Bonnie View Golf Course’s first tee box—outfitted with natural stone seating and a vibrant spread of roses and perennials—serves as a fitting gate to a nine-hole course. The scenic, player-friendly course encompasses three waterfalls and a pond, which often draw visits from whitetail deer, wild turkeys, and sandhill cranes looking for work as forecaddies. Though many of the course’s scenic features stem from recent renovations, it still maintains the same arboreal diversity—the layout boasts more than 100 varieties of trees—common to its early days in the 1940’s. As beautiful as it is bountiful in its resources, the grounds also encompass a patio-flanked club house, where golfers can unwind with a celebratory beer, glass of wine, or soft drink.
High cholesterol and high blood pressure—the doctor who gave trainer Emeka Umeh this diagnosis unknowingly lit a fire beneath a patient already tired of his XXL-sized wardrobe. Emeka worked to overcome the unhealthy habits that had fallen into, completing hardcore workouts that eventually slimmed him down to a mere 10.3% body fat. With compassion for those in similar plights, Emeka now guides patrons of all fitness levels through intensive workouts designed to boost their metabolism and tone their musculature at Fit Body Boot Camp. Each session combines both cardio and strength training, drawing together innovative suspension training and battling ropes with primal strength-training techniques that hark back to when early humans first drove their Camaros out of the primordial soup. Over the course of camp, many patrons see slimmer physiques and beefed-up brawn emerge. In addition to leading boot campers, Emeka also offers personal-training services, conducts body assessments to chart his clients' progress, and outlines nutritional plans, pushing his patrons to live healthier lifestyles.
Soccer Zone South Bend’s dedicated team of coaches display their passion for the great sport of soccer through classes designed to hone the technique of young strikers from ages 3–10. The newly formatted Tiny Tots course imparts knee-high kickers with the spatial awareness to kick around a soccer ball and hone the teamwork skills necessary for sneaking into the World Cup with four friends and an oversize trench coat. As kids play, learn, and make new friends on the pitch, Soccer Zone South Bend’s instructors guide their development through dedicated teaching and positive reinforcement.
As Tri State Self Defense's chief instructor, Joseph Merignac draws upon more than 6 years in the United States Marine Corps and more than 11 years in law enforcement, which included a stint as chief of police. His team of NRA-certified instructors all share similar law-enforcement and military backgrounds. In basic pistol classes the crew teaches students the rules of the range, gun-handling fundamentals, and how to shoot from various positions such as atop an asteroid. Instructors build upon pupils' basic pistol knowledge at NRA Personal Protection in the Home courses by demonstrating defensive shooting skills that the students then practice on the range. Along with their teaching sites in Michigan and several nearby states, the Tri State Self Defense team takes classes on the road for groups of 25 or more.
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 dance and 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.
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: