Deep in the verdant expanse of the Lark Valley, the forest’s leaves rustle as a blurry figure glides by. The creature flying across the forest canopy isn’t a bird or acrobatic sport’s mascot returning to its natural habitat. It’s a person strapped into 1 of 10 ziplines at Lark Ranch, which extend more than 1 mile through the surrounding area. Guests slip into safety harnesses and helmets before clipping in the suspended steel cables and soaring high above the valley’s varied topography of lakes, forests, and fields of blossoming holiday sweaters. Elsewhere, lush crops sprout around festive pumpkin patches, encouraging visitors to become one with harvest-time happiness.
Though lush fairways and gently undulating greens have replaced the acres of cornfields at Country Oaks Golf Club, quaint reminders of the course’s bucolic past are everywhere. A tall white silo stands sentry at the first tee box, greeting golfers as they head out for their round. A white picket fence proves a common sight as it cordons off the 140-acre plot from the surrounding farmland and prevents trespassing by ghostly baseball players.
First tee shots on the 514-yard, par 5 opening hole will need to clear a small pond—an early introduction to the water scattered throughout the rest of the course. In fact, 4 out of the first 5 tee shots will need to clear water, and 11 feature water prominently at some point. On the watery, 300-yard 18th hole, the long shadow of the old silo welcomes golfers back in as they sink their final putts and head into the Dairy Barn, now home to the course pro shop.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Total length of 6,958 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 73 from the back tees * Course slope of 129 from the back tees * Five sets of tees per hole * Scorecard
The ping of golf clubs and baseball bats rings out across the grounds and rises above the thrumming engines and squealing tires of go-karts at Golfland USA. Part training ground, part recreational respite, Golfland invites golfers to hone their game at a driving range or enjoy more laid-back par-hunting at a mini-golf course. Guests can also perfect a different kind of swing at the batting cages, which sling baseballs at three different speeds and offer two slow-pitch softball machines. The fun center also encompasses a quarter-mile go-kart track where drivers speed down straightaways and drift around tight turns. In addition, Golfland also offers a weekend bouncy house, a giant slide, and bungee trampolines for guests to enjoy.
Sometimes, boot camp classes carry a military tone—one that dilutes encouragement in favor of brutish yelling. But that's not the case at Edge Body Boot Camp, where instructors are as supportive as they are informative. Under the direction of Dustin Edge—who has 12 years of industry experience packed into his muscles—Edge Body's trainers combine cardio exercises and resistance training into single, high-energy workouts. To prevent clients from hitting a plateau or becoming tempted to exercise while they sleep, Edge Body mixes up its routine every class. Complementary nutritional guidance, meal planning, and fitness evaluations available to all campers helps to achieve goals.
Strength and conditioning specialist Tony Maslan?who is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist as well as a 1998 Junior American Deadlift Record holder?knows the importance of safe and well-rounded fitness practices. The former Marine Corps Reserves sergeant and overseas infantry squad leader leads a team of more than 15 certified trainers in their mission to help individual fitness-seekers, children, and corporate clients break unhealthy habits. This goal-oriented staff emphasizes accountability and measurable results during one-on-one and group training sessions as they reshape clients? waistlines with kettlebells and deadlifts, as well as intense challenges such as sparring and pulling a truck using only their pinky finger. The on-staff nutrition counselor bolsters these results with comprehensive nutrition guidance, and posts diverse recipes online as well. Of this, Maslan stated that he "knew we needed to help clients go beyond the microwave." To help keep their clients from returning to their previous lifestyles, these trainers also host online, in-home, and sport-specific training.
Maslan trains his students at Bob's Gym, a destination for Evansville-area athletes since 1991. Custom Fit training forms a single facet of the local exercise empire, which stretches across four convenient locations across the city. Each gym is also home to strength and cardio equipment, as well as a weekly schedule of more than 150 total group exercise classes in the areas of boxing, Zumba, yoga, and more. However, each location also courts its own special athletes; swimmers head to the pools at Bob's North and Bob's Newburgh, and basketball seek pick-up games on the courts at Bob's North, Bob's Newburgh, and Bob's West. Bob's East even sports a day spa, where tired exercisers can rid themselves of soreness with a relaxing massage. This dedication to healthy living extends far beyond reps and workouts. The gyms are also home to the Simply Basics weight-management program, which pairs accountability and lifestyle changes with healthy, affordable recipes designed to replaces processed foods with fresh ingredients.