A sport of diligence and patience, golf often loses youth players to fast-paced games of cell-phone curling and flash-mob bingo. Discover newfound thrills in an old sport with today’s Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of mini golf, driving range balls, batting cage practice, and disc golf at Stop N Sock in New Brighton.
Stop N Sock’s 43-acre practice center caters to families and sports-lovers of all ages with a plethora of open-air activities. After stocking up on spheres from the automatic ball dispenser, launch golf balls into the semi-stratosphere at the 27-station all-season driving range, where grass practice areas, driving mats, and a sand bunker await nimble swings and soft landings ($9 for 100 balls). Mini golfers on the 18-hole course dare stunning scenery and challenging obstacles to distract from the pursuit of low scores ($3 for ages 12 and under; $5 for adults). The Pitch N Putt course challenges golfers of all levels on shorter lengths and open fairways and provides a better introduction to golf than making youngsters craft their own clubs out of glued-together scoring pencils ($5 for nine holes; $8 for 18 holes).
As in the time of Copernicus, batting cages host physics experiments that test the swing potential of slow, medium, and fast baseballs and the home-run index of slow and fast softballs ($1/token; 15 pitches/token). Sluggers may bring their own bats and helmets or model some from Stop N Sock’s sturdy stock. New to the entertainment center, disc golf wrangles free-range frisbees into a pair of plaid pants for a jaunt across a beginner's course that features short fairways and challenging obstacles ($5 for a nine-hole course; $1 for a second round). Groupon holders may plan multiple outings over which to redeem their gaming credits.
Stop N Sock
Stop N Sock's owners have transformed their corner of New Brighton into a family-friendly labyrinth of golf-inspired games. Their expansive outdoor facility—with 43 acres of rolling greens—allows adults and kids to putt and ricochet balls around the 18-hole golf course lined with trees, shrubs, and spouting fountains, or toss tiny saucers into metal baskets at disc golf. With short links and wide fairways, their pitch-and-putt course lets kids develop interest in golf, and challenges experienced club swingers to hone their short game. Stop N Sock's driving range, however, gives everyone the opportunity to work on their long game, with 27 stations equipped with grass practice areas and automatic ball dispensers. To mix it up, the golf-centric center's batting cages lets individuals solidify their stance, perfect their focus, and keep the rust and barnacles off their swing.