In golf, reliving mistakes is sometimes a good thing. It can help a player find the faults in his or her swing, and then make the necessary adjustments in order to finally crack open a golf ball and retrieve the shiny pearl inside. That's exactly what the PGA-certified instructors at Fox Meadow Golf Center accomplish through their JC Video motion-analysis software. The system captures video of players and then breaks down every element of a swing—from the initial backswing to the moment of impact.
Of course, this video system would be useless without practice areas. The driving range's five target greens lie at distances between 50 and 205 yards. Balls launch from 60 tees, including 30 heated tees that stay open year round. A sand trap lies nearby, and a synthetic putting green helps bolster short games. These facilities are the setting for Fox Meadow Golf Center's instructional programs, including junior and adult camps that focus on everything from chipping to bunker play. Alternatively, an onsite 18-hole mini-golf course allows for more casual putting.
For four decades, Putt-Putt Golf and Games has hosted friendly competition with four putt-putt golf courses and an array of games. Colorful blossoms and rocky waterfalls add character to 18-hole putt-putt golf courses, and creative hole designs add challenge. Groups of partygoers can request a staff chaperone to guide them through the labyrinth and hand over a treasure map to the course’s bounty of nougat-filled golf balls.
In the Game Zone, visitors settle competitive challenges at an air-hockey table or face-off against digital emissaries in the Terminator Salvation arcade game. Outside, the Jump Shot is a trampoline basketball hoop that launches athletes toward slam-dunks in lower orbit.
When new owners gained control of Putt Putt Fun Center in 2011, they brought with them a fresh vision that culminated in modern updates. The recently revised center encompasses a spectrum of family fun; the indoor area houses an arcade—fully loaded with air hockey and a Wheel of Fortune game—beside an inflatable labyrinth of moon bounces, slides, and obstacle courses used to train armies of balloon animals. Once visitors have exhausted themselves inside the glowing laser-tag arena or other sheltered activities, they can venture outside to the mini-golf course, where faux caverns and a wooden footbridge arc over abbreviated greens. Nearby, athletes smack baseballs into orbit from the batting cages.
Bel Air Golf Center helps duffers straighten out drives, hone putter strokes, and lower scores with an expansive driving range and miniature-golf facility geared toward player improvement. Turn unsightly snap-hooks into power-draws of supernatural beauty at one of the driving range’s 47 stalls—10 of which are enclosed, heated, and lighted to facilitate sessions in rainstorms, after sunset, or on the ice planet Hoth. The range also helps divoteers dial in their distance with 14 target flags measured to precise yardage.
A totem pole shaped like a four-scoop ice-cream cone stands as a beacon in front of Jim Mack's Ice Cream, beckoning passers-by to experience the nostalgic establishment's homemade ice cream, 24-hole miniature-golf course, and resident black bear, Ricky. The ice-cream stand and snack shop, which opened in 1958, crafts a menu of ice cream, malts, burgers, hot dogs, fries, and other specialties. The outdoor picnic area allows guests to enjoy their treats to the sounds of chirping birds and whistling winds, which also serve as the mini-golf course's full-time commentators. The expansive, family-friendly facility also features a pinball arcade and a miniature zoo. Llamas and goats roam the petting-zoo area, grazing from the delicious pellets that grow in children's hands. The facility's mascot, Ricky the bear, also greets guests from inside of her large enclosure where she climbs on logs and tells jokes for nickels.
With a 39-stall driving range, a miniature-golf circuit, and a nine-hole par 3 course, Mt. Freedom Golf helps golfers fine-tune every aspect of their game. That par 3 layout features several holes that span at least 100 yards from the tee to the bentgrass greens, showcasing a verdant expanse for players to work their short irons. Players bogey-proof swings at the driving range, where natural-grass hitting areas cater to those who favor a natural feel and provoke artificial mats to crow about how photosynthesis is overrated.
After grappling the yips at the safari-themed mini-golf course, players can seek out putter advice from one three ace instructors. Mt. Freedom Golf also offers a nine-hole Frisbee-golf course that favors those with disc-hurling prowess or enough money to hire a pizza chef as a caddy.
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 $10.58 value) in its hallowed halls wearing a pair of freshly disinfected bowling shoes (up to a $4.25 value).