Draped over the verdant Washington County countryside, Fort Cherry Golf Club's 18-hole course spans 6,205 yards of rolling, player-friendly terrain. The course's relatively open layout invites players to blast tee shots with their drivers or T-shirt cannons at nearly every non-par 3, as sparse tree lines offer little impediment to shots that find the rough, and the course's multiple sand bunkers loom by the greens—not the fairways. An adjacent driving range loosens up swings to perfection, and a practice green sharpens up putting strokes and helps players get a feel for how to read the course's subtle slopes and metaphorical flagsticks. With its own motel and a gourmet bar and restaurant, the club hosts all-day and overnight golf-outing packages for a restful pin-hunting vacation.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 70 course * Length of 6,205 yards from farthest tees * Course rating of 69.6 from farthest tees * Slope rating of 122 from farthest tees * Four tee options
Although Anya Lasko began her career as a classically trained dancer and choreographer in Belarus, she was driven to found a studio based on "the three principles of holistic well-being, healthy exercising, and performing arts education." To accomplish this, she and her staff of instructors lead a combination of instructive and recreational classes for all skill and experience levels, helping students develop the physicality required for artistic expression through music and dance.
Dance classes explore a number of different styles—including ballet, belly dance, and hip-hop—and instructors address the needs and learning styles of different age groups by teaching separate lessons for children and adults. For a muscle-toning approach, the fitness sessions can emphasize low-impact workouts with Pilates techniques and ballet barre exercises, whereas yoga classes' mindful movements and guided meditation generate more focus than the Hubble Space Telescope's contact lenses.
At Top Gear Bicycle Shop’s two locations, a team of master technicians tends to road and mountain bikes while a staff of avid cyclists outfits shoppers with appropriate gear for their riding surface of choice. Trek, Look, and Felt bikes stand out among the shop’s collection, which includes mountain, cyclocross, and pro-level road bikes.
The friendly experts at Willi's Ski and Snowboard Shop sling the latest in contemporary snow-sport products and maintain slope-traversing gear, earning themselves a Gold Medal Award from Ski magazine. Boot technicians help guests hunt down the precise fit for their boots, and maintenance wizards use top-notch Wintersteiger tuning machines to ensure that skis and snowboards retain their integrity during outings or unexpected ice ages.
Formerly known as Ambridge Country Club, Harmony Ridge Golf Club reopened in 2008 under the guidance of Greg Paul. The nine-hole course is commonly referred to as Oakmont's Little Brother, as it shares Oakmont Country Club's designers, H.C. Fownes and Emil Loeffler, and has a propensity to withstand noogies. It beckons swingers of all levels with 120 verdant acres that stretch across Beaver County countryside. A newly renovated blues cafe and sports bar, which proffers a menu of American fare along with weekly live music, rounds out an afternoon of long drives and short putts.
Designed by Mark Ormison in 1897, the fairways of Bob O'Connor Golf Course at Schenley Park sprawl over 51 acres and invite linksmen to frolic among foliage that has been flourishing for more than a century, while also gazing out on metropolitan views. Players find themselves challenged right from the get-go with a second hole that is also the toughest, but can strive for birdies at holes 8 and 17 to recover. At the 11th hole, golfers encounter a quirky rectangular green, whose geometric origins are likely found in a house having occupied the space long ago. The course is managed by the local charity The First Tee Pittsburgh, which strives to encourage good character, values, and healthy life choices in children through the game of golf, and proceeds from the course benefit its programs.
Before hitting the course, players can hone their form at the course’s driving range in good weather, take lessons with a Class A PGA professional, or strengthen their swings at the Full Swing simulator, which tracks ball flight, speed, and distance in real time. The simulator offers high-definition projections of more than 35 notable courses, including Pebble Beach, Oakmont Country Club, Pinehurst Country Club, and Harbour Town Golf Links, and lets golfers sharpen their swings in the dead of winter without fear of losing a limb to frostbite or abominable ground squirrels.
Course at a Glance: