Sips n Strokes gifts paintbrush-wielding neophytes the tools and confidence to create, with a mélange of masterpiece-making tutorials and a bring-your-own-beverage policy. Artists can elect a class from the shop's calendar to hone the painting style that best complements their home, office, or neighbor's windshield, including picks of imagery from Parisian scenes to funky roosters. Each course, led by an instructor well versed in the trade, pairs well with the liquid inspiration of each student's choosing. Silence-seeking artists or easily corruptible mimes may opt for an afternoon or weeknight session, as the weekends generally garner 20 to 50 rowdy rookies.
With a lineage that traces back more than 30 years to its founders' respective schools, Tiger Rock Martial Arts has grown to more than 200 locations nationwide. Tiger Rock's primary focus is tae kwon do, through which certified trainers teach youngsters the skills to defend themselves, as well as confidence and discipline. Adults can learn tae kwon do as well or encounter martial-arts moves in a calorie-torching aerobic workout. Tiger Rock also partners with sports teams to bolster their training or with corporations to get their employees up, moving, and healthy.
At Bike Link of Hoover, general manager Joe Wenning and his cycling-inclined staff outfit riders with new bicycles and tune up bikes of all brands. Visitors peruse rides from Specialized, Electra, Felt, Raleigh, Cervelo and Redline, all available for onsite test rides and fittings. In the repair shop, technicians optimize bikes with everything from minor break adjustments to complete details and tune-ups, and can even be called upon to clean and wax bikes too shy to bathe outdoors.
The 18 holes at Frank House Municipal Golf Course embroil golfers in a test of skills and mental toughness as they guide orbs over a lush, emerald carpet. After completing the relatively straight front nine, players must adjust aim for shots on the back nine, where all but three of the holes make severe dogleg turns. One of these doglegs, the 18th, forces players to lay up short of a lake, and then approach over its width or try to freeze it over with an icy glare.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Total length of 6,346 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 69 from the back tees * Course rating of 119 from the back tees * Three sets of tees per hole
A trio of nine-hole golf courses come together to form Bent Brook Golf Club, which also incorporates a distinctive farmhouse-style clubhouse. While the Brook, Graveyard, and Windmill courses are each unique in their own rights, a few common themes emerge. The first is water, and a lot of it: on the Graveyard course, for example, five large lakes crowd holes number 4 through 7 and demand challenging, hazard-carrying tee shots and approaches. Other features include the meticulously kept bent grass greens, Tiff 419 Bermuda fairways, and tee boxes with four sets of tees, all of which combine to render enjoyable rounds for every level of golfer. After a round, groups can gather around a table at the the Bent Brook Restaurant to rehash their day on the course over selections from the deli-style menu.
Linda Dobbins Dance owner and artistic director Linda Dobbins knows more than a thing or two about dancing—she has studied, taught, and performed in an array of dance styles over the past 30 years. During that time, her students have won a slew of awards, earned more than $85,000 in scholarship money, and gone on to nab successful dance gigs in the film and TV industry.
Linda is backed up by a team of talented instructors who teach both recreational and competitive dance classes. They are trained in a wide spectrum of dance disciplines including jazz, hip-hop, lyrical, ballet, contemporary, modern, clogging, and cheerleading. Their lessons are supplemented by tri-annual visits from master choreographers who lead workshops to refresh students with a shower of knowledge and inspiration.