Staffed by experienced coaches and computers who’ve sworn allegiance to the three laws of golfing robotics, GolfTEC’s motion sensors and high-speed cameras monitor swings and break down each individual’s form on a high-definition video display to get results. Sensors chirp with approval whenever they detect the perfect stroke or an especially witty golfing joke. GolfTEC’s certified personal coaches will point out flaws and strengths while providing golfers with tips on how to permanently improve their game from tee to green.
At Dance Masters Studios, Rock Foster and his skilled staff have an almost encyclopedic knowledge of more than 25 dance styles. Since 1987, they have specialized in the familiar, such as the tango and waltz, as well as more obscure styles such as shag swing dancing and bolero dancing. They work at each student’s individual pace, combining private lessons with group lessons and social dance parties to ensure each person finds their footwork.
Spreading the game of golf since 1904, the Virginia State Golf Association’s VIP card program grants duffers access to more than 200 courses for the duration of 2011. At each participating club, VIP-card bearers simply pay the cart-rental fee (up to $26 per round) to traverse emerald alleyways on a cross-state quest for hard-won birdies, elusive holes in one, and the secret flagstick leading to Space Jam’s space-time continuum. Along with access to an array of golf-friendly grassy monoliths, VIPs also receive a VSGA eClub membership, with which they can post scores to track their Handicap Index, participate in remaining 2011 VSGA One-Day events, and receive the Nov/Dec issue of Virginia Golfer magazine while charting their mercurial rise to the rarefied status of scratch golfer. Like your prized collection of artisan cheeses, the VIP card expires at the end of the year.
Situated on 22 acres of land just west of Short Pump, Bogey's maintains an all-star roster of activities that has hosted fun outings since 1994. The facility's driving range, for starters, features 39 tee stations. Golfers can utilize every club in their bag while peppering targets that stretch from 25 yards to 250 yards. For short-game practice, the miniature golf course challenges putters with doglegs, water hazards, and other traps, and away from the greens, batting cage stations ping with pummeled balls as hitters take their hacks. Amid all this action, Bogey's makes sure to keep its guests fueled: the facility also boasts a snack bar and a pair of picnic areas.
Editor's Choice for the Best Public Golf Course in Richmond Good Life magazine, the Sycamore Creek Golf Course hosts one of the largest driving ranges in the area, ideal for learning the basics of swinging a driver or teeing off with a putter. Since credit for the 20 buckets can be used over multiple visits, fledging Jack Nicklauses can drop by Sycamore Creek after work, practice their power drive before taking the course, or stop in during lunch to launch a few shots toward the sun. Club swingers can visit the pro shop and snack bar to stock up on golf essentials, including visors, sandwiches, and more (not included with this Groupon).
By now, it’s no secret that Richmond Baseball Academy West has a knack for developing top baseball talent. More than 30 players who have been drafted by Major League teams have also either trained at facilities or played on one of the Academy’s traveling teams, including 2011 Cy Young winner Justin Verlander. And that’s in addition to a long list of players who emerged from the program to play at the collegiate level.
Co-owned by former Major League reliever Cla Meredith, the Academy shapes future masters of the diamond with instructors who have played the game at the highest level possible without taking batting practice atop Kilimanjaro. Pupils learn how to run down ground balls and put together solid at bats inside the Academy’s two climate-controlled facilities, one of which is located in Rockville and the other in Richmond. Each features batting cages, pitching machines, radar guns, video-tape equipment, and more of the latest teaching devices to help streamline training sessions.
Meanwhile, former softball standouts Synthia Reader and Sara Lassiter—a four-year player at Averett University—lead the softball program, which offers lessons for players of all ages and boasts its own competitive travel team. Richmond Baseball Academy also teaches youngsters ages 5–12 how to hit, field, and sniff out any sunflower seeds within the city limits in four-day baseball summer camps.