A cannon sits on the top of a grassy mound, greeting golfers as they pass through the fairway. Though it has long been dormant, the cannon seems primed for ambush, nestled under the cover of live oak trees. The artillery is just one way The Links at Stono Ferry's golf course showcases its storied history; the acclaimed, 18-hole course once served as the riverside setting for the Battle of Stono Ferry during the Revolutionary War, an outpost for Confederate artillery during the Civil War, and a modern-day battleground for war-mongering sprinklers.
Running along a track of ancient oak trees and intracoastal waters, the course challenges golfers with a 6,814-yard layout designed by Ron Garl. The front nine meanders through Lowcountry pines and sprawling wasteland, while the back nine lets lonely golf carts hug the coast as they progress towards slick, Bermuda grass putting greens. The par-three 18th hole brings rounds to a dramatic conclusion, as golfers must fight through a sea of Redcoats in order land tee shots on a true island green.
Named after the military fortifications that once protected the Carolina coast's precious stores of 9-volts, the Charleston Battery attempts to bring Europe's practiced and precise brand of soccer across the Atlantic, their cleats sharpened by regular exhibitions with teams from the English Premier League. The team has snagged four USL-Pro league titles, performing amid a human mosaic of yellow and black at Blackbaud Stadium, which channels the vibes of British football stadiums with clear sight lines and an English pub, The Three Lions.
Trees draped in spanish moss catch the wind along the edges of the fairways at Shadowmoss Plantation Golf Club, where designer Russell Breeden sculpted a 6,701-yard course into the verdant grounds of a former plantation. Throughout the par-72 layout, ponds and streams ripple on the borders of nearly every hole, often forcing golfers to choose from taking a conservative line, challenging the hazard with a big swing, or releasing their golf ball to a family of catfish. Breeden's artful use of waterways is most noticeable at the par-5 eighth hole, where a stream splits to cut across the center of the fairway and wraps two watery prongs around both sides of the hole to add pressure as golfers contemplate their approach to the green. Bermuda-grass fairways and greens await golf balls that steer clear of the course's water hazards and the various sand traps occasionally populated by disoriented sunbathers.
Before taking to the first tee, clubbers can warm up their swings and rehearse their putter-twirling routine at a practice complex that includes a driving range and a putting green. To keep golfers fresh during rounds, the club offers on-course beverage service and a full-service snack bar and lounge.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par-72 course * Length of 6,701 yards from the farthest tees * Course rating of 72.3 from the farthest tees * Slope rating of 131 from the farthest tees * Five tee options * Scorecard
The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studios, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the Charleston. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or cha-cha. For dancers hoping to hoof it up in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur firewalking.
As a Class A affiliate of the New York Yankees, the Charleston RiverDogs aim to enchant fans with shapely curveballs and winning line drives. The club takes the field at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park, where fans can take in views of the Ashley River as they watch the next crop of MLB stars sprout from the nutrient-rich soil stored within their cleats. Between innings, fans can snack on the Riley Park's concession stands' pickle dogs, brat cheesesteaks, and old-fashioned boiled peanuts—just some of the delicacies that have lured ballpark-cuisine fans from the Travel Channel to The Joe.
Masters Studios trains students to defend themselves using the traditional styles of Shaolin Kempo karate, kung fu, jujitsu, and tai chi. After an introductory lesson, instructors pace students according to their skills in programs designed to heighten mental focus, improve strength and technique, develop responsive strategies, and build a healthy lifestyle. In addition to standard classes, the studio runs summer camps and maintains a list of its black belt team.