Though they operate more than 200 locations in upwards of 30 states, the team behind U.S. Baseball Academy aims to make each young athlete's experience a personal one. Their four- or six-week camps are taught by local instructors who are current or former coaches at the high school or college level, and typically offer a 6:1 or better player-to-teacher ratio for intense, professional-style training. The Academy's proven itinerary of hitting, pitching, fielding, and baserunning drills was developed by an advisory board of college coaches and Major League players, including Cy Young Award?winner and ace pitcher Brandon Webb.
At Sylvania Family Karate, third-degree black belt Randy Kopke teaches Okinawan goju ryu karate to an array of fist sizes. During his adult and youth karate classes?the latter of which can accommodate ages as young as four?he helps improve students' discipline and focus while teaching them to adopt a more positive attitude. To simplify matters, he outfits each student with their own karate uniform.
At Japan Karate Academy, karate isn't the only art students learn—the veteran instructors also teach kickboxing, Brazilian jiu jitsu, and traditional sword work. Helmed by Master A. K. Geelani, a martial artist certified by the World Karate Federation, the team of sensei also integrates strong values into their self-defense classes, such as perseverance and discipline.
Mountain Man Sports’ original mountain man Jim Wenberg started his business by selling skis, and later expanded his wares and services to include inline skates, snowboards, bikes, and sports accessories. Today, the walls of his shop are nearly unrecognizable behind rows of equipment, guarded by the shop’s faithful dog, Cooper. In addition to matching customers with any necessary equipment, Jim can rent out eager skiers a condo at Boyne Mountain’s Disciples Ridge, a scenic hideaway within walking distance of slopes, restaurants, shops, and a replica of the world’s first icicle.
Although Laurel Hill Swim & Tennis Club has amassed a high concentration of USPTA-certified instructors, they share their expertise with more than just professional players. Tennis 101 classes taught on both indoor and outdoor courts, impart beginners with the fundamentals of forehands, backhands, and net play and cardio tennis develops proper footwork while vanquishing calories. Serious competitors and novice players alike benefit from the Club’s variety of surface types. Four synthetic grass courts simulate the grassy grounds at the Wimbledon and har-tru courts replicate courts used during the French Open and hard surfaces replicate courts used at the U.S. and Australian Opens.
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