Banner Country Club's 18-hole public course rolls across 6,015 yards of Connecticut countryside, challenging golfers of all stripes with diverse, player-friendly terrain. The course's emerald corridors roam through a combination of open pastures and tree-lined areas, letting golfers unsheathe muscular drivers on forgiving holes before forcing them to whisper words of confidence to timid long irons when aiming through arboreal alleys. The picturesque par 72 invites aces to hunt birdies across its relatively short layout, while offering a training ground for club-toting cadets still trying to perfect their swing or wield modified canes as golf clubs.
Course at a Glance:
* 18-hole, par 72 course
* Length of 6,015 yards
* Course rating of 68.9
* Slope rating of 118
The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studios, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the Charleston. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba. For dancers hoping to hoof it up in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur firewalking.
Bobby Drought and the crew behind Rhody Surf spent 10 years teaching surf lessons for fun in and around Aquidneck Island before coming together to form a business. Today, this group of certified instructors spreads an infectious love of surfing to as many people as possible, not even bothering to establish a traditional brick-and-mortar shop—lessons are either online or at the beach. Their students learn through private or group lessons, mastering simple movements on dry land before hitting the Atlantic's fully customizable waves. Rhody Surf also offers surf camps for children, as well as surfing excursions for individuals visiting on cruise ships.
Bridge to Fitness’ staff of body-sculpting instructors and trainers guides gym members in knocking down walls that stand in the way of fitness goals. Membership includes everything from use of the weight-training and cardio equipment to access to all the classes that the gym offers, including calorie-burning affairs such as spinning and group exercise classes, yoga, Pilates, Zumba, and more. With an army of equipment including spin bikes, treadmills, and new elliptical machines, members can get their hearts going during an intense spin session or a fervid treadmill jousting competition with fellow gym comrades.
Crowned the Best Place for Yoga by the Providence Phoenix in 2009, Innerlight Yoga stretches muscles with more than 40 weekly classes and more than 10 yoga disciplines. The newly lit can explore the foundational poses, breathing techniques, and philosophy of Yoga 101 in a spacious wooden studio, learning the basics without the need to trudge to the top of a snowy mountain and ask for advice from a wise but steely-eyed snowman. After gaining techniques, students may go on to burn their inner candle in mindfulness yoga, where meditation and position meld; blaze in heated Vinyasa, where high temperatures energize flowing movement; or smolder in gentle yoga, where the walls support slow transitions.
The three courses presented with today's Groupon allow players to put their long and short games to the test on a selection of the region's finest links, including two that made Golfweek magazine's list of the best courses to play in Connecticut. The Golf Club at Oxford Greens—designed by esteemed architect Mark Mungeam—carves its way through 680 acres of woods west of Naugatuck State Forest to create a memorable 18 holes of play. At the Gary Player-designed Lyman Orchards Player Course, players wind their way through majestic trees, apple orchards, and talking pumpkin patches in a time-honored pursuit of par, and Pete Dye's Wintonbury Hills course challenges divot diggers with a varied combination of tree-lined fairways and links-style open holes. Set against a lush backdrop of rolling forests and manicured greens and situated far from the hustle and bustle of traffic and residential homes, each course's serene surroundings peacefully erase all memory of phrases such as “double bogey,” “water hazard,” and “eaten by a moose.”