Countryside Golf Course's 18-hole layout rolls across 6,366 yards of the Iowa countryside, but it's the first 574 yards that immediately catch golfers' attention. The course challenges players from the moment they stake their tree slivers into the soil of the first tee box, where they look out onto the course's hardest-rated hole: a 574-yard par 5 that doglegs to the right towards a green guarded by sand and water on either side. The difficult opener sets the tone for the rest of the course, where water comes into play on seven holes—six on the front nine—and all but one hole features at least one greenside bunker.
After their round, players who have not spoiled their appetite by grazing on the course's lush bent grass can head toward the clubhouse for a post-round meal or drink. At the wooden u-shaped bar, guests can crack open a beer and refuel with hot dogs and sandwiches.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole course * Bent grass fairways and greens * Length of 6,366 yards from the farthest tees * Three tee options * Link to scorecard
Since its 1965 founding in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 600 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength. Nearly 3.5 million Gold's members chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers at cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group classes, patrons strengthen cores with Pilates, finger-paint pictures of ninjas in martial arts, and amp up heart rates along to the pulsating soundtracks of Les Mills routines.
Many Gold's Gym locations stockpile futuristic amenities, such as cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated.
Anytime Fitness is a busy, popular fitness chain that works to remove common obstacles to working out. At any one of the 21 locations this Groupon is valid for, clients have 24/7 access to the gym’s cardio and strength-training equipment, and some locations offer group fitness classes, such as Zumba and small group training. Certified personal trainers are available to help those looking to take their workouts to the next level, and members can finish their exercise routines with a stop off at the onsite tanning booth to add a summery glow to muscles.
At Snap Fitness’ 24-hour gym, guests come and go armed with their access keys and are able to work out at their convenience. Around the gym, rows of cardio machines and stacks of free weights stand by as personal trainers show guests the most efficient ways to pump iron and bench-press their old refrigerators.
Maximum Fitness and X-Press Fitness pump puny tugboat bicep tattoos into bulging battleships with an array of modern cardio and strength equipment, all available at any time via the 24-hour access card. Maximum Fitness members can take part in free one-hour power-yoga classes, held Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6 p.m., and patrons of X-Press Fitness can partake in Xrkade Interactive Fitness Club, a virtual world of fitness that relies on interactivity and perspiratory pleasure. Both locations offer sparkling locker rooms, satellite-ready TV screens, and foam-brick walls that await celebratory destructive shoulder charges from all-achieving athletes.
As the 2005 champions of the Premier Development League, the Des Moines Menace open their 18th season by taming their Heartland Division rivals, the St. Louis Lions. Throughout the 90 minutes of fierce competition, players chase and foot-pummel the soccer ball down the field in an effort to score goals and show off their designer shin guards to the crowd. The Menace's roster contains some of the country's top amateur players, with more than 10 of the team's alumni having graduated to Major League Soccer.