Cleaved into a dense forest of long-needle pines, Beau Rivage Golf & Resort’s course takes golfers careening across 18 holes of immaculate fairways as they gently undulate into picturesque elevation changes. Towering tree lines, tight doglegs, and intervening water hazards haunt golfers throughout the round, forcing clubbers into multiple blind shots and at least one shot from a tree canopy.
Suites stretching to 900 square feet, replete with a separate common area, kitchenette, and in-room wet bar, overlook the verdant greens. Private patios and balconies proffer views of the lush course, and the hotel's 19th Hole bar and lounge serves libations and heaping helpings of trivia and karaoke. The resort ensures days start off right, dishing out hot breakfast at the Verandah Bar & Grill at 7 a.m. and encouraging warm-ups on the 10,000-square-foot putting green and elevated driving range.
Echo Farms Golf & Country Club evokes the links-style courses of Scotland on its 18-hole championship golf course. That’s because renowned British architect Ian Scott Taylor worked his magic on the original design, improving everything from landscape to length. Tiff-eagle bermuda grass greens provide a challenge for players of all stripes, and the adjacent Cape Fear River adds a natural obstacle throughout play. Elsewhere, the country club offers five tennis courts and a competitive-sized swimming pool.
Jack honorably served in the United States military for 20 years. Now an NRA certified instructor, he draws upon that fundamental experience to educate people in the responsibilities of possessing and using firearms. Along with Michael, a veteran sheriff's deputy from Colorado, Jack balances classroom sessions and range time to teach students rules for safe gun handling, shooting fundamentals, and pistol cleaning techniques that don’t involve dishwashers. The duo also teaches instructor courses to train the next generation of certified teachers. In addition, Jack also employs Aaron, a certified and experienced gunsmith, who, in addition to acting as an NRA-certified range safety officer (RSO) and instructor in several shooting sports disciplines, is well-versed in the cleaning, repair, and alignment of firearms including long rifles, shotguns, and handguns.
Spring Bank Equestrian Center is an equine playland equipped with pristine facilities including a 17-stall barn, a jumping ring, and a lighted, covered arena. Throughout the year, head trainer Cynthia Cooke uses her well-appointed stomping grounds for instructing students on proper riding technique, a life calling that won her the East Coast Trainer of the Year award in 2010.
Some people are born with a misplaced overabundance of self-confidence, as the popularity of karaoke bars can attest, but most develop the trait by accomplishing feats they never believed they were capable of. The black-belt-wearing, championship-winning instructors that helm ATA Karate’s 6 locations seek to foster that self-confidence by teaching students the art of self-defense in its many forms, including tae kwon do and Krav Maga. With a client base ranging from toddlers to adults, the ATA staff keeps people empowered and fit by demonstrating effective ways to properly punch, kick, and look cool in slow motion. In addition to teaching martial arts, instructors host leadership programs that show kids how to avoid the perils of peer pressure and adults how to maintain order in their lives. They also cover topics such as dealing with bullies and eliminating child abductions in a series of regular workshops.
Cleaved into the rolling bluffs of the Carolina countryside, The Country Club of Johnston County's 18-hole, Ellis Maples–designed course encompasses 6,573 yards of well-groomed fairways and greens. Dense tree lines guide clubbers across the picturesque par 72, obstructing shots as players attempt to keep orbs on fairways that dog-leg and kitty-purr their way toward distant greens. Ponds dot the emerald landscape on four different holes, threatening ill-struck orbs and foreshadowing eventual retreats to the Club's outdoor pool. The stately complex keeps guests energized with a menu of savory grill fare, while outdoor tennis courts sate appetites for loose yellow fuzz. A dazzling banquet hall stands at the Club's epicenter, where reunited friends and wedding parties can enjoy a warmly lit ballroom, dance floor, and bar.
Course at a Glance: