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.
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 footwear specialists at New Balance Toledo measure every aspect of customers’ show fillers to determine the most comfortable footwear with form-fitting levels of support and motion. After taking measurements and lifestyles into account, the team recommends shoe models to help foot digits feel like plants in a sun chamber, blossoming under the possibilities of versatile new styles. Mens’ 860 running shoes ($109.99) and women’s 812 walking shoes ($104.99) offer additional shock absorption to prevent injury and enhance comfort. Boys’ and girls’ 880 running shoes ($54.99) provide young runners with durable outsoles and offer stretch-lace closures to keep knots far away from joining sailor school. With a commitment to domestic manufacturing, New Balance produces 25% of its footwear in five New England factories.
Whether visitors are arming themselves with knowledge or a bow and arrow, the experts at Cleland's Outdoor World equip them with the training, tools, and accessories they need. Onsite archery instruction includes private lessons, as well as certified training aimed to condition young people for competition in the Junior Olympics. Other classes include knife sharpening and basic firearm reloading, and the shop also carries a variety of equipment with which visitors can exercise their new skills. Cleland's Outdoor World also houses an onsite pistol range.
Casual and determined athletes alike will find their sport at Game On Sports Center, a complex that hosts everything from drop-in open gyms and parties to private instruction and weeklong camps. Adults and kids can play volleyball, basketball, floor hockey, soccer, and dodgeball on three courts, their fancy footwork benefiting from the all-purpose Sport Court flooring endorsed by the NBA and the NCAA. An additional baseball and softball practice area features two 70-foot batting cages, as well as pitching mounds, L-screens, tees, and other equipment. Though Game On hosts a regular rotation of clinics and camps led by athletes that have played and coached at high school, collegiate, and semi-pro levels, all of their supervised facilities are also available to rent for private parties or for dramatic sports-movie montages.
The diver double-checks all her gear before leaving the surefootedness of the boat and falling into the deep water, where she explores shipwrecks and seemingly untouched expanses throughout the Michigan Underwater Preserves in the Great Lakes. The team of PADI- and SSI-certified instructors at Scuba Centers of Michigan helps students prepare for these types of adventures every day, covering advanced topics such as diving at night and how to properly greet a sturgeon. The instructors also start from the beginning, teaching basic open-water diving techniques, which their pupils practice in the onsite heated pool. To complement its courses, the center stocks gear from equipment brands such as McNett, Aqua Lung, and Suunto, and it organizes diving trips to South Africa and Australia.