Designed by prolific course architect Joel Goldstrand, Rum River Hills Golf Club's 18-hole course weaves through 6,308 yards of water-lined fairways and undulating greens. Water hazards present challenges from the very first tee, where aggressive players may choose to lay up or drive balls over a pond to cut the corner off of a fairway that dog-legs right, setting up a favorable approach onto a green 413 yards away. Rum River Hills tests players’ short game with undulating greens that take golf balls through more sharp turns than a golf cart driving through a grocery store.
A full-length driving range allows players to warm up before they take to the course, and the club's PGA instructors offer lessons for those looking to improve their swing mechanics. After a day at the links, course patrons can drop in at McDuff's Restaurant, which serves an expansive menu of salads, burgers, steaks, and pizzas. Inside the sunlit dining room, 11 TVs let guests catch up with live sports, while outdoor patio seating caters to those hoping to reverse engineer the technology of the lawn mowers maintaining the course below.
Course at a Glance:
Though many students come to Mathnasium having fallen behind their classmates, a mathematically advanced child sparked the learning program’s creation. As founder Larry Martinek’s young son, Nic, developed an appetite for higher-level math concepts, Larry found himself developing an entirely new teaching language to explain them in an age-appropriate way. The kind of instincts he sought to build up couldn’t be nurtured by drills and rote memorization. Instead, they required a deeper understanding of the principles at the root of mathematical operations, delivered in a way that grade-school kids could apply throughout their academic careers.
In just a decade’s time, Larry and his team have established Mathnasium centers in most U.S. states and more than a dozen in other countries. At each, highly trained tutors develop custom learning plans for students in grades K–12 based on The Mathnasium Method. The system combines an education strategy of conceptual, tactile, and visual techniques with a curriculum structure that ensures kids can count, think proportionally, and break complex problems into smaller components to solve simply. Tutors allow some time during each session to help students with the concepts in their math homework, and the centers regularly check report cards and standardized tests as further measures of progress.
Since first teeing off in 1989, Fox Hollow Golf Club has hosted regular state championships and the 2008 sectional qualifying tournament for the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship, showcasing the club's 27-hole layout characterized by challenging play and picturesque surroundings. The course sprawls throughout 200 acres of hardwood forest and windswept prairie and is often blanketed by lush bluegrass and natural flora. The original 18 stretches along the banks of the Crow River for much of its 6,713-yard length, affecting play on five holes. Occasionally, golfers are forced to carry shots over the river, as is the case on the par 3 third hole, where players must aim their tee shots at the island green and hope the ball doesn't run off the steep sides or get eaten by an amphibious caddy. With two greens and a split fairway, the par 4 17th can take on two distinct identities or three creepy alter egos. If the hole is placed on the left side of the green, players are best suited to hit a small fairway landing area and execute a long approach, but if it’s on the right, they must blast their tee shot over two bodies of water to reach the green.Prior to a round, players can make use of the Fox Hollow practice facility, where they'll find a full-length driving range, three putting greens, and a practice bunker.Course at a Glance:
152 Club Bar & Grill sates surly appetites with a menu of burgers, sandwiches, pizza, and more than 30 beers. Start the gustatory sojourn with fried pickles, spicy battered spears served alongside ranch dressing ($6), or dive mouth-first into the Island burger, a half-pound teriyaki-smothered patty dressed in a ring of pineapple, a layer of canadian bacon, and a space suit of vegetables ($8.75 with fresh-cut seasoned fries). The Club Stacker sandwich stacks smoke-pit ham, thick-cut bacon, and turkey breast between three layers of toast draped in american cheese ($8.25 with fries). The bacon-cheeseburger pizza represents a symbiosis of sandwich and pizza, sizzling with grilled hamburger meat and bacon on top of a thin crust covered in six cheeses and hamburger pickles ($12.25). A long list of beers, such as Blue Moon and Michelob AmberBock, gives guzzlers a choice of foamy beverages to wash down their grub, and seasonal draft selections rotate like a protractor playing Twister.
The ruleta wheel at Pancho Villa Mexican Restaurant sends tablefuls of friends into a frenzy when one of the bunch is chosen to take a spin. Landing on the right space in this wheel can grant the entire table free drinks from a selection of specialty margaritas and cocktails. This is just one of the ways the staff amps up the festive atmosphere in the restaurant—there's also karaoke every night Thursday through Sunday. And thanks to the flat screen televisions, patrons can keep an eye on their favorite teams as they face off with rivals or trade secrets for keeping their shoelaces tied.
Patrons come as much for the atmosphere as they do for the menu of chicken flautas, cheese enchiladas, shrimp chimichangas, pork ribs, and other traditional Mexican cuisine. When the weather's nice they can dine outside, where umbrellas protect their entrees from the sun's sticky fingers. Regular lunch specials and the Monticello location's lunch buffet make midday dining even more enticing.
A tall painted portrait, illuminated from above, shows a woman standing barefoot holding a lamb. Follow her glance downwards and sideways, and you'll sight row upon brightly colored row of carefully stacked skeins of yarn from brands such as Blue Sky and Spud & Chloë. Classes teach tender-footed knitters to wield these materials with care, and more advanced offerings cover refined and specialized stitching skills. The shop also carries its own line of all-natural soaps, household cleaners, and moisturizers designed to soften hands toughened by efforts to wrestle needles away from uncooperative porcupines.
The staff members at Sylvan Learning's numerous centers understand that each child learns differently. Therefore, they don’t try to implement a uniform tutoring system; instead, they design custom lesson programs based on the results of a skills assessment using diagnostic tools and one-on-one interviews.
Tutors work with students from pre-kindergarten through grade 12, illuminating topics ranging from basic reading and writing to remembering complex algebraic formulas without having them tattooed on your chest. Many of Sylvan’s instructors work in local schools, so they are intimately familiar with common curricula and understand how to gear lessons toward optimal results. Camps and after-school and summer classes can ready high-schoolers for the rigors of the ACT or the SAT, or they can help students to wow college-admissions officers with their superior essay-writing skills.