Though it isn't plural by name, Valley Oaks Golf Course is more than just one golf course?in fact, it's three. The trio of classic 9-hole layouts invites golfers to play a variety of 18-hole rotations. Framed by native oak, eucalyptus, and tall pine trees, the three nines test golfers of all levels with narrow fairways and score-ravaging water hazards. That's especially true of the Lakes course?the newest of the three?as a lake comes into play on multiple holes. But these obstacles don't just challenge traditional golfers; they also affect games of FootGolf, a sport that combines elements of golf with those of soccer. The game largely heeds golf rules, though players kick soccer balls?or golf balls they've been pumping full of protein for awhile?into 21-inch-diameter cups. Ensuring the course is up to snuff for FootGolf play, Valley Oaks is an official course of the American FootGolf League.
Slice into the menu with a cool, cold sandwich ($3.39–$13.79) such as the veggie sub, with your choice of three cheeses and avocado, the salami-turkey-provolone, or the ham-salami-capicolla-pepperoni-provolone. Load a gastronomic cargo carrier with a medium fountain drink ($1.39) or chips ($1), or turn on the mouth heat with a stomach-warming griller, such as the 12-inch New York steak ’n’ cheese on ciabatta ($4.99–$7.99) or the 8-inch barbecue pork ($4.99–$7.99). Any sandwich can also be made into a wrap ($4.99–$6.29).
Originally sculpted into the California countryside in 1928, Lemoore Golf Course’s 18-hole, par 72 course stretches across 6,591 yards of lush greenery and challenging hazards. A moderately difficult layout when played from the back tees, the course features four tee options to cater to both bona fide aces and disoriented golfers who can’t differentiate between a three-wood and a hardened mannequin leg. The golf complex also fosters sound swing mechanics with an on-site driving range and practice green. Clubbers can take refuge from the sun-soaked fairways or undead divot tools at the course’s cozy bar and grill, or peruse a stock of the latest golf gear and equipment at the pro shop.
Course at a Glance:
18-hole, par 72 course
Length of 6,591 yards from the farthest tees
Course rating of 70.9 from the farthest tees
Slope rating of 125 from the farthest tees
Four tee options
Designed by international golf architect Robert Dean Putman, the challenging 18-hole course spans more than160 acres. During the game (up to a $20 value per person), golfers refusing to hitchhike can navigate the terrain in one of Valley Rose's quality golf carts (up to a $10 value), finely tuned for scaling hills, making sharp turns, and morphing into a time traveling robot should the need arise. After conquering the course's lush landscape and tricky topography, golfers are encouraged to visit Valley Rose's Pro Shop to compare their scores with other recent players, or wind down in their clubhouse which features a restaurant, meeting rooms, and banquet facilities.
Certified dance instructors Pete Swingle and Carmen Ahmen relish the challenge of curing extra left feet. They welcome total beginners to their salsa classes, where their patience and supportive attitudes help students feel comfortable enough to pull off the hip-swaying steps. In the interest of steadily progressing students to intermediate and advanced moves, they set up specific goals for each level, ranging from "step in time" to "twirl your partner without having to rely on shoes made of roombas.” They teach disciplines apart from salsa as well, including cha-cha, cumbia, and merengue.
Though learning show-stopping techniques is one of the core benefits of their lessons, Pete and Carmen also hope to reward protégés with the additional perks of dancing, including stress relief, improved muscle tone, and new friendships. Sunday dance socials focus on the latter ambition by gathering dancers for practice in a party setting, which sometimes features live percussion shows and music giveaways.
Every summer, the Trans-Sierra Club takes four groups on a 75-mile trek, across their namesake mountain range to the highest altitude peak in the contiguous United States: Mount Whitney. The mountain measures 14,500 feet high, and while it has been summited by more than one fifth grader, don't be fooled. The route to the top is far from child's play. Participants must hike 8-12 miles a day and carry their own food and camping gear. However, the spectacular views?and the sense of accomplishment?that await at the summit are worth the sweaty journey.