Working at the 1996 Summer Olympics and the 1994 World Cup are a few of the sporting events on camp director Shelly Watkins's resumé, which she draws on to run a summer camp for kids of all ages. A mother herself, she believes in giving each child individual attention, recognition, and respect, rewarding campers with high-fives and compliments for jobs well done. Together with assistant camp director Cortney Spiegel, she runs fun-packed day camps focused on arts, sports, field trips, and specialty programs. Professional counselors work with pintsize Pacinos in the Lights, Camera, Action class to make short films; kick off Nerf-themed sports events in the Nerf Extravaganza class; or venture out to bowling, movies, rollerblading, and laser tag during the Mega Adventure Field Trip. Shelly and her friendly crew also lead precamp and aftercamp activities for early-morning and evening supervision, and junior camp for campers aged 4¬–7 or 10-year-olds having their pre-preteen life crisis.
Happy shouts float across Swings-N-Things Family Fun Park, whipping out of the mouths of drivers racing around go-kart tracks and captains ricocheting off one another in bumper boats. The satisfying clunk of colorful spheres falling into holes on the mini-golf course perks up ears in the sprawling complex of indoor and outdoor attractions. Go-kart drivers whiten their knuckles behind the wheel of 9-horsepower Honda engines, tearing through a quarter mile of twists and turns on the Grand Prix track as if it were a high-school principal’s lawn. Alternatively, patrons frolic across the park’s two outdoor mini-golf courses before practicing their aim in a laser shootout game, and children ages 10 and younger scramble their socked feet over slides and rides inside the Kids Korner indoor play area. Swings-N-Things Family Fun Park is easily accessible from the area's major highways.
Since the first swing in 1972, Tamaron Country Club's course has been sending golfers down an idyllic path filled with rolling fairways, swaying trees, and impeccably maintained terrain. Greens superintendent Mike Kaminski obsesses over the upkeep of lush fairways and carpet-like greens, ensuring verdant beauty, true roll, and infinite sleeping spots for mid-round naps.
On the front nine, golfers start their round with a shorter par 5, presenting a green that's reachable in two. The next par 5 on the side is hole seven, which presents the longest hole on the course, made longer by out-of-bounds areas on the left and trees on the right that force some players to hit an iron or an oversize gavel off the tee.
Though the back nine is shorter than its predecessor, it makes up for its lack of length in deceptive lies and fewer birdie opportunities. Before signing scorecards and mailing them as postcards, players must first divide and conquer hole 18, a tricky par 4 that forces tee shots over or into a bowl-shaped depression that must be carried to reach the elevated green.
Tamaron Country Club houses an indoor golf simulator, where golfers can play virtual renditions of 38 world-famous courses. The high-tech apparatus makes a round possible even in inclement weather and removes many of the hassles of real golf, such as lugging a bag or getting out of quicksand bunkers.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 70 course * Total length of 6,060 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 67.7 from the back tees * Course slope of 109 from the back tees * Four sets of tees per hole
Bedford Hills Golf Club has assembled a trio of nine-hole courses—the Buckeye, Irish, and Wolverine Courses—to escort players along a lush labyrinth replete with pristine white-sand bunkers and interspersed water hazards. Golfers send shots into lower orbit from well-groomed fairways and putt across penncross bentgrass greens styled with mustaches designed to catch errant shots in their sandy chops. Challenges abound on all three courses, with water hazards and sand traps strategically placed amid the rolling terrain.
Bedrock mini-golf course complements the facility with pintsize challenges of its own, as players putt around small sand traps and beautiful landscaping while trying to resist miniature dives off the cascading waterfall.
The satisfying rattle of golf balls falling into cups soundtracks rounds at Perry Falls Miniature Golf Course, an 18-hole putters circuit that emulates a scaled-down, resort-style course. Placid streams, fountains, waterfalls, and tidal waves run throughout the par 40 course, setting a tranquil tone as golfers stand over tricky putts. Bereft of the windmills and loopty-loop gimmicks that populate most putt-putt layouts, Perry Falls challenges golfers with water hazards that come into the field of play on most holes. The course is open from 3 p.m. to dark on weekdays and noon to dark on weekends in May, and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. June to August, but closes in the event of rain or golf-ball mutiny.
Rolling hills and more than 1,000 pine trees cover the nearly 7,000-yard setup of White Pines Golf Course. The trees mostly stay out of the way of duffers' shots, but two waste bunkers and five ponds don't make the same promise. To help golfers avoid these hazards, White Pines offers a practice driving range, along with a practice green.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Total length of 6,850 yards from the back tees * Four sets of tees per hole