At age 6, when most little boys are obsessed with their toy trucks and plastic dinosaurs, Ken Miller was interested in playthings with steel shafts and the ability to send a ball soaring over the grass. Young Miller?s passion for golf didn?t wane as he grew older: after making a splash on the junior golf scene, he attended Fresno State University on a golf scholarship and toured competitively before retiring to teach. But after 10 years of working for someone else, Miller was ready to realize his own dream: a family-friendly range that satisfied even the pickiest golfer. So, with his kids and wife in tow, Miller spent a year sculpting 19 acres of land into what is now McHenry Golf Center.
Today, the practice facility?which was named one of the Top 100 Ranges in America in 2009 by Golf Range?presents players with an all-grass driving range whose lighting makes it possible to play with balls that are afraid of the dark. After landing shots on the range?s seven target greens, which taunt them from 50 to 250 yards away, golfers can work on their short game at an 11,000-square-foot putting green, then head over to a practice green guarded by five circular and kidney-bean-shaped bunkers. If they want help with their chipping technique or sand play, they can take lessons with Miller and other PGA pros. Golfers can refuel with fare from the center?s snack bar after a lesson or independent practice.
While creating McHenry Golf Center, Ken Miller designed a pro shop to meet the needs of both casual and dedicated golfers, whether they carry a standard coin purse or suitcases filled with golden golf balls. Customers can get an expert fitting before picking their clubs, thanks to the center's TaylorMade SelectFit System and Ping Advanced Fitting System. For putters and woods that need attention, Golfsmith Clubmakers?trained Jim Tocco awaits at the repair center, where he fixes grips and shafts, working quickly enough to offer next-day service.
The upbeat exercise enthusiasts at Kid Time Fitness steer tykes into tip-top shape by leading an array of fun and active recreational classes. Through 40 weekly sessions, the CPR- and first-aid-certified staff helps pintsize patrons of all ages, backgrounds, and experience levels develop new skills and uncover dormant passions, such as dance, gymnastics, yoga, or competitive napping. During For The Boys, instructors teach boys hip hop, tumbling, and breakdancing to a fast-paced beat. Gym-Fit, yoga, hip-hop, cheer, ballet, music, and art round out the roster of classes, which is more jam-packed with activities than Leonardo da Vinci?s secret lab, where to this day he still writes software applications to teach children art lessons. Kid Time Fitness also offers adult programs.
Since 1978, Brenda Athletic Clubs has stood out from other gyms for its staff?s focus on offering all the amenities of a modern fitness facility while still fostering an inviting atmosphere. Its founder, Al Brenda, believed in fitness programs for all age groups, a mantra that the club continues today with youth fitness programs, including basketball clinics and yoga lessons, as well as a SilverSneakers fitness program for seniors. In addition to tennis, swimming, and standard strength and cardio equipment, the fitness centers supply its members with an ample amount of group classes including cycling, Zumba, and kickboxing.
The cooks at Sips Bistro and Wine Shop use locally acquired and organic ingredients where possible in their classic menu of small plates, varietals, and espresso drinks. The intimate bistro setting—rendered warm by colorful murals of pastoral settings and elegant wood wine racks—hosts guests as they try refined eats such as a chicken, brie, and caramelized onion quesadilla, or a brined and herb-crusted bone-in pork chop. During wine flights, vino sippers may choose their own drinks from a temperature-controlled wine bar or the frigid palms of a grape-eating sprite. The company also occasionally hosts events such as champagne Sundays and special tastings.
Students enroll in Community Business College not just to prepare for a new career, but often to enrich the one they have or just pursue an interesting hobby. Online and in-person training programs provide crucial skills in growing fields such as medical billing and solar panel technology. Enrichment classes cover everything from cooking to conversational Japanese, navigating Microsoft Office to profiting from eBay. Relationships with a bevy of local businesses let Community Business College offer post-graduate job placement, on-the-job training for those already employed, and a definite edge in popular party game "Name 20 Local Businesses."
In the tradition of mixed martial arts, experienced fighter Paul Mendoza and his expert instructors fuse boxing, weight lifting, and calisthenics to create whole-body workouts in their signature Fighter Fit Conditioning program. In addition to improving heart and lung function, the aim of the classes is to create leaner, more toned bodies of both men and women in a communal atmosphere. Matted training areas cover the 8,200-square-foot facility, where heavy bags and treadmills await pounding. Locker rooms for men and women store personal items.