Bear Creek Golf Club's 18-hole course takes golfers voyaging across 6,585 yards of rolling terrain characterized by renovated bunkers, contoured greens, and dense tree lines lining the fairways. Refurbished in July 2011, the par 72 is now carpeted with Champion bermuda grass on all of its greens to form smooth, slick putting surfaces devoid of any bumpy nettles or suspicious troll knolls. Chirping birds and whistling winds serve as the course's commentators, occasionally warning players of the scattered water hazards that reflect the skies above without ripple or wave but reveal their orb-eating desires when balls land atop their motionless surface. At the onsite snack bar, players can fuel up before rounds.
Course at a Glance:
A fourth-generation artist, Rose Handy has always made time for creating. After a rollercoaster ride of life changes and moves, Rose and her potter husband Paul opened their own gallery and class space. Joined by a staff of illustrators, quilters, watercolorists, and other artisans, the owners encourage Wild Child students to find their own artistic voices, whether they're hand-building a ceramic bowl, painting a family portrait, or fusing glass pieces together to make a new glass family. The search for new avenues of creativity also extends to the studio's class offerings; beginning in January 2013, aspiring artisans can learn the intricacies of handbuilding and wheel-based pottery techniques as part of the shop's newest curriculum.
When it comes to catching fish, Chad Smith is more than well equipped. After all, the professional angler captains a 20-foot pontoon boat decked out with advanced Humminbird mapping and color sonar systems. Still, all of his fancy gadgets pale in comparison to his memory. Having fished in the area for much of his life, he's familiar with the best spots to hook multiple species, including striper, spotted bass, crappie. His passion, though, is trophy catfish, which led him to a record catch weighing 61.33 pounds.
On five- to eight-hour trips on Lake Oconee, Lake Sinclair, or Lake Lanier, Chad helps total novices and seasoned fishers alike haul in large catches. If clients aim to net a catfish, he even guarantee their success. Those who don't hook one of the bottom dwellers on their current excursion can give it a second shot on another trip within a year, free of charge. He also helps established fishers set up their own sonar equipment, meeting them on the water for a test run and a lesson on how to distinguish fish schools from fish retirement homes.
At Highland Walk Golf Course, Bermuda grass fairways and greens arch over 6,407 yards of steep hills studded by tall Georgia pines for a challenging 18-hole layout. Throughout the round, the course’s dramatically undulating terrain gives way to sweeping views of the countryside as well as numerous blind shots, giving an advantage to players whose golf bags double as periscopes. Georgian course architect Denis Griffith’s creative use of the terrain is on full display at the signature 17th hole, where golfers drive the ball from terraced tee boxes and over the shadowy, intimidating depths of a ravine. Though the elevation changes place precise shot making at a premium, the course features relatively open fairways and greens, providing ample landing areas for aggressive drives and caddies airlifted in for emergency putt-reading services.
Course at a Glance:
Golfers across Texas, Arizona, and Georgia get an expert's opinion on their local private and public courses through AvidGolfer Magazine. The professionals also offer some basic instructions, in-depth product reviews, and careful explanations of why a lower score is better. Besides expert advice, the magazine releases an annual passbook that grants subscribers entry into several local courses.
Awash in lighting effects, an 8,000-square-foot rink accommodates roller skaters as they circle the facility to the thumping beat of contemporary pop music. Overhead, a disco ball 3 feet in diameter—featured in the remake of Footloose—further illumines the rink with its sparkling effervescence.
Meanwhile, participants clad in 78 Skate's velcro suit leap toward the velcro wall to see if they'll stick, and more than 30 arcade and redemption games challenge prize-seeking players. Gamesmanship continues at a pair of billiards tables nestled beneath two large screen televisions in the snack bar, which reenergizes customers with tasty treats and beverages. Elsewhere, a full-service skate shop equips patrons with new wheels for blading sessions in their bathtub, and twice weekly Zumba classes, led by a certified instructor, burn calories with exercise moves modeled after salsa dancing.