Nobody in Santa Monica has a snow-covered slope in their backyard to practice slalom runs. Some think they can just march up a mountain and dominate a black diamond on courage and instinct alone. Instead, they wind up face first in snow, wishing they’d practiced.
In order to prepare skiers and snowboarders for the real deal, and to spare them from slushy, frostbitten shame, two-time world ski champion Bob Salemo devised his innovative Virtual Snow training system. In a controlled indoor environment far away from menacing ski lifts and snowballs tossed by mountain goats, winter-sports enthusiasts perfect their maneuvers in fun training drills led by skilled instructors and the clever teachings of Salemo himself. The faux ski-course simulator, which resembles a large conveyor belt, mimics the smooth surface and wily turns of a downhill slope as its snowy surface rolls beneath the feet of students on skis or snowboards. Future Picabo Streets or Shawn Whites not only expand their abilities to new levels, but they can also practice tricks without bailing out and shake off any bad habits they learned from sleet gangs.
Fountains whisper to themselves amid low emerald hillocks. Groups of golfers confer over tees at the ninth hole, where the fairway drops off to the left, into the cool mirror of a small lake. Architect Ted Robinson, who has designed more than 170 courses, draws heavily on the many uses of water in his creations. With mountains spearing the horizon in the distance, golfers cut beneath swaying palm trees. The scents of grilling burgers drift down from the clubhouse, and during Sunday-morning brunches, champagne glasses clink occasionally like a shy xylophonist.
Combining the most up-to-date teaching techniques with the age-old customs of martial arts, Chozen Martial Arts offers students of all ages a variety of self-defense styles to improve health, fitness, and confidence in a friendly atmosphere. Learn the hand-to-hand blended-American-Karate combat skills of judo, aikido, kenpo, and more with your own mix-and-match of 10 classes ($159 tuition). Experienced instructors will guide you on your board-breaking and eggshell-crushing journey to enhanced athletic performance and disciplined behavior. Wee Bruce Lees can take their first high-kicks with Chozen's Tiny Tigers or Dragons, while teens and adults will bridge the generation gap through well-placed chest-jabs with their respective classes. In a blend of boxing and martial arts, high-intensity cardio-kickboxing classes allow fighters to burn 350–450 calories per hour with finely-tuned flailings.
Nestled just south of Mount Baldy and national forests sits the 18-hole championship course at Upland Hills Country Club, designed by David A. Rainville. Players putt and drive around water hazards and palm trees that have been providing coconut golf balls at the course for nearly 30 years. The course’s 6th and 13th holes sprawl over 539 and 475 yards, respectively, earning them each a par 5. After swinging through the course, golfers can drop in at the restaurant and bar for refreshments, schedule a lesson, or visit the pro shop to replace the golf glove they ruined by bedazzling it for a Michael Jackson impersonation. Course at a Glance:
El Rancho Verde Golf Club has spent half a century basking in the majesty of the surrounding snow-capped mountains, testing golfers on a challenging course without disrupting their inner peace. The par 72 course boasts holes to make both advanced stick-swivelers and novice wedge-wielders feel at home. From the longest tees, balls can race down 6,844 yards of fairway, along pools that reflect the towering peaks and lush greenery where native owls wait eagerly to adopt lost golf balls and hatch them as their own.
Night lasers, black lights, and glow sticks might tempt people to mistake a Chicka Fitness workout for a rave, but make no mistake—the Chicka Fitness crew is serious about exercise. Their unique classes incorporate dozens of props, allowing pupils to have fun while they sweat off pounds and sculpt their bodies. They use sticks for self-defense, hand targets and bats for stress relief, and even drumsticks. More provocative classes also incorporate chair workouts, dance, and belly-chain wraps.