Three-time Masters Champion Jimmy Demaret states, “I simply followed the natural features of the land” to explain the genesis of his brainchild, the Onion Creek Club. Here 18 holes of championship golf—designed by course architects Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore—sprawl alongside tennis courts and a clubhouse with a fitness center and junior-Olympic-size swimming pool. The par-70 course’s claim to fame is having hosted the inaugural Senior PGA event in 1978, four years after the greens’ bermuda grass first whimpered under cleated feet. Its signature third hole invites golfers to play aggressively with their drivers in order to vault orbs onto a landing strip guarded by trees and a creek, or to grip their irons and aim for a narrow green that has notoriously uncommunicative air-traffic controllers.
In addition to the course and its accompanying driving range with 30 hitting stations, Onion Creek Club invites racket-wielders to take advantage of lighted hard and clay tennis courts. The clubhouse’s fitness center challenges muscles with Cybex strength machines, and its junior-Olympic-size pool allows 9 irons to slip into their bikinis and go for a splash.
At River Place Country Club, a championship golf course designed by Jay Morrish and Tom Kite, winner of the 1992 U.S. Open, invites golfers to launch balls over sand bunkers and twisting creeks that wend their way through the landscape’s hilly contours. The course’s superintendent draws on experience at Baton Rouge Country Club and Colonial Country Club, as well as a degree in Plant and Soil Systems, as he ensures that the greens and rolling Bermuda grass fairways are more carefully manicured than a prize-winning pet wooly mammoth. The course’s PGA professional instructors are on hand to improve individual games, and a driving range lets players practice at 15 hitting stations.
Adjacent to the course, eight lighted tennis courts abut a 40,000-square-foot clubhouse with an outdoor pool, fully equipped fitness center, and locker rooms whose dry saunas and whirlpools melt tension quicker than butter melts on the calves of a sprinter. The Grille invites clubgoers to sup on steak or seafood, and a pair of outdoor decks let guests drink in scenic views.
Course at a Glance:
The City of Cedar Hill Parks and Recreation Department is community centered. Every year, they organize the Cedar Hill 5K Green Run, which benefits the preservation of natural and open spaces.
This year, the fun run traces a course through town that ends at the Village Green, where post-race entertainment gets going and awards are handed out. Proceeds from the event go to benefit the Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center for educational programming, which provides classes for kids where they learn about ecology through the lens of the canyon's eco-system and through the special learnin' goggles some children choose to wear.
Briarcrest Country Club's cardio-tennis camp gets hearts pumping with group classes that combine tennis instruction with boot-camp-style circuits in a high-energy workout environment. This one-hour outdoor class is peppered with calorie-burning aerobic tennis drills and agility training exercises such as ladder hopping, cone weaving, and snapping-turtle shuttle runs. Each session includes a warm-up segment, 30–50 minutes of cardio, and a short cool down, and the added use of a heart-rate monitor helps ensure workouts are safe for all participants and that no disguised cheetahs have been able to sneak in.
TopSpin Factory training is a tremendous improvement over traditional on-court methods where students attempt to learn stroke production and ball hitting. In reality, hitting with topspin is the only way to play advanced tennis and is difficult to learn using traditional on-court training methods.
Most Montessori schools shape their curriculum around the teachings of Maria Montessori, the Italian educator whose name is synonymous with encouraging children’s naturally developing intellect. And while St. Alcuin does just that, they also honor the other figure in their moniker—Alcuin, who tutored Charlemagne’s sons and turned York’s cathedral school into a legendary institution. At St. Alcuin, staff adopt a philosophy that encompasses the medieval scholar’s work and also inspires cooperation, independence, and imagination, whether students are conducting a science experiment in class or stretching the time-space continuum to make day camp last longer.
Even when the school year ends, St. Alcuin keeps kids engaged with enriching summer camps that foster independence and community building. Adventure camps feature exciting themes that acquaint campers with live animals, challenge them to build their own kites, or teach them about space travel. Meanwhile, sports camps and enrichment camps let children explore their passions. The school also offers academic camps that give students a leg up when school is back in session, helping kids learn a new language, musical instrument, or useful study skills.