TourBound Golf Academy fosters score-shaving improvement for golfers of all abilities with the latest PGA Tour simulators and professional instructors. The immense screens of simulators line the walls, vividly bringing to life the verdant landscapes of 50 of the world's most famous courses. To allow for realistic play, the highly detailed simulator experience takes into account factors such as wind currents, ball spin, and excessively sweaty palms to inform the outcome of each swing. Offering a more hands-on kind of swing sprucing, the academy offers sessions with the TourBound robot, which can correct common swing imbalances, such as having too steep a backswing or failing to transfer body weight through the swing. The long arms of the robot physically guide hands through the proper motions, giving players a feel for the proper technique while making sarcastic remarks about human mortality.
For those looking for less structured practice, the academy also offers hitting bays that foster rote swing mechanics. Between time spent peering into the murky depths of their golf swing, guests can relax amid plush leather seats and spacious locker room.
With founder and artistic director Jorge Niedas at the helm, the professional dancers at Tango 21 teach bipeds how to execute skillful ballet and tango moves. A Buenos Aires native, Niedas picked up tango in local dance clubs before moving to Chicago as a ballet dancer with the Lyric Opera. Now, he and his team draw upon that dual background to infuse tango's twirls, steps, and dips with classical grace. Burgeoning ballet and tango dancers can pirouette in private classes, take group classes, or attend a drop-in class, as long as they drop in with grace.
It takes a black belt or its equivalent to become an instructor at Spider Gym MMA, where the staff expertly guides students through martial-arts training. Kids and adults can train in Brazilian jujitsu, a style of self-defense that teaches them how to immobilize an attacker and escape from a situation. To complement martial-arts training, the gym offers fitness classes such as cardio boxing, as well as yoga.
Since Barbara McNulty founded her school in 1971, it has expanded to 18 state-spanning locations where beginning and advanced students learn the ins and outs of Irish dancing. McNulty herself is certified to teach Irish step solo, figure, and ceili dancing, and instructors lead a host of solo and team lessons to accommodate different ages or experience levels.
At FLO CrossFit, their vision combines martial arts with the cardio and endurance of fitness. Multiple black-belt-holding and championship-winning instructors pour more than 100 combined years of experience into molding students of all skill levels into accomplished martial artists. The 8,500 sq. ft. facility contains a wide variety of state of the art equipment, such as an elevated boxing ring, collegiate wrestling mat, tatami area, and weight machines. They also offer free weights, and a cardio area with elliptical, treadmills, and bikes.
Boxing, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, krav maga, mixed martial arts, and muay thai kickboxing are just a few of the classes on offer; FLO encourages students to combine aspects of multiple styles to create a formidably balanced skill set. Memberships grant users unlimited access to the gym and group classes, and private lesson and personal training packages customize regimens with one-on-one attention.
Old Orchard Country Club came into existence in 1932, when the Wickersham family purchased the land and began to manicure it. Over the decades, the club became such a community staple that the Prospect Heights Park District bought it in 1999, with a promise to provide the same level of country-club service to the general public. The park district's landscapers maintain the golf course's gently rolling, narrow fairways, which shoot and snake between trees and numerous traps. The course features lots of dangerous water, with hazards between the golfer and the hole on at least nine occasions. The ninth hole—a par 5—bends right around the forest, only to reveal a longer stretch of fairway hemmed in by triple water hazards leading to an equally narrow green. The 17th hole also presents a challenge, with the fairway bisected by a wide river, making the safest shot a long drive straight to the green, which sits framed by a pair of sand bunkers.
Course at a Glance: