Summers in Houston -- especially this summer, when temperatures were pushing 110 degrees into September -- are a detriment to your golf game. It's hot and sticky, the fairways are parched and burned, and the greens are baked to the unforgiving consistency of a parking lot. Not exactly conducive to a relaxing round for even the best players. So where do both low-handicappers and weekend duffers go to keep their stroke until it's nice enough to venture onto the course again? The driving range -- preferably a driving range that has an abundance of shade trees. The range at Memorial has a few mature post oaks to cool down your practice session as well as a tidy tee area and low prices ($2 for 30 balls; $4 for 60; $6 for 90). If you can't smooth out the hitch in your swing by logging hours at the range, get some help from one of Memorial's instructors. On hand are three PGA members, two LPGA members and a teaching professional. Prices run $35 to $40 for a half-hour lesson and $160 for a series of five. The range is open 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. every day except Tuesday.
Summers in Houston -- especially this summer, when temperatures were pushing 110 degrees into September -- are a detriment to your golf game. It's hot and sticky, the fairways are parched and burned, and the greens are baked to the unforgiving consistency of a parking lot. Not exactly conducive to a relaxing round for even the best players. So where do both low-handicappers and weekend duffers go to keep their stroke until it's nice enough to venture onto the course again? The driving range -- preferably a driving range that has an abundance of shade trees. The range at Memorial has a few mature post oaks to cool down your practice session as well as a tidy tee area and low prices ($2 for 30 balls; $4 for 60; $6 for 90). If you can't smooth out the hitch in your swing by logging hours at the range, get some help from one of Memorial's instructors. On hand are three PGA members, two LPGA members and a teaching professional. Prices run $35 to $40 for a half-hour lesson and $160 for a series of five. The range is open 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. every day except Tuesday.
Most health clubs are intimidating for the beginner. For one thing, you have to get past all those awesome abs and perfect pecs when all you have is a bulging belly. Second, most of the other people are half-dressed in skimpy spandex, all the better to show off their perfect bodies. And they're all so young. Third, the salespeople constantly pressure you to sign a multiyear contract, since their commissions depend on it. The Wellness Center is about comprehensive wellness, not mere physical perfection. It has programs that address psychological, spiritual, emotional and physical fitness. The place is program, not numbers, driven. Nobody is shoving a contract in your face. That also means that machines are always available when you show up. Best of all, members come in different ages and shapes. There's something liberating about a place where college students and grandmas can work out side by side.
Most health clubs are intimidating for the beginner. For one thing, you have to get past all those awesome abs and perfect pecs when all you have is a bulging belly. Second, most of the other people are half-dressed in skimpy spandex, all the better to show off their perfect bodies. And they're all so young. Third, the salespeople constantly pressure you to sign a multiyear contract, since their commissions depend on it. The Wellness Center is about comprehensive wellness, not mere physical perfection. It has programs that address psychological, spiritual, emotional and physical fitness. The place is program, not numbers, driven. Nobody is shoving a contract in your face. That also means that machines are always available when you show up. Best of all, members come in different ages and shapes. There's something liberating about a place where college students and grandmas can work out side by side.
If you see a blade of grass in Houston, someone has probably gotten to it before you. In order to play soccer in a city park, you have to be registered with the folks at the Parks and Recreation Department and present them with a league schedule. And pay a fee. If you simply want to lease a field for practice, you have to go the Parks and Recreation Department every Monday in order to book a field for that week only. And unless you belong to the Houston Football Association, the Houston Women's Soccer Association, TORSO or a youth organization, the people who maintain the fields will nix your request. Show up, and they politely will ask you to leave. Houston is definitely not soccer-friendly. However, you can scout out Bear Creek Park late on Sunday afternoons when groups of young men speaking Spanish and Arabic casually get together to kick the ball around.
Bear Creek Park
If you see a blade of grass in Houston, someone has probably gotten to it before you. In order to play soccer in a city park, you have to be registered with the folks at the Parks and Recreation Department and present them with a league schedule. And pay a fee. If you simply want to lease a field for practice, you have to go the Parks and Recreation Department every Monday in order to book a field for that week only. And unless you belong to the Houston Football Association, the Houston Women's Soccer Association, TORSO or a youth organization, the people who maintain the fields will nix your request. Show up, and they politely will ask you to leave. Houston is definitely not soccer-friendly. However, you can scout out Bear Creek Park late on Sunday afternoons when groups of young men speaking Spanish and Arabic casually get together to kick the ball around.

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