A round of miniature golf on Ace’s tropical-themed course, complete with waterfalls, streams, ponds, and lush Floridian vegetation, fills afternoons with fairway fun for friends and family (children ages four to 10 are admitted for $4.99, and kids under four get free admission). PGA pros and sand-trap stragglers will enjoy the upscale practice range, with covered swinging areas to protect golfers from weather, as well as stadium lighting for nighttime play and elaborate Field of Dreams fantasies. For harder hitting, baseball batters and softball sluggers step into batting cages, where professional pitching machines can vary speeds from lightning-bolt throws to lackadaisical lobs.
In golf, it's important to choose the right club for each shot. It's equally important to choose the right educational approach for each student. Coach Marc intuitively understands this, which is why he helps golfers improve their swings with everything from one-on-one instruction to group clinics and on-course playing lessons.
Over the years, Marc has shared his wisdom with more than 1,000 students. Take a look at his playing résumé, and you'll see that he's uniquely qualified to do so. At age 16, when most kids are busy goofing off, he set a course record at the challenging Chi Chi Rodriguez Golf Course in Palm Harbor. He's also a two-time PGA Tour qualifier with three holes-in-one to his name. Today, Marc stays sharp by schooling new golfers at locations across Florida. To help him analyze what even his keen eye can't catch, he uses modern technology such as video analysis and balls that explode when you don't hit them correctly.
Eduardo Torres’s interest for capoeira began in his teens, but it wasn't until he traveled from Northern California to Florida that he discovered his passion for teaching the Afro-Brazilian sport. After extensive training, Eduardo earned the title of Professor Girino and became a member of Grupo Maculelê. Tucking that experience into his back pocket, Eduardo now leads four Tampa Capoeira studios across the Greater Tampa Bay Area.
At those studios, Professor Girino and his savvy staff teach the ways of capoeira to students of all ages and skill levels, and they have even trained Major League Baseball catcher Russell Martin. During classes, students form a traditional roda, or circle, as they learn everything from the rhythmic chants that keep fighters on beat to the fluid, acrobatic movements that send their bodies spinning across a mat. Professor Girino also points out that capoeira is not about fighting but rather anticipating the opponent's next move, much like playing chess against a short-tempered orangutan.
With its flagship location residing in Chicagoland, Urban Beat Dance brings the fancy footwork of the Windy City to its second dance school in Brandon, Florida. Beginner classes combine with semiprofessional performance companies for a studio experience that explores a range of modern dance styles, from hip-hop to jazz, break dance, and ballet. Classes cater to dancers of all ages, teaching them basic techniques such as how to spin on your head, perform a box step, or knock someone out with a pointe shoe. A trio of companies for teenage dancers takes the show to outside venues, and Urban Beat Dance caps off its year with a showcase during which performers from both the company and the school strut their moves for a captivated audience.
All of X-treme Champions' instructors live, die, and whistle by the Coaches' Oath—a pledge to parents that emphasizes life lessons and sportsmanship rather than cutthroat competition. As they arm kids with the skills and knowledge necessary to master sports skills, they also encourage cooperation and etiquette, making sure each player knows to curtsy before tackling an opponent. During seasonal leagues, teams practice and play games on the same day, easily fitting with parents' schedules and forging new friendships through both camaraderie and competition.
Bloomingdale Golfers Club's 18-hole course stretches 7,165 yards into immaculate fairways hemmed by scenic waterways and trees draped in spanish moss. The layout features four long and memorable par 5s, including the 564-yard fourth hole, which bends left, then fades to the right, then doubles back left in a dizzying snake pattern that defies orthodox shot-making and golf carts prone to motion sickness. Each fairway serves as an emerald runway to the course's majestic greens, which sprout champion dwarf bermuda grass, a putting surface favored by seven prestigious PGA Tour venues.
Golfers can warm up at the practice facilities, which include a two-tiered driving range, half-acre practice green, and a short game area with a practice bunker. Famed PGA Tour pros Lee Janzen, Steve Stricker, and Michael Bradley have all refined their swings at Bloomingdale Golfers Club.
After rounds, golfers can relax at The Legends Grille, which serves up ham and turkey sandwiches, barbecue pulled chicken, and other casual fare. As they dine, guests can watch sports on seven big-screen TVs or enjoy the gallery of golfer-heckling birds soaring above the outdoor patio.
Course at a Glance: