Carmel Mountain Ranch Country Club fuels club-wielding adventures with a secluded 18-hole championship course backdropped by sweeping mountain and valley views. Natural running streams and boulder formations wind along the 6,400 yards of conditioned fairways and varied terrain, allowing golfers to connect with nature while circumnavigating man-made pot bunkers and ninth-hole sphinx riddles. From an aerial perspective, the course layout resembles a figure-8 devoid of parallel holes, enhancing privacy midround. During 60-minute group-lesson clinics, a golf professional will lead you and up to nine other range-stationed players through proper techniques for putting, driving, chipping, and communicating with forecaddies via semaphore.
Play It Again Sports overhauls lockers with high-quality gear and rescues gently used athletic equipment from untimely retirement. Products from brands such as Nike, Adidas, and Wilson make up an all-star lineup across each store's shelves, which are replenished daily with goods for a wide selection of sports that ranges from baseball and football to snowboarding and lacrosse. Treadmills and exercise bikes equip bodies with muscular suits of armor, and pintsize and adolescent equipment arms youngsters with protective padding until they eat enough bologna to grow muscles of their own. To ensure its stock remains robust, Play It Again Sports encourages athletes to collect their lightly used gear—including bicycles—and bring it into a local store to either sell or trade.
A plethora of water hazards designed by course architect Walter Denzer challenges golfers as they swing through Stone Gate Golf Course's 18 holes. Denzer crafted the front nine to form a regulation par 36 course, and made the back nine into an executive par 3 course. Across both nines, he peppered a glut of ponds to test players’ aptitude at launching dimpled orbs safely over the rippling water. Denzer outfitted hole three's fairway with a trio of sand traps and mammoth Venus flytraps, and designed holes two and eight as par 5s to up the challenge. The back nine is equipped with lights so games can continue until midnight on warm nights.
Lights also illuminate the driving range, where golfers hone their form at 22 hitting stations. The practice area’s new target greens challenge short and long irons or ball-launching crossbows. For additional game improvement, swingers of all levels can join golf professional Jimmy Saenz—NPGIA’s 2011 Teacher of the Year, a featured guest on KFYO 790 AM, and an instructor with more than 16 years of teaching experience—for personalized lessons. To prepare for their day on the course, guests can drop into the recently renovated clubhouse to consult a club fitter or order equipment from Titleist and Pinnacle. And, after swinging in the sun, players can unwind by sipping a beer at the Stone Gate Grill.
Chaparral Ridge Golf Center's nine-hole golf course takes clubbers careening across an emerald landscape of fairways carved into the Texas countryside. When looped twice over, the course becomes a par 72 that measures 6,940 yards and rattles irons with nearly constant déjà vu. Rounds begin at the par 5, 525-yard first hole, where long hitters must measure their desire to reach the green in two against the risk of pushing or pulling the ball into a vast waterway that runs along the right side. Similar strategic decisions await at the par 3 ninth hole, where a bashful green hides behind a bunker, beside a small pond, and underneath a lifetime of trust issues. A somewhat lengthy layout when played from the tips, the course welcomes duffers of all abilities with four tee options.
With an array of equipment and apparel, Golf Headquarters of Amarillo outfits men, women, and wee ones for the triumphant launching of projectile orbs. Increase confidence for tee offs on the green with a set of clubs from top brands, including Callaway, Titleist, and Taylor Made. A dozen Nike golf balls ($15.99–$44.99) can be sent sailing with a driver ($99.99+) or a wedge ($29.99+), and children who have outgrown the mini-golf course can try their hand at mature club twirling with a lightweight junior club by US Kids ($24.99–$39.99). Protect hands from feisty blades of grass or demanding, mid-tournament crossword puzzles with a pair of golf gloves ($9.99+), and keep feet suited up with Adidas Golflite men’s shoes ($59.99). The RJ Sports junior stand bag weighs only 3.2 pounds and boasts a dual-strap carry system, providing a comfortable way to haul clubs and emotional baggage from a runaway golf cart ($39.99).
The Falls Yoga and Barre Studio boasts indoor, outdoor, and underwater facilities to enhance standard workout routines. Atop a fully equipped gym room floor, treadmills, elliptical machines, and arc trainers with television screens help gym goers burn calories during cardio sessions. Meanwhile, resistance machinery and free weights help build enough muscle to finally reach the treasure trapped inside the pickle jar. The Falls also corrals exercisers in more than 50 group fitness classes a week. A 3,600-square-foot group fitness room offers a spacious place to work out atop spring-loaded wood floors, and an outdoor heated swimming pool and outdoor walking track lie nestled in a landscaped stretch of terra firma. New renovations include a new spin studio, new yoga and barre studio, and an expanded child care facility. After any workout, The Falls' shower facilities, complimentary toiletries, and free towels vanquish lingering sweat.