, must deal with difficult design and terrain, as showcased on the course’s signature fourth hole, whose dogleg left and tight out-of-bounds areas lead a troubling path to a green situated behind two large bunkers and a massive oak tree. The biggest challenge, however, may reside on the par 3 seventh hole, whose deceptively simple 165-yard length leads into a hard-to-read green with a shape-shifting flagstick.
Course at a Glance: