At Paradise Fun Center, the gurgling waterfalls in two 18-hole mini-golf courses and the rustling of trees in the breeze provide the soundtrack for pleasant, family-friendly outings. Each course is riddled with zigzags, sharp turns, and challenges that don't rely on advanced levitation abilities. Batting cages accommodate fast- and slow-pitch practice, and go-kart racing quenches needs for speed, and a variety of arcade games are available. In between the fun and games, the center keeps energy levels elevated with candy, pizza, nachos, and ice cream at its snack bar, and a picnic area and party room are available for group outings.
The soft jingling of wind chimes rolls across Magic Greens’s 2.5-acre facility, creating a tranquil space as clients lope across a miniature-golf course lined with handcrafted cedar structures, towering oaks, and native wildflowers. Owners Carole and James George added the serene touches to capitalize on the surrounding area's natural landscape, developing a scenic course that eschews the plastic statuettes and gimmicks of typical mini-golf courses in favor of a more authentic, clown-proof space. Alongside the challenging course rest four bocce-ball courts, ample space for casual washers games, vine-covered gazebos, two waterfalls, and a cedar pavilion where guests can enjoy food and nougaty-center golf balls from the concession-stand.
Three-time Masters Champion Jimmy Demaret states, “I simply followed the natural features of the land” to explain the genesis of his brainchild, the Onion Creek Club. Here 18 holes of championship golf—designed by course architects Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore—sprawl alongside tennis courts and a clubhouse with a fitness center and junior-Olympic-size swimming pool. The par-70 course’s claim to fame is having hosted the inaugural Senior PGA event in 1978, four years after the greens’ bermuda grass first whimpered under cleated feet. Its signature third hole invites golfers to play aggressively with their drivers in order to vault orbs onto a landing strip guarded by trees and a creek, or to grip their irons and aim for a narrow green that has notoriously uncommunicative air-traffic controllers.
In addition to the course and its accompanying driving range with 30 hitting stations, Onion Creek Club invites racket-wielders to take advantage of lighted hard and clay tennis courts. The clubhouse’s fitness center challenges muscles with Cybex strength machines, and its junior-Olympic-size pool allows 9 irons to slip into their bikinis and go for a splash.
Grey Rock Golf Club’s experienced staff, welcoming facilities, and meticulously manicured course provide enjoyable golf in the scenic outdoors. After booking a tee time ($69–$80 Monday–Thursday, $89–$100 Friday–Sunday), golfers can unleash their repressed anger on smug golf balls at the driving range before hopping into a cart that deftly navigates around bunkers and manhole-sized divots. The award-winning 18-hole course provides a few thousand yards of challenging yet accessible play, allowing club-wielders to wind their way through tree-lined fairways, water hazards, and pins guarded by agitated three-headed dogs.
Helmed by former collegiate golfers Gatlyn and Marla McDonald, Birdee’s Golf Center fosters club-flailing fortitude with astute instruction and immaculate practice facilities. During each 45-minute lesson, pupils pulverize orbs under the watchful eye of Gatlyn or Marla, who utilize video analysis to comprehensively dissect technique, pinpoint bad habits, and slowly morph unsightly swings into pendulums with the trustworthy tempo and course-readiness of an argyle-clad grandfather clock. The patient pedagogues can also cure chronic cases of the yips at their 5,000-square-foot emerald putting tapestry. Students also learn how to chip and pitch orbs close to each green’s flag-marked navel at the short-game range, which features a practice sand bunker. Each large bucket of driving-range balls brims with roughly 110 dimpled spheroids that willfully subject themselves to swing experiments atop the immaculate operating table of synthetic hitting mats.
Canyon Lake Golf Club's 18-hole layout flows across 6,582 yards of parkland terrain wafted by cool breezes that drift from Canyon Lake, which rests just northeast of the course. Towering oak trees loom over the course's open fairways, impeding the passage of errant golf balls while trumpeting their unrivaled, bird's-eye views of the surrounding topography. Bookended by two 500-yard par 5s, the par 72 invites golfers to brandish their drivers or modified T-shirt cannons and begin and end the round with massive tee shots. An outdoor swimming pool and tennis courts foster alternative forms of recreation, whereas multifaceted dining facilities host all varieties of social gatherings at the club.
Course at a Glance: