Bloomingdale Golfers Club's 18-hole course stretches 7,165 yards into immaculate fairways hemmed by scenic waterways and trees draped in spanish moss. The layout features four long and memorable par 5s, including the 564-yard fourth hole, which bends left, then fades to the right, then doubles back left in a dizzying snake pattern that defies orthodox shot-making and golf carts prone to motion sickness. Each fairway serves as an emerald runway to the course's majestic greens, which sprout champion dwarf bermuda grass, a putting surface favored by seven prestigious PGA Tour venues.
Golfers can warm up at the practice facilities, which include a two-tiered driving range, half-acre practice green, and a short game area with a practice bunker. Famed PGA Tour pros Lee Janzen, Steve Stricker, and Michael Bradley have all refined their swings at Bloomingdale Golfers Club.
After rounds, golfers can relax at The Legends Grille, which serves up ham and turkey sandwiches, barbecue pulled chicken, and other casual fare. As they dine, guests can watch sports on seven big-screen TVs or enjoy the gallery of golfer-heckling birds soaring above the outdoor patio.
Course at a Glance:
Golf Etc. Lakeland helps golfers through the entire process of upgrading their arsenal, from finding brand-name equipment to adjusting their current gear to fit their game. Brothers Luke and J.J. Miller—the latter of whom coaches golf at Southeastern University—run the shop and personally oversee the custom club-fitting process. In the hitting bay in the back of the store, visitors are likely to see Luke—who fits and maintains clubs for many local pros—analyzing a client's swing with technology that helps him prescribe the right club or zone in on any modifications, such as adjusting the length of the shaft or replacing the club head with a jai-alai basket. Golf Etc. also features an indoor putting green for golfers to test out prospective flatsticks, and J.J. and Luke regularly perform club re-gripping and repair services.
Fresh paintballs delivered each week splatter on first-time players and tournament competitors on Central Florida Paintball's 12 courses sprawled across 22 acres. Experienced players prep for tournament play on one of six flat-grass airball fields decorated with inflatable barriers. Staff members rebuild these X-ball and speedball-style fields every two weeks to improve the health of the bahia grass and switch up the terrain. With limited protection, these faster-paced airball fields force teams to work together and move as a unit as they attempt to outlast the competition.
Recreational players attack and defend on 12 acres of woodsball courses equipped with a two-story fort as well as larger huts. Stone structures invite players to duck inside for a breather, and crowd of trees affords a sliver of protection and a place to spy the coming ambush. Though both fields are open 9 a.m.–5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, the woodsball fields are available Wednesday–Friday to groups 10 with a reservation. Guests can stalk each other at night on lighted fields equipped for evening play or retire for the evening to overnight campgrounds with fire pits perfect for making popcorn seasoned with unspent paint capsules.
Since 1989, Play It Again Sports has been buying and selling new and used sports and exercise equipment. They are keeping sports green, recycling gently used athletic equipment into new-to-you gear. Products from brands such as Nike, Adidas, Easton, Wilson, Nautilus and Schwinn, make up each store's enormous selection of new and recycled gear, which is replenished daily with goods for a wide selection of sports that ranges from baseball, golf, soccer to lacrosse and football. Treadmills and exercise bikes equip bodies with muscular suits of armor, and pintsize and adolescent equipment arms youngsters with protective padding until they eat enough bologna to grow muscles of their own. Knowledgeable staffers man each location, ready to answer questions, arrange gear deliveries or pick-ups. To ensure their stock remains robust, they also encourage athletes to collect their lightly used gear?including bicycles?and bring it into a local store to either sell or trade.
At Jungle Games Paintball, the acres of playing fields are littered with abandoned transport vehicles that set the stage for action-packed gaming. Defunct helicopters serve as sniping stations, and hollowed-out vans provide a place for opponents to duck for cover or take a break to plan their financial futures. As players navigate around trees in one of Extreme Paintball's six wooded fields, they take aim with rented Tippmann 98 markers upon catching sight of opponents. At Off the Wall Adventures, players explore 15 acres of play area, including a three-story fort and five-man speedball field designed to test players' stamina and skill.
With 18 full marathons and more than 100 races total under his belt, Hit the Trails owner Stephen Dunn knows that properly fitted apparel is key for a successful running experience. Alongside his enthusiastic staff, Steve fits feet into sneakers from Pearl Izumi, New Balance, and other major brands using a treadmill-mounted camera analyst that gauges clients' gaits. Once they're snug in their new kicks and outfitted with fresh running garb and accessories, patrons can partake in group or private coaching sessions with Steve—who's certified as a coach by the Road Runners Club of America—and his sidekick, high-school running coach Larry Bass. The shop also hosts summer clinics that boost speed and agility before football and soccer seasons and endurance before cross-country season and its grueling daily jogs to California. In his downtime, Steve jogs alongside fellow running enthusiast and beloved dog Pre and arranges his store's role in local races.