Tangle Oaks Golf Club stretches 6,382 yards from the tips, but its length doesn't characterize the challenges presented. It's the details that make the course stand out, sometimes with a splash. On the par-three 13th, golfers must carry a high-lofted tee shot over a pond in order to land on the signature island green, which leaves little room for error. However, many fairways are sparsely lined with mature trees and are free of sand traps, providing more forgiving landing zones for errant shots or personal helicopter golf carts.
Haunted Abilene revamps its thrills and surprises each Halloween, finding new ways to frighten visitors while honoring the city's past. Each year, the Abilene Preservation League transforms the historic Swenson House into Phantom Manor, coaxing fiendish ghosts and ghouls to terrify visitors and chip in on the Preservation League's historic-site restoration projects.
Birds are unpredictable, with erratic flight patterns that can change at any moment. The staff at Abilene Clay Sports attempts to simulate this spontaneity at its outdoor fields, which incorporate open areas and wooded terrain ideal for shotgun sports. A cart path leads to 12 sporting clays stations, where participants take aim from towers of up to 80 feet high. Clay pigeons also launch at a five-stand field and six trap fields, including four that operate via voice command. One last field offers an even greater challenge. Here, several helice launchers fire small, plastic targets. These small objects, known as ZZ birds, have propellers on either side, which means they move completely at random.
The various fields accommodate guests of all experience levels. Abilene Clay Sports' staffers happily work with beginners, and they also host frequent tournaments sanctioned by the National Sporting Clays Association and the Amateur Trapshooting Association.
At Abilene Youth Sports Authority, teamwork and sportsmanship are considered fundamentals just as much as learning how to hit a baseball or throw a football. The nonprofit organization's trainers, counselors, and coaches preach the two qualities during an array of sports clubs, sports camps, and sports leagues scheduled throughout the year. To help bring the community together, they also schedule the annual West Texas Sports & Fitness Expo and the annual Big Country Mudslinger Fun Run, which is a 5K trek through local spas' leftover mud masks.
Though some participants choose to run and others to walk, everybody who participates in the Color Dash experiences a transformation. As participants make their way through the 5K Color Dash and UVSplash courses they are subjected to bursts of color; additional events include Zombies by Color Dash, which adds the undead to the equation. Though the color will wash away, the memories will remain forever in the minds of all participants who aren't goldfish. Proceeds from Color Dash events benefit local children's charities and organizations.
Scurry County Museum offers a window into the county's past that's equally useful for locals and tourists. The permanent exhibit showcases a timeline of the county's development, highlighting everything from buffalo hunting to the oil boom. Rotating exhibits explore historical realities such as homemaking in the frontier days. Visitors can shop for unique gifts in the museum store, stocked with books, mugs, T-shirts, and other specialty items.