As the former host to the U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying tournament and numerous Illinois PGA events, the course at Plum Tree National Golf Club welcomes amateurs of all stripes to its 200-acre compound with a professional-worthy pedigree. Since the first swing in 1968, groups have been taking special care to avoid the course’s 105 sand traps, each strategically placed during architect Joe Lee’s attempts at building an ocean. While crossing the picturesque passage, players witness more than 4,000 trees of assorted species rooted firmly in the rolling hills of rural McHenry County. Before each round, golfers can hone their swings at the practice area’s all-grass hitting stations to prepare for difficult shots, such as the tee-to-green first shot on the 173-yard par 3 fourth hole and the long, narrow fairway leading to a contoured green on the par 5 12th hole. Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Total length of 6,695 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 72.6 from the back tees * Course slope of 133 from the back tees * Four sets of tees per hole
Anytime Fitness, which boasts more than 1,800 clubs in North America, makes it easier for average folks to etch out time for exercise by doing one simple thing: staying open 24 hours a day for 365 days a year. As fitness seekers challenge themselves on cardio and Hammer Strength machines and hoist Iron Grip free weights in clean, well-stocked facilities, security monitoring ensures they?re safe and producing enough sweat to meet official government standards. Members can also ramp up their exercise regimens with the help of Anytime Fitness?s staff of personal trainers, who demonstrate moves and sling motivating tips. After workouts, guests can shower in the private restrooms or hop into one of the tanning booths available 24 hours a day.
Within easy walking distance from the swooping neon, thundering pins, and intergalactic bowling murals of Glo-Bowl Fun Center lies a tranquil restaurant complete with stone fireplace. In fact, it's in the same building: not content with just a typical snack bar, the proprietors created a full spread of meaty sandwiches, sweet-potato fries, barbecue ribs, and other classic American fare. On select nights, the open patio hosts laidback live music that never overwhelms conversation, and guests are welcome to tote their meals into the alley if a favorable bowling wind suddenly arises.
The sibling-run Meadow View Corn Maze beckons autumnal explorers to its 10-acre corn labyrinth accented by a two-acre pumpkin patch, complimentary hayrides, and interactive games. Couples, familial units, and cabin-fevered roommates can peruse the gargantuan starch puzzle that weaves four miles of paths into an elaborate design commemorating the first responder heroes of September 11. The pumpkin patch gives perusers the chance to pick their own gourds for frightening jack-o'-lantern displays or to replace deflated basketballs. Traverse the picturesque grounds in a rustic wooden wagon that leads excursionists to scalable hay-bale stacks, baggo games, moon walks, and other family-friendly fall activities. Dusk-time visitors arriving October 21st–23rd or 28th–30th can careen through the haunted maze decked out with spooky sights such as eerie corn goblins and zombie tax accountants.
Lead by a crew of experienced professionals, including 2009 Hall of Fame inductee Don Essig III, Hickory Stick Golf Club challenges its visitors with a rippling course of Ireland-inspired greens and rolling fairways. Choose from a trio of instructors to help fine-tune swings with two 30-minute private lessons. The trained club swinger will aid students in modifying underperforming hits while instilling proper techniques to help avoid sand traps and feral golf carts. The TrackMan Pro club analysis is designed to further enhance newfound follow-through with video-capturing radar. This visual data helps golfers see their stance in slow motion, as well as the swing trajectory with 1982 holographic overlays.
Staff Size: 2?10 people
Parking: Parking lot
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Brands Used: Lifeway Keiffer is a sponsor providing product to cyclists
Recommended Age Group: All Ages
Pro Tip: Come ready to have fun and support a worthy cause. Make sure to get your pictures taken before you start riding to enter the costume contest.
I'm a first-timer. How do you get me ready for the experience?
For the cyclist, the routes will be swept, marked, color coded, fully supported, and marshaled to ensure an exemplary, stress-free experience. The family fun fair is there to entertain the cyclists' families while out riding and to raise the funds to reach our goal of a $10,000 donation to Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children?s Hospital of Chicago?s Sleep Medicine Department.
What is the one feature of your business that you're most proud of?
Me. I've never organized an event. This was all inspired by my parental guilt and ignorance. There is no way to say "thank you" to a group of doctors that saved my son's future adequately enough. This is my way of paying it forward to them and their work.
Have you ever been a patron of your own business? If so, what was the most enjoyable part?
I ride these routes regularly. I know them like the back of my hand. The most enjoyable part of this experience has been hearing the success stories from families that have been able to learn from my son's experience and utilize the alternative treatments out there to help their children.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
This is our inaugural year, but it will be an annual event held on the last Sunday of every September.