It’s a common sight, even among the pros: a golf ball soars cleanly off the face of a mid-iron, seemingly on track to hit the green and trickle up close to the hole for an easy birdie putt. However, instead of bouncing forward when it lands, the pitch of the green’s front lip causes it to roll backwards onto the fairway. This feature of the green is called a false front, named for the way it tricks golfers into thinking it’s a safe landing zone, when in fact it returns golf balls back toward the player like an industrial-grade pop-a-shot.
Players at Rondout Golf Club, situated deep in the Catskill Mountains, should be wary of this course feature when they line up their approaches at the each of the 18 undulating greens. A strategic play is to aim several yards ahead of the nearest fringe, and then feign surprise while opponents’ shots are sucked back into the fairway or nearest black hole. Off the greens, the course showcases a stunning layout of frequent elevation changes, mature tree-lines, and intersecting waterways.
After challenging rounds on the picturesque course, players can retreat to Ivan’s Restaurant to enjoy drinks, burgers, sandwiches, and salads while gazing out at the Shawangunk Ridge and the Mohonk Mountain House tower.
Course at a Glance:
Perhaps it’s their diverse backgrounds—a former D1 college assistant baseball coach with a master's in physical education, a sports-psychology counselor and fitness trainer, and an amateur baseball leaguer—that make the coaches at Pitch by Pitch All Sports Camps open to such a wide variety of athletics. Their weeklong camps embody everything from baseball, soccer, and tennis to less regimented sports such as floor hockey and Capture the Flag. Through drills, games, and relays, coaches teach young campers how to command the field with confidence, while still displaying good sportsmanship. And since it all happens at Congers Lake Memorial Park, full-day campers can spend their lunch breaks swimming in the community pool, playing in the game room, or fishing for their lunch in the lake itself.
The mirth-mages at The Sports Place blend mini golf, batting cages, basketball courts, inflatable playgrounds, and frozen treats into an eldritch brew of family-friendly fun. The GloPutt mini-golf course comes packed with motorized obstacles designed to light up the faces and giggleplexes of any child. Tiny Ted Williamses can test their mettle in one of 17 hardball and softball batting cages, while dribbling kings can preside over two full basketball courts. With no limit on the number of players, the entire family can partake in games of P.I.G., H.O.R.S.E., or B.L.U.E.-F.O.O.T.E.D. B.O.O.B.Y. Meanwhile, the inflatable playground, open Tuesday through Sunday, provides amateur acrobats with space to flip and tumble, dive down mega-slides, and scale slumbering dragons.
Home to the state's largest freestanding bouldering island, New Jersey Rock Gym houses 12,000 square feet of vertical terrain to climb as well as 41 top roping stations. Armed with either day passes or membership, guests scamper up the gym's synthetic summits, hoping to ask questions of the learned ceiling light sequestered at the top of the mountain. While gear is included with some membership options, guests can opt to bring their own materials or rent the individual shoes ($5), harnesses ($4), or chalk bags ($2) they need from the pro shop. New Jersey Rock Gym offers a collection of educational course work in the vertical arts, teaching belay technique to beginners or advanced skills to adults. Children can also take advantage of youth climbing programs, mini camps, and birthday parties before retiring to private refreshment chambers to absorb bottles of electrolyte-infused refreshment. The nearby pro shop outfits climbers with name-brand gear for purchase, while a WiFi lounge transmits terabytes of data into nearby electronic devices or unsecured cyborg brains.
As a part of the Spotlight Theatres family, Majestic Cinema 7 calls out to cinephiles of all stripes with its oversize radiant sign, luring passersby to a red lobby and a row of glowing movie posters. Inside the venue’s seven theaters, first-run movies jump out at audiences from screens equipped with 3-D capabilities. The concessions counter mutes chatty mouths with a variety of snacks and lullabies guests who can only sleep to the sound of popping popcorn. Majestic Cinema 7’s gift certificates and group discounts encourage bonding with family and friends.
Cousins Dean Del Prete and Paul Sattler started playing paintball for fun in 1986. Noticing a lack of places to play or find equipment, the pair took advantage of this business opportunity and founded Cousins Paintball the following year, creating a one-stop shop for players. They started out with the only paintball field on Long Island, and since then, they have grown to encompass 10 New York locations with scenario and speedball fields. Today, teams equipped with full mask and semiautomatic paint markers wander across their 20- to 80-acre spaces, searching for the opposing team's flag. Eco-friendly paint ensures trees do not suffer lasting damage, and themes such as hide-and-seek and cops and robbers add variety to a full day of games.