More than 30,000 students have plunged from the skies above Skydive Houston's private Waller airport. You'll spend 20–30 minutes in a classroom going over expectations and basic safety precautions while certified technicians pack your parachute and prepare the latest of the latest equipment designed specially for tandem jumps. After an inspirational speech about how the sky is more afraid of you than you are of it, you'll load into the safe, sturdy Twin Otter turboprop, strap onto your jumpsperienced dive guide, and soar as high as 14,000 feet before it's time to fall into the open arms of sky. Securely fastened to your partner, you'll plummet for a 60-second free fall, hooting and spinning while your instructor manages the details of swerving around clouds and asking hawks for directions. When the time is right, he or she will pull your chute, and during the next five to six minutes of canopy glide, you'll be able to admire the sights of downtown Houston, the Galleria area, and Lake Conroe.
The percussive clacking of club and ball welcomes club-toting compatriots to City Golf of America's indoor training facility, a golfer’s haven with more than 23,000 square feet of swing-honing amenities. Inside the vast facility, students of golf can gain valuable reps at 1 of the 18 hitting bays of the indoor driving range, plant spiked shoes into the soft grains of a real sand bunker, and inoculate themselves against outbreaks of the yips on two nine-hole putting greens. The immense screens of high-tech golf simulators channel the lush landscapes of 60 of the world’s most renowned courses, whisking golfers to the famed greens of Amen Corner of Augusta National, the windswept heathers of St. Andrews, or near the loudmouth porpoises of Pebble Beach. The facilities are rounded out by a fitness area and members' lounge, where golfers can sink into divot-free leather furniture while noshing on snacks from the café, surfing free WiFi, or watching flat-screen TVs. A staff of teaching professionals and PGA pros leads students through private lessons. The staff makes use of JC video-analysis technology to deftly diagnose swings and proffer both onsite corrective tips and longer-term practice strategies to streamline swing mechanics.
Originally built in the 1920s by A.G. Spalding of Spalding Sports and having hosted professional golfers such as Phil Mickleson, Sam Snead, and Craig Stadler, Sail Ho Golf Club’s charming and historic 9-hole course endows orb-smackers with an expansive view of the San Diego skyline. Seasoned swingers and golf greenhorns alike can send their balls sailing across the 8th hole’s flourishing fairway, or practice ESP-communication with aberrant balls in flight to steer shots away from the 9th hole’s five sand bunkers. Players can sharpen shots even more with the expert instruction of golf lessons ($25 each, not included), taught by an on-staff PGA Professional. A bounty of breakfast items, burgers, and sandwiches await hole-in-one hunger pangs at the Sail Ho’s bar and grill, which also features an array of wine, beer, and specialty cocktails for post-round libations.
Colina Park Golf Course taunts ambitious short games with a beautifully manicured 18-hole par 3 layout. Playing just more than 1,500 yards, the course offers holes ranging from 67 to 125 yards, with accuracy a crucial component of making par and gaining first downs. Multiple bunkers, lakes, waterfalls, varied tee-box elevations, and undulating greens further challenge golfers, making the course an ideal training ground for beginners and duffers who want to perfect their short iron shots. A 10-round pass allows one individual to swing the serene course 10 separate times or to divide the rounds among family and friends to prove their dimpled-ball dominance. Colina Park Golf Course also treats links lovers to a full-service practice facility featuring a 3,000-square-foot practice putting green, a chipping and bunker area, a nine-hole putting course, and a warm-up and driving cage. Exhausted players can also stop by the pro shop to restock on equipment, pick up snacks and beverages, or report runaway pitching wedges.
The 18-hole Reidy Creek Golf Course covers 2,582 yards in the rugged hills of Escondido, supplying guests with a scenic backdrop for club-based revelry. The rolling terrain of the par 54 course—intertwined with manmade obstacles such as sculpted bunkers, sinuous lakes, and wind—challenges golfers as they attempt holes-in-one. The distinctive course, designed by the notable engineers at Cal Olson Golf Architecture not to contain any two identical holes, contains a golf shop, café, and golf clinics taught by PGA professionals.