Jon Aponte coaches both baseball and volleyball. Not only does this mean that he can lob an umpire clean over the net, but it also means that he's adept at propelling players toward gold medals. Trainees between the ages of 5 and 18 rely on Coach Jon for sports-specific help with their technique. He travels to parks and fields to meet his students, conducting private and group lessons that help them soar past the competition.
At 17 years old, David Pearce spent his nights dancing and DJing in a slick Seattle club. When his best friend recognized his skills and suggested David join him as a daytime ballroom-dance instructor, he was unenthusiastic⎯until a visit to his friend's studio made David realize that ballroom dancing involved nothing but sleek movements and squiring ladies across the floor. He’s been hooked ever since. David opened The Studio with his wife, Jackie, who leads belly and hula dancing, and the pair demonstrates swing, Argentine tango, and other American ballroom dances with help from four other instructors.
Private lessons begin with David’s signature teaching style, which condenses every ballroom step into four basic movements and instills the fundamentals of leading and following before finally acquainting students with the dance style of their choice. Meanwhile, group lessons introduce hoofers to new moves in a lively and relaxed social-dancing atmosphere. Monthly parties, which often follow elaborate themes—such as a luau with leis, photo props, and decorations dappling the studio’s baby-blue walls—invite couples to twirl, sip refreshments, and eventually follow fellow revelers to nearby nightclubs or a Disney prince's ballroom to show off their versatile moves in a real-world setting.
The course at Plantation Palms Golf Club slithers among numerous water hazards and over an incessant barrage of elevation changes, keeping golfers on their toes. David Harman orchestrated the links-style layout to tangle with the natural lay of the land and added his own flourishes in the form of large, white sand bunkers and gently billowing greens.
Players make swift acquaintance with local difficulties on a par 5 first hole that stretches 561 yards from the back tees. Elsewhere on the front nine, two par 3s measure 198 yards and 221 yards, calling on golfers to exhibit distance and accuracy or the ability to hypnotize opponents into believing they just saw a hole in one. Plantation Palms' on-site restaurant, the Oasis Bar & Grill, is open to the public and has a menu that features items such as a grilled mango fish sandwich and the Plantation Palms club sandwich.
Course at a Glance:
18-hole, par 72 course
Total length of 6,824 yards from the back tees
Course rating of 73.4 from the back tees
Course slope of 139 from the back tees
Four sets of tees per hole
In his more than 35 years of experience playing and coaching the game of golf, Ray Cisbani has seen every type of golfer succeed?from elite athletes to those with physical limitations. Ray served as the the head golf coach at Saint Leo University, where he lead the Lions against their Sunshine State Conference rivals for nine years. When not coaching college players during an important tournament he helps out recreational golfers, even if they don't have All-American aspirations or dreams of owning a mini golf course. Regardless of prior skill level, students at The Links Golf Club can learn how to develop a balanced swing and shave off strokes through lessons and swing analysis.