A golf club's atmosphere can often be traced to the personality of the head golf professional. For the members and guests at the semiprivate Rolling Hills Country Club, that is a very good thing. Head Professional and PGA member Steve Nolawski infuses his great number of roles—from general manager to lesson-giver to tee-time receptionist—with a friendly smile and player-oriented approach. Steve has served in this all-encompassing capacity for the club since 2001, as well as created leagues, set up club tournaments, and coached on-course etiquette to the resident squirrels.
The 18-hole course, however, is naturally the club's focal point. Stretching 6,500 yards from the tips, it's a intermediate-length course that's manageable for beginners, a challenge to avid players, and walkable for those who enjoy golf's exercise. A driving range, practice green, and pro shop round out the club.
Course at a Glance:
The Clinton Country Club, which has been in operation near Truman Lake for more than 100 years, exudes a welcoming environment that encompasses a sprawling 18-hole golf course, driving range, and putting area. The cart rental enables golfers to easily whisk across the course’s verdant green turf and terrain before heading to the full-service bar, dining room, or pro shop, all of which overlook the course. Soda ($1.50), hot dogs ($2.50), beer ($2.50), and more are all available from the club’s eatery.
When a school of music also contains a live-performance venue, it’s an indicator that the lessons stick. Such is the case with the Columbia Academy of Music, where private practice rooms sit just steps from The Bridge, a club accustomed to welcoming musical talent from down the street and around the country. A stage within range of instruction can inspire even the most stage-frightened students to step into the spotlight, where they’ll get the hands-on, feet-on stage experience that renders books worthless.
The academy’s tuneful staffers are no strangers to this kind of public performance—some instructors have shared the stage with the likes of Chuck Berry, Sting, and Hank Williams III—but many also are experts in what goes on behind the music. In lessons tailored for all ages, skill sets, and music-making manners, the school strengthens the confidence of budding musicians in once-a-week sessions. Instrument instruction infuses students with techniques across a range of musical genres; audio-production and engineering courses teach students how to make solid records and tolerate most singers’ misguided requests for more Steak-Umms in the monitor.
Jones and Norene Gann first imagined transforming their property into a golf course 18 years ago, and constructed an 18-hole course and golf facility now managed by the Rapp family. Open seven days a week, the course challenges golfers with outstretched trees, formidable bunkers and mounds, and hazardous waters. Designated cart paths wind around and through the course, guiding drivers to the next hole on their route or through a wormhole leading to the twenty-third century. Nestled atop the sprawling property, practice facilities help golfers warm up swinging arms, and a pro shop lets athletes restock balls and read up on instructional guides to high-level golfsmanship.
In regular golf instruction, owners Bill and Philip Rapp help students fine-tune their swing and boost their game with new skills. On Tuesday evenings, young putters can hone their swinging skills in free lessons.
At One On One, clients workout in a state-of-the-art facility with access to certified trainers, a collegiate diver, a martial artist, and trainers who have competed in figure- and bodybuilding competitions. The fitness gurus can design customized plans tailored to each client’s skills as they monitor, motivate, and encourage them to reach their goals. In the gym—which is open 24 hours a day—TVs suspended from the ceilings occupy athletes as they work up a sweat on Precor and Life Fitness treadmills and elliptical machines. Strength-training machines populate the gym floor, as do free weights, an adjacent pool, and medicine balls for clients who grow sick of standard workouts. An in-house massage therapist is available to ease tense muscles and knead away stress with Swedish, deep-tissue, and hot-stone massages.
As they enter the training circuit at Curves, female guests come face-to-face with the smiles of other women. And just as points on a circle share a common distance from the circle's center, workout participants share the experiences of those nearby by trading stations throughout the 30-minute training session. Thirty seconds is spent on a piece of strength-training equipment built for feminine frames and designed to work two opposing muscle groups with a single movement. Exercisers then move on to a recovery station, where they run, jog, or dance to maintain heart rates and keep platforms in place during momentary losses of gravity.