Outdoor Family Fun Center nurtures the various swing-based abilities of its patrons with multiple driving, putting, and batting facilities. Customers can exchange batting-cage tokens ($1.75/each) for 15 pitches from an arm-style machine. The batting cages launch line-drive ammo at various speeds that range from slow-pitch softballs to 80-mph baseballs. Throughout the year golfers can calibrate their crosshairs with buckets of balls ($6+) on the driving range's covered and heated hitting stations or the artificial mats and grass tees. The 3-acre Bermuda grass short-game area ($8 for all-day play) includes target greens and uphill lies while enabling golfers to practice picking the locks on sand traps. The 18-hole, par 42 miniature golf course ($5 for kids younger than 12, $6 for adults) challenges putters with slopes, turns, and professionally landscaped ponds and waterfalls.
Tropical Gardens Miniature Golf strips away the cartoonish aspects of the game found on many courses, instead situating its 18 putting greens amid a diverse landscape of ponds and blooming floras. As a waterfall trickles nearby, a flamboyance of fake flamingos perches under the shade of a tree, silently observing golfers' mannerisms to use in their upcoming novel. Aside from navigating the miniature fairways, players can swing at baseballs in the batting cages or reunite quarters with their captive brethren in the video arcade.
At the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park surrounds a 5-acre lake with a constellation of camping stations and activity centers. The Garcia family graciously plays host to guests who careen down the twists and turns of the park's 300-foot waterslide, play mini golf, or cast lines into the lake to catch waiting fish. Along with opportunities to connect with nature and name every tree after their fathers, the Garcias furnish visitors with space to set up tents, pop-ups, and RVs, or stay in the ground's own rough-hewn cabins. They also provide showers and laundry facilities to help campers maintain ties with civilization. The family becomes especially excited when pointing guests in the direction of North Carolina's Chimney Rock or Grandfather Mountain for hikes and breathless sightseeing adventures.
Lake Murray Golf Center appeals to both putt-practitioners and full-scale iron swingers by placing a miniature course alongside nine regular holes. Quartets can take to the 18-hole miniature-golf course as many times as they desire to send spherical associates caroming toward their targets. Golf balls navigating the littler links must dodge fountains, streams, and a 15-foot waterfall that churns fresh Arnold Palmers.
The fairways of Greer Country Club’s 18-hole course arch over rolling hills and weave through groves of trees, offering up narrow landing zones on a layout that rewards accuracy over power. Like a putting green that began as a shag carpet, the course emerged from humble beginnings. A group of local businessmen backed its construction in 1955, and many early supporters spent time extracting rocks from the turf by hand; the first round of golf cost $6. Since then, the 6,300-yard course has matured into a well-manicured circuit of Bermuda grass fairways and small, bent-grass greens, outlined by Carolina pines and dotted by water hazards on four holes. Open year round, the course complements its course with a driving range, where golfers can find their swings or discreetly practice archery before taking to the first tee.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par-72 course * Bermuda grass fairways and bent grass greens * Length of 6,300 yards from the farthest tees * Course rating of 70.3 from the farthest tees * Slope rating of 121 from the farthest tees
Falls Park Golf & Games beckons to putt-putt protégés with an 18-hole mini golf course that runs through the center of its cozy, family-friendly space. With topsy-turvy slopes that make for perplexing breaking putts, the course promotes lively competition between siblings, friends, or rival dentists. A stationary golf cart sits in the middle of the course, surrounded by walls decorated with golf-themed festoons—including a caddyshack facade—that help set the scene. Along with more subtle undulations, the course requires players to putt through a tricky loopty-loop and explain the principles of centripetal force to any toddlers within a five-mile radius. After their round, guests can decompress in one of the space's various booths or tables, enjoy a refreshment, and tune in to the flickering images on a flat-panel TV.