The experience at Heron Creek Golf & Country Club begins at the 21,000 square foot clubhouse. Here, an opulent lobby greets visitors as they arrive for their round of golf, tennis match, or bout with the fitness center workout machines. Golfers can make their way through the well-stocked pro shop before teeing up on the 27-hole complex designed by Arthur Hills. Mr. Hills strung the trio of nine-hole courses through the site's near-ubiquitous water, creating many opportunities for golfers to donate their golf balls and make a wish with each splash. Six practice areas and five practice greens round out the club's golf options, further cementing it as a prime location in which to improve at the game.
Designed by Charles Ankrom and built in 1970, Sabal Trace Golf and Country Club sends golfers swinging across 18 holes of undulating fairways, intersecting water hazards, and elevated greens. The course caps off the front nine with its longest hole, a 544-yard par-five with a canal that runs along the right side of the fairway and eventually jets across the fairway in front of the green. After finishing their round on the par-four 18th hole, players can recharge at the Tavern by the Green Restaurant, which serves breakfast and lunch daily.
Course at a Glance:
* 18-hole, par-72 course
* Total length of 6,755 yards from the back tees
* Four sets of tees per hole
Golf World's well-manicured, lighted practice facility emerges out of a pine-tree forest to woo golfers with an expansive driving range, while their shop equips gear-less guests with brand-name equipment by Taylor Made, Callaway, and Titleist. Send a bucket of golf balls skyward from the range's artificial turf and bermuda tees, practicing long-distance strokes and improving accuracy by targeting rooftop satellites. A shaded pavilion offers cool respite from sunny summer days, and an assortment of tee heights hones striking skills with all clubs. Peruse the discount shop's extensive selections to purchase a pair of gloves ($10 for two pair), replace a worn-out putter ($29.99+), or usher your 9-iron out of the Bronze Age.
Sprawling alongside the historic Caloosahatchee River, Riverbend Golf and River Club's 18-hole executive course pairs picture-perfect drives with equally impeccable surroundings. Winding waterways, native woodlands, and crisp river breezes follow players across the course's 212 acres, and overhead, eagles soar gracefully while muttering swing critiques under their breath. After rounds, groups can celebrate new low scores at the club's 19th hole, Marker 34, which caps off pleasant days on the links with quaint waterfront views and eats from an onsite restaurant.
The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire - Fort Myers, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form using their expert eyes. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic Waltz and Foxtrot romps or swivel through the modern steps of Salsa, Swing, or Samba. For dancers hoping to hoof it up in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction and demonstrations.
Zuleta’s Indoor Batting Cages are owned and operated by Julio Zuleta, a veteran ballplayer who boasts a 17-year career in not only the Minor and Major Leagues, but also in Nippon Professional Baseball and the World Baseball Classic. Seventy feet of astroturf separate future sluggers from their robotic pitchers in four cages delineated by black netting that keeps patrons safe from stray balls and the occasional giant monster mosquito. Bring your own bat (wooden, aluminum, or pygmy round-eared) or rent an aluminum bat for $1. Practice like the pros on the same type of machines most MLB players use to warm-up during spring training. Controllable pitching speeds from 25 to 85 mph are available to suit any ability level and can take both baseballs and softballs.