Looking to put a new spin on a classic family activity, the minds behind Glowgolf decided to give the game a phosphorescent update. Incandescent courses place friends and family amid a tropical-fantasy golf world of neon orange, green, and violet surroundings. Players putt luminous orbs through vibrant treasure chests and glimmering windmills while negotiating tricky obstacles near walls portraying black-light-lit aquatic scenes. With more than 20 locations spread over 10 states, Glowgolf's fluorescent labyrinths challenge human players and traveling gnomes.
As a teaching professional since 1994, Tim Lewis of Aahh! Golf Lessons! teaches the traditional swing while expounding on the unique but consistent playing style of Canadian Hall of Famer “Pipeline” Moe Norman, whose unorthodox swing and quirky personality are the stuff of legend. A guiding principle of the swing is keeping the club on a single plane, which minimizes the possibility that the club head ventures off course to produce erratic ball flights. Tim combines these swing mechanics with the Vardon grip, also known as the overlapping grip or the grip that finally captured Godzilla.
Designed by renowned course architect Edmund Ault in 1967, Christmas Lake Golf Course is a verdant haven carved out of rolling hills and lush valleys. Before tee time, shoulders and their owners can test out their oscillating aptitude by taking the included buckets of balls for a swing-honing ride on the driving range. Next, dynamic clubbing duos take to the links, perfecting their announcer stage whispers among the zoysia-grass tees and bent-grass greens as they comment on one another’s divot-repairing skills. Enjoy a speedy commute across the flat front nine or the hillier back nine aboard a motorized cart that carries heavy bags and ensures quick getaways from argyle-clad, fairway-dwelling hobgoblins. Postgame, weary wedge wielders can trek to the Club House for celebratory libations and victuals (costs not included in today’s Groupon).
Playing mini-golf at the Fun Center at Paige's Crossing is like stepping into a storybook. Three different 18-hole courses transport players to fantastic locales such as castles, Old West streets, or the giant loafer that's home to the Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe. Indeed, most of the attractions at Paige's Crossing lets its visitors escape into their imaginations. They can become racecar drivers at a go-kart track, conductors on a Runaway Train mini-rollercoaster, and PGA stars at the driving range.
Other activities take families indoors. A symphony of electronic beeps fills the arcade, where players shoot basketballs or collect redemption tickets from skee-ball machines. In colder months, these indoor spaces transform into a Winter Jumperland complete with inflated bounce castles and plenty of parking for reindeer.
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.
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.