Best of Houston®

Best Of 2002

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Best Of :: Sports & Recreation

Best Public Golf Course

Golfing vacations have become all the rage in recent years. Young power players and old gummers alike are paying top dollar for package trips that whisk them over the ocean -- and back in time -- to Saint Andrews or some other hallowed shrine of shankers everywhere. Houston doesn't lay (or even lay up) claim to any legendary links, but that doesn't mean august Augusta or pristine Pebble Beach has to be out of reach. With Tour 18, the mountain has come to Mulligan. As most weekend hackers know by now, Tour 18 replicates famous holes. No, the condition of the course isn't the plushest in the area -- and suburban Humble hasn't come up with the crashing ocean waves over rocky coastline of Pebble Beach. But there's ample accuracy of design, whether it's the Blue Monster of Doral, or the challenges of Shinnecock Hills, Oakmont, Harbour Town (the course lost its signature lighthouse replica in litigation) or even Colonial. Augusta's Amen Corner is the most exquisite offering -- the ghost of Arnie can almost be detected, advising through the hush of the lush pine roughs. Tour 18 has taken criticism for its obvious lack of originality. But it's easy to spot those who have teed it up on this course. When a PGA sportscaster tells of the terror awaiting the pros on the deadly island-green hole of Sawgrass, for example.

Best Place to See Bambi

Living in the sweltering silver city, there are few places where you can get in touch with your inner Daniel Boone. But just outside of town, before you get to the ocean, there's a place where you can pretend you're going over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house. Little footbridges lead across ponds, and trees stretch farther than any groves we've seen inside the Loop. It's like the Hill Country, but flatter and closer. There's an open prairie where you can sit on a bench and feel like you're Charles Ingalls about to build a homestead. There are well-labeled paths where you can see deer running. There are even some bison wandering around the 2,500-acre nature preserve.

8500 Bay Area Blvd., Pasadena, 77507
MAP
281-474-2551
Best Place to See Bambi

Living in the sweltering silver city, there are few places where you can get in touch with your inner Daniel Boone. But just outside of town, before you get to the ocean, there's a place where you can pretend you're going over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house. Little footbridges lead across ponds, and trees stretch farther than any groves we've seen inside the Loop. It's like the Hill Country, but flatter and closer. There's an open prairie where you can sit on a bench and feel like you're Charles Ingalls about to build a homestead. There are well-labeled paths where you can see deer running. There are even some bison wandering around the 2,500-acre nature preserve.

Best Texan

There is no position more unsung in major professional sports than that of the offensive lineman, so let us sing the praises of one: Tony Boselli. The first player drafted by the Texans in their expansion draft, Boselli is, of course, huge; he's six foot seven and 320 pounds. He's also good; he's been picked for the Pro Bowl five times in an eight-year career with the Jacksonville Jaguars. At age 30, he's likely got enough good years in him to see the Texans make it out of patsy status. And he brings a bit more to the table: For the past seven years he and his wife, Angi, have headed the Boselli Foundation, which has funded scholarships, educational programs and other benefits for disadvantaged youths. A foundation spokesperson says the group's headquarters will be moving to Houston, and the Bosellis will decide how best to help here.

Best Texan

There is no position more unsung in major professional sports than that of the offensive lineman, so let us sing the praises of one: Tony Boselli. The first player drafted by the Texans in their expansion draft, Boselli is, of course, huge; he's six foot seven and 320 pounds. He's also good; he's been picked for the Pro Bowl five times in an eight-year career with the Jacksonville Jaguars. At age 30, he's likely got enough good years in him to see the Texans make it out of patsy status. And he brings a bit more to the table: For the past seven years he and his wife, Angi, have headed the Boselli Foundation, which has funded scholarships, educational programs and other benefits for disadvantaged youths. A foundation spokesperson says the group's headquarters will be moving to Houston, and the Bosellis will decide how best to help here.

