Glowing monkeys scamper toward a neon waterfall, and a knight bearing a radiant yellow lance rides past a bright orange octopus emerging from the ocean. What appears to be a time-traveling session gone awry is really the evolving environment within Putting Edge’s indoor black-lit mini-golf course, which whisks players to deep seas, Aztec jungles, and medieval times. Since opening its original location in Canada, Putting Edge has now expanded to 18 North American locations, all of which invite guests onto its challenging 18-hole courses to seek victory over opponents and the forces that keep their teeth from not glowing as brightly as they could. Elsewhere, the facility houses private party rooms, concessions, and an arcade filled with gamer favorites such as air hockey.
A percussive rhythm of impact rings through the air at North County Golf & Sports Center, whether its the smack of golf balls leaving grass and mat tees or the crack of baseball bats inside batting cage balls. Golfers of all ability levels enjoy use of covered, heated tees in inclement weather and can work on their short game skills on a large putting green. Throughout the spring, summer, and fall, players can join in on instructional clinics held seven days a week, wherein they work on basic and advanced facets of their game including grip, stance, and alignment. If stationary targets don't present enough of a challenge, players can head over to the batting cages to practice transforming pitches into line drives, grounders, and nacho-ruining foul balls.
Golf balls soar through the air and settle around various targets at Big Bend Golf Center, providing a steady soundtrack of thwacks as golfers practice their golf game. The center’s double-decker driving range boasts more than 25 hitting stations—including both grass and synthetic hitting mats—from which golfers can take aim at yardage markers that are boldly labeled with their distance from the tees. Covered by the top deck and warmed with outdoor heaters, the ground-level hitting bays let golfers practice their game year-round in any weather, rather than attempting to play with clubs made of icicles. Big Bend’s Golf Center complements the driving range with clinics and lessons with resident golf pros, who also provide re-gripping services and spike replacements for aging golf shoes.
Interactive bumper cars, 80 arcade games, and the tubes, tunnels, and slides of a soft playground all nestle within the 12,000-square-foot Swing-a-Round Fun Town facility in Fenton. Outside, waterfalls and fountains surround three professionally designed outdoor mini golf courses, and a mammoth pond accommodates 15 colliding bumper boats. The fun continues at the kiddie kart track for youngsters 3?8 years old or the more than 1,100-foot adult track, where kids can join a parent in a double-seat go-kart whose second steering wheel allows tykes to pretend drive and practice ignoring hitchhikers. Elsewhere, nine batting cages test players' homerun hitting skills with softball slow and fast pitches or baseballs flung at 35?80 mph. Swing-a-Round Fun Town's St. Charles location hosts nine batting cages as well, plus two 18-hole miniature golf courses and an arcade.
The golf carts at The Woodlands Golf Club take players on a grassy roller-coaster ride over frequent changes in elevation and down fairways brimming with challenging lies at every turn. Play intertwines perilously with a winding creek at many points, with a scant three holes, like a cautious wicked witch, managing to avoid water altogether. All 18 holes launch players down zoysia grass fairways from one of four tees, challenging each club in the bag en route to greens that hold approaches and roll true. On the last hole, the newly refurbished clubhouse provides a scenic backdrop for the homestretch.
Course at a Glance:
18-hole, par 72 course
Total length of 6,418 yards from the back tees
Course rating of 70.6 from the back tees
Course slope of 123 from the back tees
Four sets of tees per hole
Named St. Louis’s Best Driving Range by the Riverfront Times in 2007, Family Golf & Learning Center earns praise as an encouraging environment in which golfers of all levels can hone their games. The lighted range boosts golfers with a second story of hitting stations stacked on top of the first that offers a bird’s-eye view, if that bird is sitting on the head of a giraffe. The range also features both real zoysia-grass tees as well as artificial-turf tees, and it stays open year-round thanks to heaters that prevent golf clubs’ handles from developing frostbite.
Once thoroughly limbered up, golfers can tee off on the par 3 course, where a maximum hole length of 160 yards allows for practice with short strokes and putting. Should self-improvement reach a plateau, the center’s instructors stand ready to help players make further strides through onsite lessons.
Course at a Glance: * Nine-hole, par 27 course * Total length of 1,124 yards from the back tees * Three sets of tees per hole * Scorecard