Draped over the tree-spotted hillocks of the Michigan countryside, Meridian Sun Golf Club's 6,090-yard course welcomes golfers to hit through its rolling fairways and enjoy its natural splendor. The course eases players into the round with a wide-open, straightaway front nine before challenging swings and waggling sand wedges with a shorter back nine populated by multiple water-lined holes. Risk-reward shot opportunities await throughout the round, including the tee shot on the par-3 13th, where balls must clear 100 to 190 yards of water on their way to the green. Club owner and PGA professional Bill Mory—whose golf career spans multiple decades and includes playing in the PGA Tour's Buick Open, where players ride in 1950s Buick Skylarks in place of golf carts—presides over the grounds, conducting lessons at practice facilities that include a 4,000-square-foot practice green and a driving range with 15 hitting stalls. After rounds, golfers can bask in the sunset at the patio of Khakis Restaurant, the club's onsite grill.
Course at a Glance:
Founders Jenny McCuiston, a high-school state swimming champ and Olympic-trial qualifier, and Chris McCuiston, a past MSU baseball captain and draft pick for the Detroit Tigers, know firsthand the positive effect learning a sport can have on a child's confidence and courage. When they realized what a high demand there was for quality swim lessons in the region they dedicated themselves to researching the industry and developing their trademark curriculum, and in 2006 the first Goldfish Swim School threw open its doors. Today, Red Cross–trained swim instructors at seven locations help little ones as young as 4 months get acquainted with the art of swimming with private swim lessons and classes of no more than four students. Youngsters splash and kick through their indoor pool kept toasty warm at 90 degrees while parents make encouraging fishy faces and pet fish make reproachful parenty faces from the glass-enclosed viewing area. Goldfish Swim School also hosts birthday celebrations and special events complete with colorful balloons and batches of cupcakes. Beach-themed decor splashes across each swim facility, creating a fun, laid-back environment that abounds with vibrant colors and animal accents. The Treasure Island pro shop boasts a range of aquatic accessories, and the snack shack doles out healthy treats and fresh-baked cookies.
Player's Choice Golf couples a deep inventory of golf clubs, accessories, and apparel with training opportunities such as lessons and ball flight monitoring. Players in the market for a new driver can peruse the lineup of shiny new sticks from major names such as Titleist, TaylorMade, and Nike. A center representative assists with the fitting, making the process far more reliable than just buying any old club and casting a spell on it. And to ensure that the club matches height and swing style, players are encouraged to test drive their selection with the FlightScope X2 technology, which takes key measurements such as ball speed, spin, and flight angle.
At Shinn’s Tae Kwon Do, Master D.S. Shinn—who is a 7th-degree black belt and has been teaching for 19 years—and his assistant instructors lead adults and children in martial-arts classes. The instructors offer a combination of tae kwon do and hap ki do, teaching self-defense techniques that also bolster physical fitness. The experienced and credentialed instructors also offer family classes where parents and their children can practice together.
Tucked away in the shadows of pines and hardwoods that were planted in the late 1940s, Timber Ridge Golf Club's 6,585-yard course roams through dense tree lines, rolling hills, and native marshland to form a scenic, challenging layout. The Club's new golf carts come equipped with internal GPS systems, which tell players the distance they must hit the ball to clear water hazards, the yardage at which a dog-leg fairway begins to curve around the trees, and the whereabouts of every squirrel that has a golf-ball burglary on its record. The 18th hole brings rounds to a dramatic end, as golfers must dial in their approach shot to a green guarded by water on the left side and bunkers to the right.
Golfers can improve their skills with lessons from Class A instructor Greg Beavers, who became the club's head golf pro after a stint at Walt Disney World Golf. In addition, players can fine-tune their swings at the grass-tee driving range or master short-game strokes at the chipping and putting greens. After rounds, burgers, sandwiches, salads, and cold drinks from a full-service bar await at Rubey's Grill.
Course at a Glance:
Professional dancer Tiffany Russell's early career saw her gliding across some of the world's most prestigious stages, winning applause with her nimble footwork in productions of My Fair Lady, Guys and Dolls, and The Wizard of Oz. When Tiffany and her family settled in Lansing, she had trouble finding a dance studio with the scheduling flexibility she needed as a parent and the challenge she craved as an artist who trained with the Russian Ballet Academy and the Broadway Dance Center.
She subsequently founded Spartan Fit Center in 2010, where adults with hectic work schedules can shimmy in anytime for drop-in ballroom classes, and kids can find plenty of opportunity to study pirouettes and greco-roman swan wrestling in after-school ballet classes. The center's esteemed chorus line of dance teachers is well-versed in a multitude of performance styles, enabling wide-ranging instruction in dance varieties that include hip-hop, contemporary, and lyrical.
A five-time American Taekwondo Association World Champion, senior master Von Schmeling, began Victory Martial Arts to teach pupils confidence and leadership skills while imparting martial-arts techniques. Classes capped at 30 students, with at most 10 students per instructor, cover disciplines such as general martial arts, krav maga, and self-defense for thwarting assailants and heavily armed spiders. Budding martial artists hone their craft alongside loved ones in family sessions or practice maneuvers in age-specific sequences for kids, teens, or adults.