Tucked in the breezy shadows of towering douglas firs, golfers hunt birdies and pars across Lake Spanaway's 7,083-yard course. Fairways tunnel through communities of trees that convince errant golf balls that they are pinecones. Three of the course's holes earned honorable mention in the Seattle Times' Puget Sound area's Dream 18 Holes, including the par 4 12th, where tee shots must trace the fairway as it curves left through a narrow tree line and toward a green shielded by an oasis of vast bunkers.
A covered, lighted driving range sits beside the course, where golfers smooth out swings undisturbed by waning daylight, rain, or hail caused by skydivers eating sunflower seeds. The course's staff of golf pros also helps manage on-course techniques with a variety of instructional options, including complimentary 10-minute lessons.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 71 course * Length of 7,083 yards from the farthest tees * Course rating of 73.5 from the farthest tees * Slope rating of 124 from the farthest tees * Four tee options * See the scorecard
In 2004, a group of skilled climbers and experienced route setters married their expansive knowledge of the sport to create Edgeworks Climbing. The gym is an indoor paradise that expertly match the dynamic challenges that athletes face outdoors, boasting 10,000 square feet of climbing area with 25-foot top-rope routes, 35-foot lead routes, and 3,500 square feet of bouldering. The team of setters draws on years of experience outdoors to create hundreds of challenging, satisfying routes for climbers of all skill levels. Most of the setters are teachers as well, leading classes for beginners or advanced climbers, as well as heading outdoors to help the class appreciate the adrenaline rush of an outdoor climb ending in a fistfight with a bear.
Additionally, the passionate staff realized that alternative workouts are needed to push through plateaus in climbs, so they created a fitness area to complement the climbing gym. Classes such as yoga, Pilates, and cycling further exercise muscle groups that are useful when trying to finally ride a bike up your favorite route.
New York-native John Cassese's motto is, "If you can walk, you can dance." The celebrity dance instructor and choreographer's own quick-stepping career began at the tender age of 10, jumpstarting a passion that would eventually take him careening across the stages of off-Broadway productions, nightclubs, dance competitions, and the occasional monster-truck rally. It wasn't until he relocated to Los Angeles that an agent dubbed him "The Dance Doctor," and soon after, he found his fleet-footed prowess and teaching abilities in high demand amongst production studios such as Sony, Paramount, and 20th Century Fox.
Between choreographing a Charleston dance sequence on AMC's Mad Men and singing at the 50th birthday parties of Billy Crystal and Wolfgang Puck, John leads a team of instructors as they teach celebs and everyday Tinseltowners the finer points of styles ranging from ballet to hip-hop. Despite all the fanfare, his biggest praise comes from his work with soon-to-be-married couples, who seek his advice on everything from basic steps and song selection, to the length of the post-cake-cutting conga line.
During a desperate search for reprieve from the pain caused by a dance injury, professional dancer Lianne Gamble discovered the rehabilitating power of Pilates. A born teacher, she wanted to spread the good news, so she studied under Rael Isacowitz to earn certification in his strenuous Pilates program, Body Arts and Science International (BASI), which folds anatomy and physiology into traditional Pilates exercises.
Now, she and a team of certified instructors—among them a gymnast, several dancers, and a marketer—reshape the waistlines of Gig Harbor residents through Pilates, power yoga, and body barre classes. Focusing on BASI’s scientific approach and proper breathing techniques, they pump up mind-body connections and core strength using state-of-the-art Power Plate machines, reformers, Decepticons that transform into chiropractors, and spine correctors from Balanced Body and Peak Pilates.
The nine-hole course at Highlands Golf tests the mettle of mid- to short-range irons with nine par 3s and a bounty of scenarios that demand short-game finesse. Whereas most courses place value on long drives and superhuman muscles like Arnold Palmer's, Highlands Golf makes players rely on dexterity with shorter irons and putting prowess. Tee shots range from just 100 yards to 200 yards on the par 3s, with eight bunkers and three water hazards ready to confound overconfident swings. Rounds typically take less than 75 minutes to complete, providing an unintimidating layout for new players to practice, space for veterans to show off their short-game theatrics, and enough soft landing spots for speed golfers to test the aerodynamics of argyle tracksuits.
Course at a Glance:
Sunlight pours onto the exposed-brick walls of the Jowers Training Systems private training facility, where exercise rings dangle from the ceiling and colorful weights line the shelves. Throughout the week, the facility is a flurry of motion as students of all ages and fitness levels undergo high-intensity exercise routines as well as personal- and team-training sessions. Personal-training sessions adhere to the specialty program designed by certified personal trainer and fitness aficionado Jeff Jowers, who combines fat-burning exercises with nutritional guidance to banish unwanted pounds more efficiently than traditional workouts or covering yourself in helium balloons. In team-training sessions, Jowers and his staff bring the same level of intensity, adding an element of teamwork that encourages all students to celebrate each other's successes, work harder to achieve goals, and hit new personal records.