GolfTEC is staffed by experienced golfing professionals and computers who’ve sworn allegiance to the Three Laws of golfing robotics. Motion sensors and high-speed cameras monitor your swing and break down your form on a high-definition video display. GolfTEC’s specialists point out your flaws, strengths, and coach you on how to permanently improve your game, from tee to green. Sensors chirp with approval when you’ve executed a perfect stroke or cracked an especially witty golfing joke.
US Open champ Mike Scroggins gazed anxiously at the fallen pin as it rolled slowly across the waxed wood, inching its way toward the frame's only survivor, the seven pin. Finally, the rolling pin tapped the seven, which wobbled to one side, then the other—and finally teetered over, giving Scroggins a strike and clearing the way for him to win his 45th career PBA victory.
The chronicler of this triumph was the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, and the site of it was South Plains Lanes. For nearly two decades, the alley's 40 polished lanes have set the stage for dramatic showdowns such as that one. It is little wonder then that bowlers would be tempted to vie for strikes until three in the morning on weekends, when the lanes are briefly used as shortcuts for trucking routes. Automatic scoring tracks the competition, and a snack bar fuels the bowlers. Between games, bowlers can fling darts or head to the billiards tables.
Play It Again Sports overhauls lockers with high-quality gear and rescues gently used athletic equipment from untimely retirement. Products from brands such as Nike, Adidas, and Wilson make up an all-star lineup across each store's shelves, which are replenished daily with goods for a wide selection of sports that ranges from baseball and football to snowboarding and lacrosse. 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. To ensure its stock remains robust, Play It Again Sports encourages athletes to collect their lightly used gear—including bicycles—and bring it into a local store to either sell or trade.
Cardinal's Sport Center's director of training, Leigh Daniel Cordes, didn't build her training expertise in schools. She built it on the track and field as a nine-time All-American in track and cross-country and as a NCAA long-distance running champion. Since graduating from college, Leigh has coached nationally recognized running teams and dozens of fleet-footed gingerbread people. Today, she brings that experience to trainers who lead rigorous group fitness classes such as Gut Buster, Zumba, and TRX. The center also houses softball and baseball batting cages and an onsite café and coffee bar.
Whitewood Lanes presents families, friends, and league bowlers with a clean, modern facility in which to perfect their pin-pummeling technique. Each Saturday night during the summer, groups can get together for Rock ‘N’ Bowl to rack up strikes amid high-energy beats and disco lights that make everyone look like John Travolta in Battlefield Earth’s famous disco-dancing scene. On Wednesdays after 5 p.m., friends can knock back a few $1 drafts while knocking balls into the gutter, and Sundays welcome families to compare spare-making strategies in an alcohol-free environment.
Helmed by a family of triathletes and swimmers, Hydro-Train Outfitters unites land and sea with shelf after shelf of swimming, cycling, and running gear. The Speedo logo flashes across hydro-speed swimsuits and jammers, accompanied by goggles and masks by Aqua Sphere. Polar Tech sunglasses and TYR visors shade eyes from harsh sun rays, and Swimovate stopwatches help to track swimmers’ strokes, heart rate, and gill production.