After 13 years as a golf instructor, Gary Sinquefield has boiled his teaching style down to a simple method that involves focusing on each player's swinging motions and eliminating extraneous movements. By simplifying the often convoluted and conflicting messages of swing improvement, Gary makes it possible for players of all skill levels to develop a consistent swing that stands up even during high winds or airport-security pat-downs. During private lessons, students take shots inside a golf simulator while Gary scrutinizes swing tendencies from every angle and shot type. A video camera records the process frame by frame for later analysis so that golfers can see swing tendencies such as poor alignment or signs of repeated sweaty-palm syndrome. At the end of the lesson, players leave with an action plan to develop their game.
Lake Norman Scuba earned its five-star instructor development center certification from the Professional Association of Diving Instructors through its commitment to training student divers in the basics and finer points of scuba using proven techniques and ultra-reliable equipment. Scubie newbies can get a taste of the life aquatic with the Discover Scuba class. Students will learn what it's like to breathe underwater using an oxygen tank and to move around in the water with basic scuba gear: mask, snorkel, fins, a buoyancy-compensating jacket and oxygen tank, scuba regulator, and a computer that monitors depth and air supply, ensuring divers' bloodstreams maintain the proper level of early-1980s soft rock.
The body-bending gurus at Community Yoga escort students through a variety of muscle-stretching yoga classes suitable for all skill levels. Beginning benders can stretch during the Hatha yoga basics class, which moves at a slower pace to introduce newbies to the practice; or try the Vinyasa session that promotes muscular stamina through faster-moving pose transitions. Yogis can also experience more specialized practices, such as Subtle Yoga, which explores the deeper, more cerebral aspects of yoga. Community Yoga lives up to its name by seeking out a local charity every year to support by donating time, services, and money. With classes seven days a week, the studio provides a schedule as flexible as a slinky made out of cooked spaghetti.
Planet Ballroom’s studios offer a glimpse of a bygone era, when gentlemanly dancers whisked their partners across dance floors amid elegant decor and soft hanging lanterns. Professional dancers lead both private and group classes within these rustic halls, guiding couples through the steps and proper techniques of social dances such as the waltz, tango, salsa, and swing. The seasoned instructors also conduct fitness-focused classes, leading teens and adults through energetic workouts of cardio Latin dance, ballet, and Pilates. Every Friday night the studio opens to students for an evening of dancing, socializing, and hatching plans to flash-mob the local DMV, and throughout the month, instructors also invite dancers back for a variety of dinner-and-dancing events.
Designed by golf legend Arnold Palmer, Birkdale Golf Club’s course transforms natural beauty into challenging obstacles, with 200 acres of rolling hills intersected by streams and framed by mature pines. The course’s bermuda fairways lie beyond elevation changes that give way to greenscapes festooned with ponds and deep, stone-lined bunkers that test players to use every club in their bags before desperately reaching for the oversized soup ladle. Once approach shots find the green, golfers must putt precisely atop the firm and true crenshaw bentgrass greens.
Birkdale Golf Club pampers players before and after rounds with a practice range and onsite tavern trimmed with rich wood hues and green leather barstools. The club also staffs a team of PGA pro instructors who school pupils in the arts of swinging and scorecard penmanship with private lessons and group clinics.
Course at a Glance:
As members of the United Professional Horseman’s Association and the American Saddlebred Horse Association, the husband-and-wife team of Brooke and Quintus VanderSpuy cultivate a nurturing environment for all levels of rider at their 35-acre equestrian facility, Lenux Stables & Riding Academy, Inc. The couple packs more than 20 years of professional riding experience into the English Saddleseat riding lessons that they lead and into the American Saddlebred show horses and Hackney ponies that they train. Whether their goals involve riding for shows, for pleasure, or for chasing down the rustlers who stole their prize steer, all new riders start out with private, half-hour lessons before advancing to semi-private instruction. Friends and family can watch the proceedings from the separate viewing room and lounge outfitted with free wi-fi, a kitchen area, and changing rooms.
Since Pattie Smith and her husband built Charlotte Racquet Club North in 1998 to infuse northern Charlotte with much-needed tennis action, they’ve watched the club blossom from seven courts and a doublewide trailer to a sweeping 14-court facility complete with a pool and a fitness complex. Pattie plans on adding four indoor courts by November to keep members playing through the winter—including one 78-year-old ace who games, sets, and matches twice a week.