Ron's Pub & White Horse Inn
About two decades ago, when there were only a few dart bars around, darts enthusiast Ron Towne went from managing the original Sherlock's Pub to founding the one bearing his name. Ron's Pub doesn't sponsor regular traveling league teams and isn't a major tournament host -- it's simply the best neutral turf in town for darters. The serious practitioners come here on their nights off because they know they'll find quality opponents and an open board. (On the off chance that the boards are full, they simply play at the adjacent Whitehorse Tavern.) The unique thing about Ron's is that it's become darts central for women, many of whom hold their own against the best male players. In fact, the Dart Bitch Challenge, where the femmes target a male regular in a madcap evening of get-even fun, is now in its second decade. Ron died a few years ago, but his dart set remains enshrined here -- and his darting spirit has to be smiling over this intimate and engaging scene for the sport.

About two decades ago, when there were only a few dart bars around, darts enthusiast Ron Towne went from managing the original Sherlock's Pub to founding the one bearing his name. Ron's Pub doesn't sponsor regular traveling league teams and isn't a major tournament host -- it's simply the best neutral turf in town for darters. The serious practitioners come here on their nights off because they know they'll find quality opponents and an open board. (On the off chance that the boards are full, they simply play at the adjacent Whitehorse Tavern.) The unique thing about Ron's is that it's become darts central for women, many of whom hold their own against the best male players. In fact, the Dart Bitch Challenge, where the femmes target a male regular in a madcap evening of get-even fun, is now in its second decade. Ron died a few years ago, but his dart set remains enshrined here -- and his darting spirit has to be smiling over this intimate and engaging scene for the sport.

Unless you've got game, you'd best stay away from the basketball courts at Fonde Community Center. The guys who play here are ruthless about who they pick for their teams, and they don't take kindly to a sucky novice who can't hang. They're especially annoyed by high schoolers who try to get in on the action -- unless, of course, you're a teen about to be drafted by the NBA. Still, this is the place to find out just how good you are. Day after day, sweaty ballers play their hearts out on the same courts where Moses Malone and Clyde Drexler once practiced. The place is worth a trip just to sit on the sidelines and watch ex-pros -- and stars of tomorrow -- shoot hoops.

Unless you've got game, you'd best stay away from the basketball courts at Fonde Community Center. The guys who play here are ruthless about who they pick for their teams, and they don't take kindly to a sucky novice who can't hang. They're especially annoyed by high schoolers who try to get in on the action -- unless, of course, you're a teen about to be drafted by the NBA. Still, this is the place to find out just how good you are. Day after day, sweaty ballers play their hearts out on the same courts where Moses Malone and Clyde Drexler once practiced. The place is worth a trip just to sit on the sidelines and watch ex-pros -- and stars of tomorrow -- shoot hoops.

Tucked snugly away in the Cherryhurst section of Montrose, this single concrete court is perfect for a quiet match or for showing off your skills. Get there early and squat the court, but if you notice dirty looks from local residents waiting to play, you may want to concede. Looking to stage a grudge match? Invite your friends and the opponent, and let them arrive to find you pummeling the expansive backboard with your ferocious forehand. Treat everyone to a match worthy of Westside, and after your big win, head to nearby Cafe Montrose and entertain your fantasies of being a Belgian tennis star.

Tucked snugly away in the Cherryhurst section of Montrose, this single concrete court is perfect for a quiet match or for showing off your skills. Get there early and squat the court, but if you notice dirty looks from local residents waiting to play, you may want to concede. Looking to stage a grudge match? Invite your friends and the opponent, and let them arrive to find you pummeling the expansive backboard with your ferocious forehand. Treat everyone to a match worthy of Westside, and after your big win, head to nearby Cafe Montrose and entertain your fantasies of being a Belgian tennis star.

The two golf courses at Wildcat are the only ones in the city with real hills. Not only does the terrain provide an interesting test of a golfer's skills, the hilltops also afford spectacular views of nearby Reliant Stadium and the Houston skyline. But it's the reason that Wildcat boasts the highest elevations in Harris County that makes it special: It's built on a former landfill site. Landfills used to be fenced off and forgotten once they were full. There were few ways to reuse the land without disturbing the buried waste. Wildcat is an example of a new trend in "brownfield" reclamation. Here, and at some 70 other former landfill sites around the country, innovative golf course builders have turned what were once ugly, fenced-off wastelands into profitable and attractive green spaces.

The two golf courses at Wildcat are the only ones in the city with real hills. Not only does the terrain provide an interesting test of a golfer's skills, the hilltops also afford spectacular views of nearby Reliant Stadium and the Houston skyline. But it's the reason that Wildcat boasts the highest elevations in Harris County that makes it special: It's built on a former landfill site. Landfills used to be fenced off and forgotten once they were full. There were few ways to reuse the land without disturbing the buried waste. Wildcat is an example of a new trend in "brownfield" reclamation. Here, and at some 70 other former landfill sites around the country, innovative golf course builders have turned what were once ugly, fenced-off wastelands into profitable and attractive green spaces.

Hermann Park Golf Course
Most driving ranges offer little in terms of obstacles. They're usually just wide open spaces with a few mounds and flags scattered willy-nilly so there's something to aim at. Hermann Park's range boasts a cluster of three tall trees smack in the middle of the field. Now that's useful. It makes the range a place to actually practice skills instead of just firing off a bucket of balls. Also, there's a certain Zen quality to lofting ball after ball over those trees. A seven iron, in conjunction with a canned Budweiser (bought from the clubhouse), works nicely to aid this type of meditation.

Most driving ranges offer little in terms of obstacles. They're usually just wide open spaces with a few mounds and flags scattered willy-nilly so there's something to aim at. Hermann Park's range boasts a cluster of three tall trees smack in the middle of the field. Now that's useful. It makes the range a place to actually practice skills instead of just firing off a bucket of balls. Also, there's a certain Zen quality to lofting ball after ball over those trees. A seven iron, in conjunction with a canned Budweiser (bought from the clubhouse), works nicely to aid this type of meditation.

Best Of Houston®

Best Of