At Sterling Golf and Swim Club, golfers send balls sailing down the tree-lined fairways of an 18-hole, par 54 golf course, and swimmers backstroke across two 25-meter pools. For nearly half a century, club-wielders have traversed past water and dodged bunkers at the executive course, giving the pines and weeping willows ample time to flourish, and the nonprofit club itself has existed for four decades. Two kiddie pools flank the club’s two larger pools, enabling wee ones to practice breathing through their gills while their older siblings butterfly down lanes, and a game room provides indoor entertainment. An adult lounge lets weary golfers relax in peace, and the clubhouse’s pro shop outfits players searching for golf balls whose dimples perfectly match their own.
There's no mistaking the purpose of the dozens of 150-pound punching bags dangling from the red metal frames that span LA Boxing Sterling's floor. Whether members consider themselves professional fighters or aerobic exercisers, the gym is a place to punch things. Under the watchful eye of mixed martial arts instructors, students pound away at bags with fist and foot, elevating their heart rates to fulfill the cardio-conditioning portion of the gym's signature national program. Participants occasionally pick up weights or jump ropes, but it's all part of the training to get back to the bag and make the stuffing rue the day it turned down the chance to fill a wild teddy bear.
Each element of the sporting symphony emanates from its respective part of Dulles Golf Center & Sports Park: the pings of golf balls from the driving range, the smacks of the volleyball from the sand courts, and the line-drive cracks from the batting cages. The covered, lighted range?which Golf Range Magazine ranked as one of the Top 50 Standalone Golf Ranges in America in 2013?is home to PGA Director of Instruction Chuck Will and his golf academy. It's also big brother to a 18-hole miniature golf course decorated with the scaled-down versions of historic lighthouses, which lends the course a nautical charm and might help anyone find safe passage on a particularly foggy night.
He inches back across the crimson mat, arms raised, preparing for the next blow. His back hits the ropes; he's cornered. You take your shot and he falls, crowning you victor. This might be how a match plays out in the central ring at Disciple Mixed Martial Arts Academy—it's one of four spaces for sparring, including a cage. Of course, before fighters enter the ring, they undergo rigorous training in one of the martial arts programs available, including Brazilian jujitsu, muay thai, MMA, and judo.
Komodo dragons, quicksand, and headhunter’s darts are just some of the dangers that lurk in the jungle depths of the Perils of the Lost Jungle miniature golf course at Woody’s Golf Range, whose innovative attractions caught the eye of The Washington Post and earned it a place in Newsweek Magazine’s recommended mini-golf courses in 2005. Harder hitting clubs hone their swings at the driving range. Golfers can spend their time there digging up divots in Patriot-Bermuda-grass hitting stations or sending balls whistling over AstroTurf mats. The range’s heated, lighted, and covered stalls let players practice year-round. Along with separate practice areas for pitching and chipping, a sand trap invites golfers to practice the best way to get out of a bad lie—by digging an escape tunnel. Guests can trade in their clubs for bats at four softball cages and five baseball cages, and themed picnic areas enable groups to turn their visit into a day-long extravaganza.