A community staple for more than 70 years, Ann Arbor Country Club's 18-hole course roams undulating, tree-speckled terrain for a 6,420-yard, par 72 course. Rolling fairways give way to small greens, making it critical for golfers to approach the putting surface from advantageous angles. Mature trees and streams loom throughout the course, eager to ensnare errant balls or runaway golf carts.
Though dogs tend to lovingly follow their owners' lead, that's not where the name Me & My Shadow came from. The owners had a dog named Shadow, an american eskimo that began suffering from health problems, including blindness, at an early age. When Shadow became too skittish to take walks around the neighborhood, his owners decided to put a pool in the backyard. Shadow was delighted to swim in it, and for years afterward, it seemed he was happiest during the summer swimming season.
This inspired Me & My Shadow, an indoor pool and recreation center where dogs can exercise and learn to socialize throughout the year. By-appointment swimming sessions are kept private to ensure dogs and owners—who can take a dip, too—feel comfortable. Pet parents can also sign their dogs up for training sessions, which are led by Judy Hales, an experienced trainer who takes a gentle, positive approach to instruction, as opposed to just rolling her eyes at dogs that can't complete their given task.
Children as young as 4 months take to the pool at Goldfish Swim School, which grew from an idea by Founder Jenny McCuiston??who has qualified for two Olympic Swimming Trials herself??to meet the demand for quality swim lessons in the area. Having traveled the country and studying the structure of many renowned swim schools, she developed a proprietary curriculum, which she and her Red Cross?certified instructors have taught to more than 500 students. The tropical decor also creates a fun setting for birthday parties, which include amenities such as private attendants and cupcakes.
For more than 30 years, ZZ Underwater World has initiated swimmers into the world of scuba diving. Their year-round classes have taught people to safely plumb the depths of the Earth's largest seas, and their instructors are both SSI- and PADI–certified, rendering them able to certify their students and lead them on any level of dive from snorkeling to deep scuba. ZZ Underwater World's onsite shop sells snorkels and flippers among other gear from a wide range of brands, useful for people who thought Waterworld was a prophecy and are stocking up. The staff also hosts scuba vacations, taking troupes of divers to explore the wrecks of the Great Lakes or world-class destinations such as Belize or Fiji.
To the trained staff at Wakeboard Clinic, every watery medium is worth a ride. These acrobatic instructors wakeboard, wakesurf, wakeskate, and waterski across the warm, shallow waters of Silver Lake in summer, and they skim the snow once the temperature drops. With an indefatigable passion for riding, the expert crew imparts their athletic know-how to pupils during clinics at the private Silver Spray Sports Marina on Silver Lake and at Boyne Mountain Resort during overnight camp stints. At these scenic locales, students young and old master wakesurfing basics before graduating to more advanced maneuvers such as jumps, grabs, and spins.
Aquatic Adventures of Michigan is the joint venture of independent dive instructors Kim D. Parker and Tom Rhoad, who, after years of working with other dive shops, yearned for a place where they could stretch their fins, teach scuba their own way, and bellow sea shanties as loudly as they liked. Today, their PADI Five Star IDC facility is fast approaching its 10-year anniversary, and has grown beyond basic PADI training programs to incorporate everything from underwater digital photography to lessons in deep diving, wreck diving, and night diving. The shop's instructors are fully certified in first aid and emergency oxygen use, and provide factory-authorized service to big-name companies such as Poseidon, Genesis Scuba, and Dive Rite.
On top of offering certified instruction in everything from open-water diving to sea-serpent domestication, the crew supplies fellow divers with quality scuba, snorkeling, and swimming equipment. They also plan exotic expeditions to the Caribbean and tropical Pacific for warm-water dives, and divers looking to stick closer to home can inquire about day trips or weekend getaways to locales such as the Great Lakes or Whitefish Point.