The 36 holes of Orangebrook Golf & Country Club nestle amid verdant fairways and palm trees, patiently waiting for the clink of a golf ball. Before they hit the green, duffers can stock up on balls and other golf-related necessities at the pro shop and fuel up afterward at Nikki’s On The Green with omelets, pastas, sandwiches, and salads. The lighted driving range, open until 10 p.m., lets putters enjoy a moonlight round without the hassle of constantly relighting the candles affixed to their wedges. Throughout the daytime hours, Orangebrook director of golf and PGA--certified instructor Bob Mallek doles out expert tips on form and swing. Orangebrook also hosts the Women's International 4-Ball golf tournament, the longest-running women's amateur event in the United States.
The founder of Start to Finish Golf, PGA-certified instructor Lucas Cohen, helps golfers improve their swings with a simple, effective teaching philosophy. Cohen’s Start to Finish Concept focuses on establishing the proper grip, posture, alignment, and ball position. The curriculum also stresses finishing the swing on balance and holding the postswing pose—back heel off the ground, club wrapped around the opposite shoulder, hips facing the target, and eyes toward the judges after sticking the landing—well after contact. Cohen and his team of instructors have honed their practice with more than 25 years experience and 30,000 lessons taught.
The Start to Finish concept’s underlying philosophy is that golfers who begin and end their swing with sound, consistent form are likely to excel when making contact with the ball in the middle of the swing. Cohen has proven that his methods work, as he has twice been published in PGA Magazine and boasts a record of success as a player, a coach, and a sand-wedge sorcerer.
Tee off at one of two nine-hole golf courses maintained by the Miami-Dade County Park & Recreation Department. Whether chipping onto the green at Greynolds or dodging water hazards and hazardous water monsters at Briar Bay, golfers of all experience levels can play quick, challenging rounds. Briar Bay Golf Course sprawls in all directions across 30 acres of lush greenery polka-dotted with trees and bunkers. Each year, this par 31 executive golf course serves as home for more than 40,000 rounds of golf and several hundred nighttime games of bio-sonar badminton. Greynolds Park similarly tests golfers with a par 36 course that stretches 3,100 yards from the longest tees. After matches at Greynolds, players can retire to a spacious clubhouse to tabulate scores and settle any draws with a round of rock-paper-scissors.
Shula’s Athletic Club—named for Don Shula, the NFL Hall of Famer who coached the Miami Dolphins to a Super Bowl trophy in 1972—doesn’t find it hard to fill its sprawling 40,000 square feet of space. A cardio room with more than 50 pieces of equipment, a spinning center, weight rooms, fitness-class studios, and basketball courts spread through the facility, luring athletes for independent workouts and personal-training sessions. Dozens of weekly fitness classes range from calorie-burning Zumba workouts and Vinyasa-yoga sessions to spin classes that help students practice for the day they have pedal-powered cars.
The athletic club also accommodates older exercisers with aquatic aerobics and seated Silver Sneakers workouts, and it keeps kids busy with confidence-building youth sports programs. Young legs run over a new 60-yard athletic field or nine lighted tennis courts where kids whack tennis balls and low-flying hot-air balloons with rackets.
Voted Golf Course of the Year by the Charleston Golf Course Owners Association in 2009, Dunes West Golf Club's scenic par 72 teems with 200-year-old oaks and bermuda-covered dunes in a diamond-shaped layout designed by Arthur Hills. Frank Moore, a PGA member with more than 20 years of teaching experience, uses close observation and video analysis in one-hour lessons to give each attendee a more confident swing and a more intimate understanding of life from a sand trap's perspective. In addition to 10 sessions of swing instruction, golf students can enjoy four rounds on the 6,871-yard course, stopping occasionally to admire the Dunes West clubhouse's classic southern architecture.
Staffed by experienced golfing professionals and computers who’ve sworn allegiance to the three laws of golfing robotics, GolfTEC’s motion sensors and high-speed cameras monitor swings and break down each individual’s form on a high-definition video display. Sensors chirp with approval whenever they detect the perfect stroke or an especially witty golfing joke. GolfTEC’s certified personal coaches will point out flaws and strengths while providing golfers with tips on how to permanently improve their game from tee to green.