Dead Broke Farm's name derives not only from the cost of owning horses, but also from the terminology for teaching a horse to wear a saddle—known in the industry as “breaking a horse to ride.” Trainers stable “dead broke,” or thoroughly saddle-trained, horses, alongside more spirited animals on the 110-acre farm. They also house steeds saved through their horse-rescue program, with more than 70 of their mounts avoiding fates in slaughterhouses and other undesirable ends since 2004.
Horses show off their trotting chops during farm trail rides, carrying riders on explorations of the rolling hills and whispering creeks scattered across more than 10 miles of bridle trails cut through woods populated by deer, cranes, and other wildlife. Private rides allow for more personalized routes and can incorporate stops at scenic ponds for proposals or more challenging terrain for advanced riders. Instructors also schedule horseback-riding lessons, teaching balance through rides over undulating terrain rather than through exercises such as riding a horse that is riding a seesaw.
Sculpted through undulating, woodland terrain, Eagle Ridge Golf Club's par 71 course is a 6,904-yard testament to the inventive design of 1992 U.S. Open Champion Tom Kite, who made roughly two dozen trips to the site while crafting the layout. Multiple high-risk, high-reward shots manifest themselves throughout the round, creating a pin-hunting experience that—unlike trying to guess where the valet hid your car keys—challenges players without sacrificing fun. With many shots into elevated or downhill greens, the course places sound wedge and short-iron shots at a premium.
Before or after rounds, clubbers can warm up at the practice green or swing to their heart's content at the driving range, where practice balls paint racing stripes on themselves in anticipation of their trip into the clouds. To further promote score-shaving form, the club's pro shop peddles the latest in technologically enhanced golf gear, a PGA staffer offers lessons and clinics, and the dining facility fuels muscles for the next tape-measure drive.
Sparians Bowling Boutique & Bistro aims to elevate the traditional alley experience by creating a lounge-like environment suitable for a daytime family outing as well as a night out on the town. Comfortable, plush couches replace the hard plastic seats normally stationed behind lanes, giving visitors places to more easily kick back and relax in between frames. Black lights lend a midnight-worthy glow to the bowling areas, transforming each ball into a neon streak as it hurtles toward the pins. A perfect score is rarely the primary goal, though. Instead, Sparians encourages visitors of all skill levels to come and enjoy themselves in an environment determined to bring bowling alleys into the 21st century.
Beyond the lanes, the entertainment center features numerous opportunities for guests looking to pass a few hours. A separate upscale-sports-bar area helps quench thirsts with frosty beers or potent cocktails and serves hearty comfort foods such as crispy chicken wings, burgers, and stone-baked pizzas.
A staff of golf experts roams the grounds at 401 Par Golf Inc. ready to help beginners taking their first shot on the nine-hole par 3 course or seasoned veterans shoring up fundamentals on the lighted driving range. Head pro Mike Sullivan conducts lessons for any golfer committed to improvement, evaluating areas such as fitness, short game skills, and equipment before designing a lesson plan geared toward the player?s personal goals. Inside AA Golf Clubs, the onsite fitting and repair shop, Tom Miller fits golf clubs to each player?s body type and natural swing motion. After working up a sweat, players can head in for New Orleans-style snoballs and ice cream at Pelican?s ? a better method for beating the heat than punching a thermometer.
Lunar Mini Golf's two 18-hole indoor courses whisks putters away to a black-lit labyrinth sculpted through a phosphorescent dreamscape of vibrant murals and neon obstacles. Tiny neon walls frame the pitch-black corridors of each hole, which gives the impression that patrons are rolling orbs across the rayless expanse of the cosmos or through their neighbors' radioactive crawlspaces. Clubbers clad in white will shine like gleaming apparitions as they read tricky breaks and keep the yips at bay, and Lunar Mini Golf offers glowing necklaces for clients to wear to capitalize on the visually mesmerizing lure of the black lights. Catering to large groups, Lunar Mini Golf also features a complimentary party zone available upon request for birthdays, corporate gatherings, and ceremonies unveiling new neon eyebrow tattoos.
Together, the community of Triangle Rock Club's state-of-the-art facilities in Morrisville and Raleigh house a combined 39,000 square feet of expertly-crafted indoor climbing fun. In addition to North Carolina's first 55-foot climbing wall built during Morrisville's recent expansion, TRC now boasts the highest climbing gym in a five-state radius. During small-size classes, drop-in sessions, and rock-climbing camps, novice and seasoned climbers alike scale freestanding boulders and rope-in to ascend over slanted surfaces to the top of premier climbing walls. Founded by two former Marines, Triangle Rock Club was also awarded the Pinnacle Business Award in both 2013 and 2014.