Bowling is the great social equalizer—a common ground where grizzled undercover clowns, blue-collar English lords, LARPer librarians, big and tall lingerie models, hordes of hive-minded hipsters, and the other two social demographics that comprise America can unite in common cause and topple a gaggle of stuck-up, inanimate wooden pins. Brunswick has been a household name in this egalitarian pastime almost since the beginning, with a company history that dates back to the 19th century, providing classic American good times to all manner of patrons across the country. And with today's Groupon tying the room together, you'll get to play two games (up to a $9.98 value) in its hallowed halls wearing a pair of freshly disinfected bowling shoes (a $3.59 value).
Rolling Oaks Golf Club pairs an expansive driving range with an outdoor patio and banquet space that welcomes guests with food, drink, and live music. Outfitted with numerous hitting bays and stadium lights, the range lets golfers spruce up swings day or night, regardless of the sun’s busy schedule or the moon’s refusal to pay its electric bill. The driving range also hosts golf clinics and lessons for players in need of advice from golf experts. After dialing in drives and fine-tuning chip shots, players can kick back in the club’s dining room to feast on burgers, cheesesteaks, and other traditional grill fare as regular live music and guitar solos express the woe of a missed birdie shot in ways words never can.
Shady Oaks Golf Club fosters club-flailing fun at its nine-hole, par 3 course and outdoor driving range. Golfers can continue their quest for the elusive hole-in-one or put disobedient drivers in a time-out at the nine-hole par 3 course, where short holes facilitate a fast-paced round of golf that is surmountable for players of all abilities. Upon their arrival, players receive two large buckets of driving range balls to loosen up their swings or use as healthy meal replacements for fried chicken. The course is open seven days a week, including all holidays, to whet the link-looping appetite of golf devotees.
Golf, long ridiculed as the easiest of sports, is so childishly simple that many casual players go home feeling angry and frustrated at how quickly one can master the game. Luckily, these golfers can still savor the thrilling velocity and parabolic motion of a well-struck ball, especially with today's Groupon. For $12, you get three large buckets of driving range golf balls (a $30 value) at Northeast Golf Center.
Laser Legend's black-lit arena surrounds players in a scene that seems straight out of a science-fiction movie. Glowing planets and stars backdrop the 5,000-square-foot space, where fog creeps out from behind neon-blue walls and 14 robots guard bases. Up to eight teams fire lasers across two levels, competing during match types such as capture the flag or tickle the flag until it says uncle. The phosphorescent ambience also extends to the Glo Golf course, where alien forests and caves surround golfers as they line up putts. The course employs a multi-hole system that allows Laser Legend?s intergalactic greenskeepers to change the cup locations each week. Elsewhere, more than 40 games, such as Sno Cross, Dirty Driving, Doodle Jump, and Juke-n-Box, create a symphony of electronic beeps in the arcade.
The aromas of fresh-baked breadsticks lure visitors into the onsite restaurant, Noble Roman's Pizza, where chefs fry chicken wings, assemble italian-beef subs, and slide pepperoni pizzas into the oven. This casual Italian cuisine also fuels stomachs within Laser Legend's party rooms, where guests can watch satellite TV and birthday kids eat a breadstick for every year they've had teeth.
One-hour swing-analysis lessons are one-on-one sessions led by Edwin Watts' knowledgeable instructors, who have years of teaching and competing experience hidden beneath their pleats. Students first showcase their swings in front of a video camera, then a human-and-laser-hybrid team analyzes grip, setup, backswing, and downswing to reveal exactly where and when pendulums started hanging out with the wrong crew of slices, hooks, and hamsters. Next, trainers attempt to correct students' swinging problems with personal instruction and a pinch of pixie dust.