Brad Cursio usually begins his golf lessons by telling his students to ignore the outcomes of their swings. This may seem counterintuitive, but it’s a cornerstone of the Fresno State alum's cerebral approach to the game—one shaped during his years as a golf-school director, when he regularly watched amateur players go crazy obsessing about the length and accuracy of their drives. When he started his own golf school, Monterey Bay Golf Academy, Brad took his past experiences into account and instituted a method of instruction that charts the swing’s progress rather than the ball’s path.
Students at first skeptical of Brad's efforts to refocus their minds on swing mechanics should remember that he used the same method to become a PGA Class-A professional. To supplement his instruction, Brad utilizes the latest in swing-analysis technologies and sends his students home with DVDs packed with analyzed footage of their swings. He and his team of golf professionals also lead multi-day golf schools for all abilities. These schools focus on developing well-rounded players with lessons in swinging, putting, and wrestling mishit balls from the jaws of lake monsters.
With a client list that includes the likes of Dennis Quaid and Harry Connick, Jr. as well as 7-time LPGA Tour winner Danielle Ammaccapane, it?s safe to say PGA pro Ben Alexander has coached the best of the best. But his rarefied students need not speak for themselves; a contributor to Golf Digest, Golf Tips, and PGA Magazine, Ben was named Northern California PGA?s Teacher of the Year in 2004 and nominated for the same distinction on a national scale in 2008. In addition, Ben has released multiple instructional DVD?s, which showcase the uncanny ability to help golfers improve their game without abandoning their natural swing that drives every one of his lessons. Ben imparts his golf knowledge from Bayonet Black Horse Golf Course, a scenic club overlooking Monterey Bay.
For Dawn Galante, her winery is more than a dream realized. It's an opportunity to help others. She dedicates her efforts at Dawn's Dream Winery not only to crafting fine wines, but to helping women and children in need through a wide variety of non-profit organizations. At the winery, grapes flourish on rolling hills, and experienced winemaker Greg Vita transforms those vines into a number of varietals, including the lush, fruit-forward Pinot Noir or the crisp Arroyo Seco Chardonnay. Guests can sample these creations inside a charming tasting room, where the friendly staff can help guide them through a versatile wine tasting.
Led by Kate Hardy and Madalynna Aliotti, the staff of Harmony Body Kinetics works to help guests feel stronger and more flexible through Pilates and Gyrotonic classes. They lead students through intense classes, helping them perfect the postures while also learning how to apply the moves to everyday life.
Adventures by the Sea is owner Frank Knight’s love letter to Monterey Bay. As an avid cyclist, kayaker, and surfer in his youth, Frank decided to share the gift of the bay by providing land- and sea-activity rentals for tourists. But, what started out as a small bike-rental shop frequented by local hotel guests eventually transformed into a four-location recreational company that now offers kayaking, bicycling, SUP paddling, and surrey-carriage rentals and tours.
Bicycle renters can cruise along 17-Mile Drive and the rocky shorelines of Pacific Grove, while surrey-carriage rentals provide a low-key communal pedaling adventure for up to four riders. Patrons can also enjoy the serene environment of Monterey Peninsula as they glide through the waters of Cannery Row and Stillwater Cove—both part of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary—on the company’s kayaks and standup paddleboards (SUP). During tours, knowledgeable guides rattle off facts about the area while pointing out its wildlife, such as harbor seals lounging on the rocks and otters snapping pictures of kayakers.
Along with providing land and water activities, Adventures by the Sea helps guests build stronger relationships with one another through their local group adventures, which include scavenger hunts. When customers are ready to invest in their own trustworthy gear, the company’s pro shop helps them stock up on boogie boards, snorkeling equipment, and paddleboards from brands such as Surftech, Naish Hawaii, and Paddle Surf Hawaii.
A family-run enterprise since 1949, Randy's Fishing Trips and Whale Watching takes marine mammal enthusiasts on a sailing excursion around Monterey Bay, where whales often hang out and swap favorite krill recipes. Either Captain Brent or Brian, both certified skippers with masters licenses from the United States Coast Guard, will narrate the aquatic wildlife tour of the bay. Gentle humpback whales are the feature attraction from May–November, and sailors from December–April can become acquainted with the gray whales that have migrated from Alaska. Marine biology buffs may spot several other fascinating ocean organisms, such as killer whales, sea otters, silver-finned raccoons, dolphins, octo-gorillas, and seals. If your trip ends without spotting a whale, you'll receive a free ticket for another expedition.