Open since 1967, Putting Plus is a beloved Omaha leisure facility that brings out the inner child of adults, the inner teen of adults, and the inner golf-baller of any-aged folks. In all, there are three family-friendly miniature-golf courses ($5–$6 per course), featuring 18 holes of challenging curves, drops, water hazards, and mysterious holes that, when you reach in to retrieve your ball, cause your hand to pop out of another hole 20 yards away.
The winner of 14 professional titles, Skip Tredway is a former PGA tour member with 38 years of experience as a golf instructor. Tredway's Scoring School program causes scores to plummet by revealing tips to improve all phases of a golfer's short game, from pitching and chipping to digging friendlier hole sizes. In a 60-minute session, Skip can sharpen students' putting skills by reviewing gripping and balance techniques or improve their chipping by identifying hiccups in their swings. Diminish scores further by learning to escape bunkers using only a trained sparrow.
The nine-hole executive course at Pine Lake Golf & Tennis Club—designed more than four decades ago for the use of homeowners in the Pine Lake housing area—today welcomes golfers of all skill levels and domicile locations. Beginners tackle the course’s straightforward fairways and greens, whereas skilled golfers can hone their short game on holes ranging in length from the 111-yard seventh to the 185-yard fifth. Although the concise fairways demand precision, they don’t foil golfers with the obstacles of other courses, such as sand traps, water hazards, and riddle-slinging bridge trolls. After swinging through a round under the gaze of the Pine Lake water tower, players can head to the tennis courts or drop by the pro shop to pick up new tees for staking pesky pint-sized vampires.
Course at a Glance:
Indian Creek Golf Course's layout snakes through the Hood River Valley between a network of sprawling orchards and wineries with panoramic views of Mount Hood and Mount Adams creating a dramatic backdrop. Water comes into play on 11 holes, including three creeks that bisect fairways to disrupt play and tempt players to take fairway naps to the melodic babbling of their playing partners. On the par 5 fourth hole, precision is paramount, as the dogleg right is entirely fortified by water to the right and the small, narrow green make short putts strenuous with hard-to-read-breaks.
Indian Creek Golf Course won an Environmental Excellence award from Audubon International for its efforts in areas of wildlife and habitat management, chemical-use reduction, and water-quality management. The course and its surrounding land act as a sanctuary to a variety of wildlife, including several species of caddies now endangered because rampant cart use. Course at a Glance:
The 18 wide fairways at Papio Greens Golf Center stretch toward smooth, par 3 greens designed to be manageable and challenging for both beginner and advanced players. Groundskeepers and staff have styled the complex as a place where families can take to the links together. Young golfers can be found preparing for their upcoming junior-league tournaments on the facility's water driving range, and adult players await their tee time by rehearsing bunker chips on the nearby practice green. Certified teaching pro Mike DeBoer teaches onsite clinics and private lessons that help beginners sharpen their swings and cut down on balls lost to the water hazards and intergalactic wormhole framing the course. Night or day, players can practice their putting beneath the lights that illuminate 36 holes of miniature golf.
Go-karts hug the twists and turns of a 1/4-mile track. Six batting cages hurl baseballs and softballs at speeds between 50 mph and 80 mph. An 18-hole miniature golf course coaxes putted balls down greens ranging from 75- to 185-feet in length. Elsewhere, water balloons fired from a launcher soak opponents stationed at battle zones. For 20 years, Papio Fun Park has enraptured families with abundant outdoor and indoor activities and games.
The indoor facility hosts trampoline-hopping players at Spaceball or Jumpshot, while an arcade brims with quarter-operated air hockey, pool tables, and laundry machines disguised as video games.