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:
From their home base at Frank House Municipal Golf Course, the PGA pros at the Harper Miller School of Golf help golfers fix broken swings and patch up holes in strategic thinking. Lessons zero in on the fundamentals of grip, posture, and alignment—key components of a winning swing and textbook ice-cream-cone devouring. Short-game clinics help to develop confidence around the green with practice on the putting stroke, chipping accuracy, and bunker play. The pros also follow students out onto the course for playing lessons, which focus on such course-management tactics as how to choose the right club, when to lay up, and when to lie down and take a moment to enjoy the beauty of nature around you.
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.
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.
In the heated water of the Lakeshore Foundation's two pools, the staff at Swimmers United allot time for both learning and playing. Skill development is the top priority during group swimming lessons, where instructors maintain a 7:1 student-to-teacher ratio. Fun takes center stage at kids' pool parties, which can accommodate more than 25 kids or roughly one class president's security detail.
Led by director Carla Higginbotham, the instructors of Dance Trance aim to create a fun, lively workout using intuitive, easy-to-follow dance moves and upbeat music. The instructors demonstrate the routine without shouting disruptive directions as students shake and shimmy their way through strength building and cardio drills.