Landscaped holes sprawl across the grounds of Putt-Putt Fun Center's three locations, challenging visitors to take hold of putters and test their short game. Besides putt-putt golf, the center has batting cages that hurl baseballs and the occasional tomato at various speeds. And the attractions at Putt-Putt Fun Center's sister site, Alley Cats Entertainment Center, includes kid-friendly laser tag, rock-climbing, and an arcade, as well as a bar with billiards for the grown-ups. During the summer months, all three locations host summer camps that engage children in age-appropriate activities that inspire learning while using the facilities' attractions.
After starting out as a single facility in 1998, D-BAT Sports has since grown to include a dozen academies spread across Texas and the rest of United States. Each location embodies the company's core belief: every ballplayer is an individual with a unique, specific set of talents that must be honed. As such, D-BAT's professional trainers mold baseball and softball players into experienced specialists with custom lessons in pivotal skills, such as hitting, pitching, and autographing hot dogs. The climate-controlled facilities also feature rentable indoor batting cages as well as pro shops stocked with major-brand equipment.
As legend has it, an 1875 article in the Dallas Herald claimed that a live panther was spotted walking the streets of Fort Worth. The city soon became known as the "The Panther City," so when Fort Worth's first minor-league baseball team was founded, in 1888, calling it the "Panthers"—rather than, say, the "Fighting Dandelions"—just made sense. Over the years, journalists shortened the club's nickname to the "Cats," and the team dominated the Texas League through the first part of the 20th Century, at one point winning six consecutive league titles in the 1920s.
After bouncing between affiliations with several MLB teams, the Cats disbanded in 1964. However, the Cats returned in 2002, almost immediately reliving the success of the previous century and capturing three straight titles from 2005–07. Despite never adopting the Panther name, the modern-day Cats have never lost sight of their history, as evidenced by mascot "Dodger" and LaGrave Field's classic design.
The emerald easements of Hidden Valley's 18-hole miniature golf course encompass more than an acre of topsy-turvy terrain lined with rocky outcrops and windmills. Putt-putt posses engage in rapidly escalating one-upmanship as they traverse the scenic circuit, rolling colorful golf balls over multitiered greens that create breaking putts more difficult to read than ancient hieroglyphs projected onto a fun-house mirror. A central lighthouse prevents putters from losing their sense of direction and expounds on a nautical theme established by streams, waterfalls, and fountains that mist throughout the course. Hidden Valley also offers a game room and picnic area, along with refreshments to slake parched putters or create impromptu water hazards in front of their opponents' orbs.
Keeping alive the tradition set by the legends of the original American Association—where players such as Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays once toed the batter's box, before the league was absorbed by the professional ranks—the Grand Prairie AirHogs take the diamond to face off against rivals. As part the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball, the club brought sandlot glory to their fans in 2011, when they won the Association's championship. Mirroring the on-field excitement, the new QuikTrip Park turns each outing into a memorable shindig with a party deck, a 17,000-square-foot kids' zone, and a pool adjacent to the outfield. Between innings, fans can fuel up at the stadium’s sports bar or leapfrog over each of the park’s 5,445 seats.
Tell us about your business.
Mac Sports, Texas is a sole proprietorship owned and operated in Duncanville, TX. We offer golf and baseball lessons, with the intention to expand to soccer as well in the near future.
What inspired you to start this business?
Our inspiration to start the business was to offer affordable options to better grow and develop [our clients'] abilities in their desired sports. We are all former or current athletes here, with the same dreams and aspirations as our customers.
What is the best reaction you’ve ever gotten from a customer?
A customer attended a golf lesson for the $70 rate for the hour. He was so satisfied with the results, he donated an extra $30 to our equipment fund. He has remained a biweekly customer and has expressed his satisfaction of being able to compete with his friends on the golf course.
What’s your favorite part about your job?
I love working with people and seeing them succeed. When we can conduct a business that truly benefits people, we all enjoy the outcome.