The 18 holes at Frank House Municipal Golf Course embroil golfers in a test of skills and mental toughness as they guide orbs over a lush, emerald carpet. After completing the relatively straight front nine, players must adjust aim for shots on the back nine, where all but three of the holes make severe dogleg turns. One of these doglegs, the 18th, forces players to lay up short of a lake, and then approach over its width or try to freeze it over with an icy glare.
Course at a Glance:
A PGA-certified golf guru, Lee Harper draws from more than a half-century of experience and a career as a collegiate and professional golfer to help clients bolster swing confidence and on-course performance. Groupon holders can also opt to learn under the tutelage of Charles Miller, a seasoned PGA pro. The patient pedagogues resuscitate ailing swings with particular expertise on developing a sound short game and putting stroke—skill-sets that have led them each to victories in golf championships and intra-neighborhood window-smashing competitions. The private one-hour lessons are tailored to suit the needs of pupils, allowing them to pinpoint the source of recent pitching-wedge travesties or to discuss course-management dilemmas, such as when to go for the green, when to lay-up, and how to placate territorial flagsticks. Sessions are conducted at the practice range of the Frank House Municipal Golf Course.
A trio of nine-hole golf courses come together to form Bent Brook Golf Club, which also incorporates a distinctive farmhouse-style clubhouse. While the Brook, Graveyard, and Windmill courses are each unique in their own rights, a few common themes emerge. The first is water, and a lot of it: on the Graveyard course, for example, five large lakes crowd holes number 4 through 7 and demand challenging, hazard-carrying tee shots and approaches. Other features include the meticulously kept bent grass greens, Tiff 419 Bermuda fairways, and tee boxes with four sets of tees, all of which combine to render enjoyable rounds for every level of golfer. After a round, groups can gather around a table at the the Bent Brook Restaurant to rehash their day on the course over selections from the deli-style menu.
At Bike Link of Hoover, general manager Joe Wenning and his cycling-inclined staff outfit riders with new bicycles and tune up bikes of all brands. Visitors peruse rides from Specialized, Electra, Felt, Raleigh, Cervelo and Redline, all available for onsite test rides and fittings. In the repair shop, technicians optimize bikes with everything from minor break adjustments to complete details and tune-ups, and can even be called upon to clean and wax bikes too shy to bathe outdoors.
Established in 1954 and having garnered the Birmingham magazine 2010 award for Best Dance Classes, Dale Serrano Dance Inc. and its troupe of talented instructors lead children of all skill levels, aged 2–18, in classes ranging from jazz and ballet to hip-hop, tap, and cheer. Budding ballerinas gracefully plié and gallivant about the class, and musical-theater mavens learn the ins and outs of stage performance. Dancers who commit to additional months of vigilant rehearsal and practice can showcase their talents at the year-end recital or opt for impromptu performances at nearby weddings and city-council investitures.
With a lineage that traces back more than 30 years to its founders' respective schools, Tiger Rock Martial Arts has grown to more than 200 locations nationwide. Tiger Rock's primary focus is tae kwon do, through which certified trainers teach youngsters the skills to defend themselves, as well as confidence and discipline. Adults can learn tae kwon do as well or encounter martial-arts moves in a calorie-torching aerobic workout. Tiger Rock also partners with sports teams to bolster their training or with corporations to get their employees up, moving, and healthy.