Glowing monkeys scamper toward a neon waterfall, and a knight bearing a radiant yellow lance rides past a bright orange octopus emerging from the ocean. What appears to be a time-traveling session gone awry is really the evolving environment within Putting Edge’s indoor black-lit mini-golf course, which whisks players to deep seas, Aztec jungles, and medieval times. Since opening its original location in Canada, Putting Edge has now expanded to 16 North American locations, all of which invite guests onto its challenging 18-hole courses to seek victory over opponents and the forces that keep their teeth from not glowing as brightly as they could. Elsewhere, the facility houses private party rooms, concessions, and an arcade filled with gamer favorites such as air hockey.
The sight of a medieval castle surrounded by tall cacti may seem anachronistic at first, but it's hard to question the image when one is trying to putt a mini golf ball into a grassy hole off the circulating paddles of a windmill. It's whimsical moments like this that make Golf N? Stuff's name feel understated. Beyond the two lush 18-hole mini golf courses that draw year-round visitors, the entertainment center boasts go-karts, bumper boats, and more than 100 arcade games. Batting cages let both kids and adults perfect their swings. Visitors can refuel on hot dogs, Dippin' Dots ice cream, and soda at the snack bar.
From the emerald valley of Brookside Golf Club's practice facility, Fore Kids Golf Academy’s staff of aces teaches youngsters the very basics of on-course conquests in a fun and positive environment. The golf gurus strive to imbue kids with a sound understanding of golf’s pendulous swing while also teaching them how to set and meet goals of any nature, such as growing up to be a contributing member of society or scientifically proving that all golf balls are descendants of the moon. The academy offers one-week camps throughout the summer, Saturday clinics, and private lessons. Most clinics involve both range practice and on-course play, as well as video swing analysis, which provides students with a visual aid to help them understand swing advice and identify their sand wedge’s bad side.
PGA-certified teaching pros Joe Cano and Mark Spinelli impart more than five decades of collective hard-won golf wisdom to novice swingers in one-hour sessions. The semiprivate lesson is designed for aspiring clubbers with little or no golf experience and begins with a basic overview of golf equipment, outlining the utility of each club and dispelling myths that golf balls can feel pain. Class sizes range between two and four pupils, affording future aces ample opportunity to ask questions as they learn fundamental skills such as the golf grip, stance, posture, and alignment from the emerald-hitting bays of the club's driving range. Ace Golf Academy graciously supplies pupils lacking a sufficient bag of clubs or modified gardening implements with a set of quality crooked sticks to use during the lesson, as well as an ample artillery of range balls to launch at unsuspecting target greens.
Blind 9 Golf equips duffers with clubs from elite makers including TaylorMade, Mizuno, and Adams, along with course-ready duds that owe their sporty collars to the stitch masters at Adidas, Puma, and other top brands. Along with a wide selection of putters, wedges, irons, and drivers, the golf emporium sells useful golf accessories, streamlining golf trips with travel bags and informing golfers of their exact distance from flagsticks and territorial forecaddies with GPS units and rangefinders. Clients can also sign up for a loft/lie fitting session with Blind 9’s recently acquired club-fitting equipment, which measures players' current sticks and swing path to determine optimal loft and lie.
A graduate of the Golf Academy of America and current candidate in the PGA Apprentice Program, Andrew Lee calls upon his extensive golf background to help players improve both mentally and physically. Andrew helps beginners make a smooth foray into the game and applies his knowledge to help advanced players improve their skills, deftly incorporating training aids and video-swing technology via an iPad to develop muscle memory. He can teach lessons in both English and Mandarin, which not only broadens his client base but also helps non-native speakers scold their clubs in a language the equipment will understand.