The successive pinging of golf balls as they speed toward distant targets at Cedar Park Driving Range is a welcoming sound to visiting golfers, almost therapeutic. The expansive facility boasts 12 grass hitting bays for players who prefer a natural feel as well as 18 shaded stations with mat hitting bays, 10 of which cool down hardworking golfers and parched sand wedges with a water-misting system. Four circular targets—positioned at distances of 25, 50, 75, and 100 yards—help players dial in approach shots, while five distance markers—stationed at 50-yard intervals from 100 to 300 yards—help golfers gauge how far their golf-ball trebuchet is capable of sending a ball. Cedar Park Driving Range also has more than 100 clubs that they rent out free of charge.
Led by head instructor Gary A. Schill, who has 37 years of martial-arts experience, Peak Performance Training Center instills life skills and strength in fitness-hungry students. A cadre of MMA programs spans martial arts from A to Z—from the ground-fighting smarts of Gracie jiujitsu to the elbows- and knees-focused training of muay thai—and the Full Body Fitness program includes personal training, boot camps, sport-specific training, olympic weight lifting, and yoga.
The instructors at Austin Self Defense are serious about helping their clients defend themselves. They teach a variety of self defense styles inspired by Israeli army techniques, including Krav Maga, Haganah, and Israeli Tactical Combat Maneuvers. Each style includes techniques for escapes and releases, as well as defensive hand-to-hand combat situations and remote-control disputes. The instructors can also meet one-on-one with students during personal training sessions, and in addition to the skill-based classes, they also offer CrossFit fitness sessions.
In pools heated to a comfortable 90 degrees, Aqua-Tots Swim Schools' experienced instructors pass their aquatic knowledge onto younger generations. Before taking to the waters, the team sorts prospective swimmers between the ages of 6 months to 12 years into one of eight swim levels along with similarly skilled and aged peers. Instructors work alongside the parents of infants and toddlers to practice water safety skills and other swimming fundamentals such as blowing bubbles and singing whale songs. More advanced swimmers, meanwhile, master different strokes and techniques, and instructors incorporate more advanced concepts as their students progress through the levels. Parents can rest assured that their children are in good hands—each of Aqua-Tot's instructors have completed 32 hours in the company's Lessons for Life training program, and a rigorous Water Safety Instructor exam. In addition to swimming lessons, Aqua-Tots offers and hosts a number of other programs including Adaptive Aquatics programs, water therapy sessions designed specifically for children with special needs. They also donate a portion of their proceeds to World Vision, a non-profit organization that helps children and families worldwide gain access to such necessities as clean water, food, medical supplies, and education.
Belly Dance with Bahaia's eponymous owner draws upon her 15 years of torso-contorting experience to teach women the feminine hip-shakes and sinuous motions that compose this ancient art form. Internationally recognized for the belly-dancing skills showcased in her DVDs, Bahaia leads women of all sizes through this low-impact workout that trims waistlines without corset implantation. Each one-hour beginner’s or intermediate/advanced class breaks down torso-undulating technique step by step, allowing students to master the motions while focusing on proper posture and form. Dancers then weave together a string of graceful motions to create a fun, core-strengthening workout that flaunts femininity like an "It's a girl!" bassinet decal. Weekly classes take place either at Arthur Murray Dance Studio or Flamencura Music and Dance Studio. During sessions, students may wear comfortable clothes, keep feet bare or clad in dance slippers, and borrow accouterments such as veils, finger cymbals, and entranced bellybuttons.
A majestic, 18-hole course encircles the stately grounds of Balcones Country Club, whisking golfers to an elysian landscape of dense tree lines and large, rippling waterways. The Balcones Course, features the club’s signature hole, a 155-yard par 3 where tee shots must clear a vast water hazard and a central fountain that spews the liberated souls of drowned golf balls. The club prepares greenhorn golfers with a bevy of classes offered through their golf academy, which range from typical private lessons to fitness programs offered by Titleist Performance Institute–certified trainers. A classroom equipped with video swing-analysis technology hosts intense investigations into corrupt swings, and a double-sided, lighted driving range fosters late-night reflections on whether or not golf balls are simply fallen stars.
A more frenetic pace of competition takes stage on the 10 courts that billet Balcones Country Club’s tennis program, and scampering tykes and weary adults can retreat to the club’s two outdoor pools for a more relaxing setting. Guests can fuel up for a day of recreation with a quick bite at the onsite grill or engage the community in the elegant, 250-capacity banquet hall.