Best Astro

Daryle Ward's 2002 season wasn't the breakout year everyone was hoping for, but his struggles exemplified the twin strands of frustration and elation that bind every Astros fan. God obviously didn't intend for the chunky Ward to be an outfielder, or He would have given him more willpower. Still, Ward stomps around the miniature patch of left field at Minute Maid Park as well as can be expected. He shows terrific power at the plate -- in stretches. When he's in the middle of one of those dynamite stretches, he's an absolute ball to watch. When he's not, you find yourself wishing he'd get hot just so the team could trade him to the American League, where he could be the DH he is so patently meant to be. Ward keeps plugging away, though, and all that potential makes him emblematic of our ever-struggling 'Stros.

Best Astro

Daryle Ward's 2002 season wasn't the breakout year everyone was hoping for, but his struggles exemplified the twin strands of frustration and elation that bind every Astros fan. God obviously didn't intend for the chunky Ward to be an outfielder, or He would have given him more willpower. Still, Ward stomps around the miniature patch of left field at Minute Maid Park as well as can be expected. He shows terrific power at the plate -- in stretches. When he's in the middle of one of those dynamite stretches, he's an absolute ball to watch. When he's not, you find yourself wishing he'd get hot just so the team could trade him to the American League, where he could be the DH he is so patently meant to be. Ward keeps plugging away, though, and all that potential makes him emblematic of our ever-struggling 'Stros.

Best Yoga Studio

City life got the best of you? Sundance Yoga Studio offers beginner through advanced classes (levels 1-4) and Power Yoga classes for graduate students. Each class includes pranayama (proper breathing techniques), asanas (postures for flexibility, balance, coordination, strengthening) and meditation. They also offer monthly workshops that are open to the public. The limber folks at Sundance believe everyone should use yoga as a powerful medium to transform their lives.

Best Yoga Studio

City life got the best of you? Sundance Yoga Studio offers beginner through advanced classes (levels 1-4) and Power Yoga classes for graduate students. Each class includes pranayama (proper breathing techniques), asanas (postures for flexibility, balance, coordination, strengthening) and meditation. They also offer monthly workshops that are open to the public. The limber folks at Sundance believe everyone should use yoga as a powerful medium to transform their lives.

Best Sporting Goods Store
Sun & Ski Sports

Sports is just too personal an endeavor for you to shop in a megachain that's missing personality. Sun & Ski Sports has multiple outlets, certainly. And visitors won't find diddly in the way of golf drivers with oversized heads or softball bats of metals exotic enough to make NASA envious. But it has stuck to the basics to bring some adventure and fun to consumers. The staff is intelligent, attentive, well attuned to the latest breakthroughs in selected recreational undertakings -- and well aware of shoppers' budget constraints. Those looking for bikes, skates, skis (water or snow) and camping gear are guaranteed quality products and real professional guidance.

6100 Westheimer, Houston, 77050
MAP
713-783-8180
Best Sporting Goods Store

Sports is just too personal an endeavor for you to shop in a megachain that's missing personality. Sun & Ski Sports has multiple outlets, certainly. And visitors won't find diddly in the way of golf drivers with oversized heads or softball bats of metals exotic enough to make NASA envious. But it has stuck to the basics to bring some adventure and fun to consumers. The staff is intelligent, attentive, well attuned to the latest breakthroughs in selected recreational undertakings -- and well aware of shoppers' budget constraints. Those looking for bikes, skates, skis (water or snow) and camping gear are guaranteed quality products and real professional guidance.

Best Skate Park

Sanctuary! Tony Hawk wannabes who are tired of getting kicked out of downtown have a 30,000-plus-square-foot refuge they can call their own. Vans Skatepark -- part of a national chain of skateboard facilities -- boasts an impressive indoor/outdoor collection of ramps, pools, rails and ledges where future X Games contestants can polish their tricks. And if you're as old as Hawk, don't worry. Skaters in their late twenties and thirties have been spotted reclaiming their adolescent glory days. Lucky for them, there's plenty of air-conditioning and a row of Mountain Dew machines to help them keep their cool.

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Best Public Golf Course: Tour 18

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