A round of miniature golf on Ace’s tropical-themed course, complete with waterfalls, streams, ponds, and lush Floridian vegetation, fills afternoons with fairway fun for friends and family (children ages four to 10 are admitted for $4.99, and kids under four get free admission). PGA pros and sand-trap stragglers will enjoy the upscale practice range, with covered swinging areas to protect golfers from weather, as well as stadium lighting for nighttime play and elaborate Field of Dreams fantasies. For harder hitting, baseball batters and softball sluggers step into batting cages, where professional pitching machines can vary speeds from lightning-bolt throws to lackadaisical lobs.
Featuring more than 6,000 yards of immaculately manicured landscapes, The Claw at USF is a par-71 course that challenges club clenchers with narrow fairways lined by towering trunks of oak, cypress, and pine. The USF men's golf team and USF women's golf team call The Claw home, sharing it bunk-bed style with a population of alligators, deer, and spoonbills. Prepare for your 18 holes of terrain domination by taking to the grass-tee driving range ($5 for small bucket) or navigate your clubs to the putting and chipping green, where you can practice your precision stroke and pendulum swing.
Boasting an expansive driving range and practice areas for both chipping and putting, Tampa Golf Range & Learning Center Inc. helps golfers foster improvement in all facets of their game. Within the range's 100-yard tee line, hitting mats allow duffers to hone swings off of immaculate lies, and all-grass hitting areas let trainees reap divot-tearing vengeance for a lifetime of traumatizing grass stains. Eighty range balls jockey for position in each medium-size bucket, each one an eager subject in golfers' elaborate swing experiments and useful eyeball facsimiles in golf-themed jack-o’-lanterns. Tampa Golf Range can facilitate further improvements with a variety of private and group lessons and a stable of customizable Mizuno equipment (instruction and merchandise not covered in the value of this Groupon).
The course at Plantation Palms Golf Club slithers among numerous water hazards and over an incessant barrage of elevation changes, keeping golfers on their toes. David Harman orchestrated the links-style layout to tangle with the natural lay of the land and added his own flourishes in the form of large, white sand bunkers and gently billowing greens.
Players make swift acquaintance with local difficulties on a par 5 first hole that stretches 561 yards from the back tees. Elsewhere on the front nine, two par 3s measure 198 yards and 221 yards, calling on golfers to exhibit distance and accuracy or the ability to hypnotize opponents into believing they just saw a hole in one. Plantation Palms' on-site restaurant, the Oasis Bar & Grill, is open to the public and has a menu that features items such as a grilled mango fish sandwich and the Plantation Palms club sandwich.
Course at a Glance: