Navigate the skill-taxing 18-hole course while steering clear of numerous rocks, water hazards, and sand traps, which golf balls covet for their naturally exfoliating properties. Before or after hitting the mini-links, guests also can head to the bank of 11 batting cages that collectively feature six baseball pitching machines, four slow-pitch softball machines, and one fast-pitch softball machine. The fully automatic system tosses baseballs at speeds from 40 to 85 mph, giving even seasoned baseballers cause for perspiration.
The pitcher leans in toward the plate, nods when the catcher signals the pitch, and then straightens up to the set position, shooting a quick glance toward first base to keep the baserunner's lead in check. With one cleat firmly planted on the rubber, his opposite foot rises skyward and then makes a mighty lunge toward home as he fires a baseball over the center of the plate.
At Indy Hitters, the Pro-Batter hitting simulator does away with the need for a real pitcher. The apparatus relies on digital video technology to display footage of a pitcher and virtual spitballs on a large screen situated in front of the pitching machine. All the batter sees is the pitcher winding up, and then the pitch rocketing out of a small hole in the screen at adjustable speeds, up to a blistering 104 MPH.
Glowing, neon creatures cast a ghastly glow on the 18-hole miniature golf course as guests putt through the darkened corridors that comprise one half of the Bat Cave. The aptly named course snakes through caverns teeming with ghoulish creatures that distract putters as they attempt to measure the slope of the green or ask for advice from the spirit of the pterodactyl skeleton hanging over their head. More fast-paced recreation awaits in the other wing of the Bat Cave?a batting cage where guests blast homers off pitches slung at speeds of 35 to 85 m.p.h.
The Bat Cave shares space with the RollerCave, a rink where guests glide on rollerskates under dancing lights. The open arena also encompasses an arcade with a pool table, skee-ball, and other classic games.
Otte Golf and Family Fun Center is a perennial fixture in Golf Range Magazine’s list of the country’s Top 100 Golf Ranges. Its 300-yard driving range houses more than 50 stalls—guests can choose between grass and mat hitting surfaces—set under high-powered lights that keep the target greens illuminated at night. The range provides a venue for independent practice or preparation for rounds on the center's 18-hole executive course, a circuit of par-threes and fours that takes a convenient 2.5 hours to complete, which gives golfers more time to trick out the vintage golf carts in their garages.
A lighthouse stands sentry over the 18-hole miniature golf course, where guests advance through flowerbeds, willow trees, and tidy rows of shrubs and hedges. Those interested in striking balls that aren't placed on tees or the noses of their best friends can visit one of nine batting cages, where pitching machines dispense a steady stream of baseballs and softballs at various speeds.
Each year during early spring, the frost clinging to Indiana's Calumet region thaws, clearing the way for fresh grass, budding flowers, and smooth go-kart tracks. It's along the banked turns of Zig-E's Funland's Rippin' Raceway that drivers experience the cool breezes of the freshly temperate outdoors while careening over a 1/5-mile track. Zig-E's friendly staff is on hand to point visitors in the direction of the new tactical laser tag, bungee trampoline, or toward the waterfall-flanked greens of the 18-hole mini-golf course that blankets the 3.4-acre property. Inside, a year-round arcade is packed with more than 50 video and redemption games that buzz and blip as players pass virtual levels and amass tokens. Throughout the day, staffers at the snack shop reenergize fun seekers with tasty snacks and drinks and tales of the day humans first came down from the mountain to play Laser Tag.
Entertainment at the Crete Family Fun Center includes a Cannonball Wars arena, in which teams fire foam balls into the opposing crew’s net. Players work up a sweat while dodging focused light in an indoor laser-tag arena or playing classic and modern games in the arcade, and bumper cars provide catharsis for overworked driving instructors. Crete’s onsite restaurant dishes up treats such as pizzas, hot dogs, and burgers.