Auburn and Alabama gear fills Campus Spirit's local shops, flooding the racks and shelves with hues of crimson, burnt orange, and navy blue. The Campus Spirit team helps keep fans ready throughout the year with merchandise celebrating the Auburn Tigers—who won the National Football Championships in 1957 and 2010—and the Alabama Crimson Tide—who began their strong-playing history in 1892 by winning 56–0 in their very first game. The schools' logos can be found throughout the store on tailgating gear, clothing, and even housewares such as oven mitts to wear when baking homemade footballs. Campus Spirit carries Auburn and Alabama gear at locations in The Summit in Vestavia and the Alabaster Colonial Promenade—two open-air shopping centers with merchants including Banana Republic, GapKids, LongHorn Steakhouse, Target, and Starbucks.
A little leaguer sends a baseball soaring through the air. A confused family salutes each flag waving on a mini-golf course. Both of these events could take place at Southern Golf's indoor and outdoor facilities. At the pro shop, staffers fit clubs and sell gear from brands such as Bridgestone and Nike Golf; customers can then test out new equipment on an indoor putting green. Visitors can also practice their swings at the batting cages or on the 18-hole outdoor mini-golf course.
Youngsters who have outgrown their gear and adults picking up a new sport can outfit themselves with selections from Play it Again Sports, the largest sporting-goods resale franchise in North America. In its stores, brand-name equipment—from popular makers such as Adidas, Nike, and Wilson—shines in displays alongside gently used wares. This gear helps equip competitive athletes playing sports such as soccer and golf as well as noncompetitive sportspeople who just want to fill golf carts with soccer balls for fun. Patrons can also trade in or sell their equipment, provided that it is still in working condition, and put that money toward new gear.
Jason Cerniglia grew up in Bluff Park, and has dedicated himself to the buffing up of its denizens, working on the floor of gyms as a personal trainer for the last 15 years. Working with his neighbors and members of the community fueled his desire to set up a gym that would fold into their fitness needs, and that gym became Hoover Fitness.
In his facility, Jason houses a full range of functional-movement, cardio, and strength-training equipment. To make use of the space, he puts on a host of group fitness classes, from the Latin dancercise of Zumba to the relaxing, lengthening stretches of yoga. Jason also leads the 21-Day Bodyfat Blast, a focused program designed to incinerate calories in the furnace of three straight weeks of daily workouts. To help parents out of a bind, his studio makes childcare available.
The golfing gurus at Edwin Watts Golf Academy diagnose and correct their students' poor swing and putting habits in an effort to help them improve their shots and lower their scores. In one-on-one swing-analysis sessions, students learn a repeatable swing that eliminates tendencies they may have to slice, hook, push, or pull the ball. A special laser attaches to the end of the player's club and tracks the swing path while JC Video swing-analysis software records the session from two separate angles, lest analysis be thrown off by only looking at the golfer's good side. Putting analysis employs Tomi technology to measure eight separate parameters of the putting stroke, from clubhead orientation at address to swing path and tempo. After swing and putting lessons, students may access the recordings on a password-protected website, so they can forward videos to friends or sports-documentary filmmakers.
The 18 holes of Eagle Point Golf Club wind around tall forest groves and water hazards that come into play on six holes. Playing to a par of 71, the course requires golfers to steel their nerves as they size up their golf balls on the bermuda-grass fairways and execute a few key shots. These include the approach into a sand-surrounded green on the 7th hole and the tee shot entirely over water on the par 3 15th?as well as the final putt on the 18th hole, without which the round would never end.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 17 course * Total length of 6,493 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 70.1 from the back tees * Course slope of 119 from the back tees * Four sets of tees per hole