Batting is an essential skill that baseball and softball players alike hone at On Deck Batting Cages. The 17,000-square-foot training facility?s coaches, however, aren?t interested in players who can only showcase one skill. So beyond aiming for the rafters in one of 14 cages, pupils also refine their knuckleballs on a 72-foot pitching lane whose portable mound accommodates pitches from any distance. During private lessons, meanwhile, baseball and softball instructors focus on everything from throwing to fielding, the art of catching a fly ball while simultaneously mowing the outfield. Once players are ready for the diamond, On Deck's resident uniform guru, Laura Simon of J&L Designs, can outfit them with her comfortable, eye-catching uniforms and apparel.
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.
The numbers used to describe the Power Alley OC facility are impressive?20,000 square feet in total; 4,200 square feet of multipurpose training area; 8 automated batting cages?but none of it amounts to much without the coaches who put it to good use. The staff counts a former Atlanta Brave, a former San Diego Padre, and former college ballplayers among its ranks, adding up to a depth of experience that trumps any training aid. They pass on the knowledge and skills that took them to the highest level to their baseball- or softball-playing pupils through lessons on hitting, fielding, and pitching for teams and individuals. Hitters can also make use of the batting cages and ATEC pitching machines at their own leisure, enabling them to simultaneously work toward twin dreams of becoming both a big league slugger and rapping umpire.
Established: Before 1950
Staff Size: 25?50 people
Average Duration of Services: 30?60 minutes
Pro Tip: Bring your own mitt.
Parking: Parking lot
Most Popular Attraction/Offering: Pools and batting cages
Recommended Age Group: All Ages
Mulligan Family Fun Center's three locations surround parents and kids with sprawling smorgasbords of kinetic entertainment. Outside, each park's sunny grounds encourage healthy activity with putt-testing miniature-golf courses and the hairpin turns of go-kart tracks. In the batting cages, aspiring sluggers test their swing while recognized major-league sluggers test their disguise against the park's do-not-admit posters. Back inside, climbers scale the rock wall?s vertical challenges and friends battle friends in laser tag?s intense light-based combat.
Each location also has its own signature activities. The Torrance location's rookie go-karts, for example, enable younger drivers to take a turn down the track, whereas the Palmdale location boasts a longer, 1,500-foot track for children and adults alike.
If practice makes perfect, then South Bay Refinery helps aspiring athletes of all ages perfect their baseball and softball skills by providing all the space, equipment, and professional guidance they could ask for. The 25,000-square-foot indoor facility features eight regulation-size pitching mounds, two softball pitching mats, nine full-sized baseball batting cages, four full-sized softball batting cages, six Iron Mike pitching machines, and four Jugs softball-pitching machines in addition to a separate practice infield area. With a staff of instructors that includes former and current professional players as well as experienced coaches, South Bay Refinery offers lessons intended to provide mental and physical training while reinforcing fundamentals. Specialized camps are also available on a regular basis, covering the basics of everything from batting and fielding to pitching and bobblehead modeling. The facility even features a separate cross-training fitness area, which hosts classes designed to improve athletes' strength, endurance, agility, flexibility, and proprioception over time.