Sous-vide steak seared with a blow torch. Techniques via Bold Food. Photo courtesy of Michelle Le.

Being a Renaissance woman/man ain’t easy. One must always be acquiring new skills. Lucky for you, we did a bit of asking around. From cooking to golfing to shooting a gun, we found the top instructors and programs in the 650 for you to pick up a new skill or two.

1. Break 100

Feeling left out of those corporate golf outings? Spend some time with Terry Gingell, Class A PGA Professional at Stanford Golf Course in Palo Alto ($110/hour). Terry won’t Band-Aid your swing to correct the tops and the slices. With help from his high-tech doppler radar that monitors club angles and ball spin, Terry fixes the root problems with your swing.

Photo via Victor Lo.

2. Shoot a gun

The Basic Handgun course at Reed’s Indoor Training in Santa Clara ($230) covers firearm safety and marksmanship with semi-automatic and .22 caliber guns. The optional third day covers more advanced techniques like shooting one-handed and rapid fire. Course instructor Bill Tidwell said, “I teach this class because I want people to be safe. That’s the number one reason.”

3. Work with watercolors

Zoya Scholis doesn’t teach paint by numbers. Her workshops throughout the Peninsula attract a bell curve of skill levels including beginners, so she’s forced to constantly improvise. In this way, Zoya’s classes themselves are works of art. Come to work with watercolors and learn something about yourself in the process.

4. Become a modernist chef

Put those old recipes aside and step into Bold Food’s CEO Muffie Fulton’s “gichen” (garage kitchen). There Muffie with introduce you to modern cooking appliances like the vapor oven, chamber vacuum sealer, and blow torch. Choose from a variety of courses including their most popular, The Modern Burger ($165 per person).

Photo via Christoper Markisz.

5. Take amazing IG shots

Finally step up to a DSLR? Learn to capture great shots with photographer and local coach, Christopher Markisz. Markisz lets you decide where you’d like to spend the day, though Martins Beach in Half Moon Bay and Pigeon Point Lighthouse are a couple of his favorites on the Peninsula. Private sessions ($300 per person for 3–4 hours) teach you how to operate your camera manually, the basics of composition and other fundamentals. Markisz personal work has been featured by National Geographic, Vogue, USA Today and more.

6. Stand up on a wave

Outside of that one vacation to Hawaii, have you ever stood up on a surfboard? Take a day trip to Half Moon Bay and let Matt Wilkinson and team at Pillar Point Surf School push you into some waves. Learn proper paddling techniques, where to take off on waves and of course, how to pop up. Beginner group lessons ($70-$80 for 2 hours) and private lessons with Matt ($100-$120 for 2 hours) are available. Forget those long walks on the beach and get onto some waves!

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Sometimes our work is a collaborative effort, hence the "staff" byline. The best of what to eat, see and do on the SF Peninsula.

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