Helmed by founder Tom Rezendes, NorCal Golf Academy’s LPGA and PGA professional instructors believe that there are infinite ways to swing a golf club. In this spirit, they help each student find his or her own best approach, taking into account physical limitations to craft goals that are as lofty as the berries on a berry bush. The indoor facility’s wealth of technology helps the teachers create such individualized road maps with three practice bays outfitted with K-Vest motion analysis—a system that uses wireless sensors to assess movement patterns—and Flight Scope launch monitors, which depict ball flight on flat-screen HDTVs.
The LPGA and PGA professionals take all this information into account while offering recommendations. Operating on the premise that there is no such thing as a quick fix and that overall fitness is key to a good game, they also focus on adding new drills over time, and encourage students to participate in the facility’s golf fitness classes. The specially designed workouts can help golfers build a solid swing and generate the muscle needed to fight off water-hazard gators.
If the punching bags that line the workout rooms at Max Combat Fitness could talk, they would probably still keep their mouths shut. That’s how scared they are of the professional and amateur fighters who inflict a beating on them every day during the gym’s muay thai and mixed-martial-arts classes. Led by chiseled combatant George Tsutsui, the team of instructors leads students of all ages and skill levels through the basics of hand-to-hand martial arts. If they aren’t interested in learning MMA strikes or jujitsu grappling techniques, students can burn calories in cardio-kickboxing classes that eschew contact in favor of aerobic dance moves. Similarly, the gym’s conditioning classes improve strength, speed, stamina, and flexibility through stretching exercises and explosive bursts of movement.
As the sun rises over the emerald greens and fairways of Grayson Woods Golf Course, the shadows cast by Mount Diablo in the east recede and players tee up to test their mettle against the challenging par-27 course. Each of the course’s nine holes is nestled between trees and water hazards, raising the stakes and level of difficulty for junior, adult, and senior players alike. Alongside the main course, players develop their orb-rolling stroke on an 18-hole putting course that sits atop an ultra-modern surface free of divots, dirt clods, and rigs drilling for untapped sources of iced-tea-lemonade. The staff, which includes a PGA professional and an LPGA professional, offers private lessons to give improving players an edge at regularly scheduled tournaments such as the Junior-Senior Open and Ladies’ Day.
Adrienne Moore, a former nationally ranked All American swimmer, and her husband Stephen founded AquaTech Swim School to shepherd babies, children, and adults into the world of swimming. Their team of instructors spends 40 hours studying the Mattos method, named for Adrienne's maiden moniker, which combines swimming skills with child-psychology skills. The CPR-, AED-, and first-aid-certified teachers continue their education and hone their advanced Marco Polo calls throughout their time at the school. Private, semiprivate, and group classes for children range from 6-month-olds' Tadpole curriculum to the advanced, team-focused Orca course, and the eight levels of kids classes are nuanced to include both "nervous" and "comfortable" beginner levels. The instructors help grownups get kicking during 60- and 90-minute private classes.
The Concord location's brightly colored facilities include an 87-degree indoor pool that's 4 feet deep, pirate-free, and specially designed for classes. A lesson-viewing area includes bleachers and a play station, and free WiFi is available for visitors who would rather surf than swim.
Amid a vast climbing arena wrought with 11,000 square feet of challenging climbing terrain, Sacramento Pipeworks imparts boulder scaling beginners and expert climbers alike with rock scaling knowhow. Experienced instructors offer a full beginners’ rundown of wall-climbing basics, providing you and your chosen roommate or press secretary with the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of the climbing arts. You'll learn safe-climbing procedures and beginners' belaying moves as well as knot tying, top-rope-climbing methods, and wall-scaling, which will allow you and your partner to trade off the climbing and supporting roles before eventually co-writing your Emmy acceptance speech.