Staffed by experienced coaches and computers who’ve sworn allegiance to the three laws of golfing robotics, GolfTEC’s motion sensors and high-speed cameras monitor swings and break down each individual’s form on a high-definition video display to get results. Sensors chirp with approval whenever they detect the perfect stroke or an especially witty golfing joke. GolfTEC’s certified personal coaches will point out flaws and strengths while providing golfers with tips on how to permanently improve their game from tee to green.
The Madison Mallards take to the diamond each summer for three months of collegiate baseball, gathering players from across the country as they hone their skills for a shot at the pros. The Mallards took home a Northwoods League championship in 2004, cheered on by some of the most devout and rowdy fans in the league. In 2012 the team set a collegiate attendance record, drawing more than 217,000 fans.
Hitters SportsPlex is a 50,000-square-foot sports complex that gives aspiring sluggers the opportunity to train year-round in pristine indoor facilities. With three baseball cages and pitching machines capable of firing stitched orbs at adjustable speeds and emulating up to six different pitches, batters can perfect their swing against throws of all degrees of difficulty. Athletes can also hone their talents in climate-controlled, hi-tech practice facilities for tennis, indoor golf, and pickleball—a combination of ping-pong and tennis that's played on a giant plate next to a giant hamburger.
On June 30, 1904 Col. William and Anna Vilas donated a tract of land to become a public park and free recreational space in memory of their son, Henry, who died due to complications from diabetes at a young age. They added numerous improvements over the decade and in 1911, the Henry Vilas Zoo gained its first animal exhibits. Today, the zoo covers 30 acres and features a number of creatures from around the world, ranging from the vanishing chimpanzee and endangered red panda to locals such as the great horned owl and american alligator. The zoo also remains one of the few free AZA-accredited zoos across the country.
Leading up to and following the zoo's centennial, the ReZOOvenation project has expanded the visitor areas, replacing the entrance and gift shop and adding a tropical-rainforest aviary and big-cat complex. A variety of annual events are scheduled, including Halloween at the Zoo, with costumes and stops for sustainable palm-oil candy, and earth day, when children can plant trees to help lower the global temperature just enough for icicles to form. The zoo’s many conservation projects also engage the public in protecting the environment and its inhabitants by installing solar-energy panels, sponsoring trips to save endangered orangutans, and collecting old cell phones.
Brittingham Boats conquers the water in many ways. Their rental fleet boasts all manner of paddlecraft, from tandem kayaks and canoes to standup paddleboards and paddle boats. The boating gurus can also supply all the gear for fishing trips out on Monona Bay and Monona Lake. They even host yoga classes on SUP boards, leading students through a tapestry of poses while perched atop standup paddleboards. Following paddle excursions, guest may drop by the Brittingham coffee shop to nosh on gourmet grilled cheese or indulge in creamy scoops of Babcock Ice Cream.
Anytime Fitness welcomes exercisers to its securely locked workout havens 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. The Madison locations equip bodies with enough treadmills, elliptical trainers, and weight machines to train them to run a marathon in a swimming pool filled with mud. Recumbent bikes encourage visitors to relax as they pedal, and dumbbells let them perform bicep curls and rousing renditions of “Silver Bells.” Gym members can run, stretch, and lift with maximum efficacy as friendly staffers shower them with encouragement and equipment-safety tips. Today’s deal also treats bodies to 30 days of tanning and a complimentary fitness assessment, which helps individuals set goals for their workouts and track their progress toward becoming a newspaper reporter that moonlights as a circus strongman.
In addition to helping support the Union, a completely self-supporting, non-profit organization, a community membership to the Wisconsin Union grants card-carriers access to grand opening events, hotel discounts, specialty classes, and more. During summer, the Terrace on the shores of Lake Mendota hosts live music five nights a week, and the Lakeside Cinema screens films on Monday nights. Throughout the year, members can take advantage of renting rooms for events, purchasing food from the Union’s 21 eateries, campus-wide WiFi access, and a connection to the heart, soul, and sweaty date-night palms of the University of Wisconsin student body.