A LITTLE PLAY + LESSONS
If you’re not ready to take on a full 18 at The Courses At Watters Creek, tee off on The Futures Course, a six-hole short course that’s perfect for families and newbies. Tee boxes are only 40–120 yards from the pins, and the course is lighted for play in the evenings. For help from the professionals, sign your child up for one of the courses’ two junior development programs. The Plane Truth program teaches three levels for ages 5 and up, from novices to elites. Players practice their game and learn rules, etiquette and sportsmanship once or twice a week. The separate Watters Creek Junior Development Program starts at age 6 with golf fundamentals like safety, grip, posture and swing. Kids attend two half-hour lessons each week and pass skills tests to advance to putting, chipping, full swing and gameplay.
Cost: The Futures Course: $10 adults; $6 age 12 and younger. Plane Truth: from $100 per month. Watters Creek Junior Development: $145 per month plus $20 registration fee.
When: The Futures Course is open 6:30am–9:30pm daily (hours vary by season), no tee time required; junior program practice times vary
Where: 7201 Chase Oaks Blvd., Plano, 214/509-4653
Yes, it’s well-known that Topgolf is the place to go for relaxed family entertainment: You sit under the fans and misters of your hitting bay, order food, whack microchipped golf balls toward the targets and watch the points pile up on the digital scoreboard — even if you have no golf skills. But did you know Topgolf also offers lessons? Kids improve their swing under the mentorship of professional instructors, and with the help of high-tech video. During the hourlong group or private lesson, their swing is recorded. Then the instructor plays the video in slow motion to show the player where to make adjustments to their arms, knees, hips and posture.
Cost: $5 one-time membership fee per player; bays from $25 per hour; lessons from $29 for a single session or $125 for a package of five
When: Monday– Thursday 9am–midnight; weekend times vary by location
Where: 1500 Andrews Parkway, Allen, 469/675- 9730; 3760 Blair Oaks Drive, The Colony, 469/213-5204
JUST FOR FUN
Step out of the heat and into space at Lunar Mini Golf’s alien-themed indoor course. The blacklit holes light up with rocket ships and UFOs — just some of the distractions to challenge your child’s concentration. There are also ramps, loop-de-loops, bridges and blockades standing guard against holes-in-one. (But if you sink it in the tougher of the two holes on No. 18, you win a free pass.) Admission includes two rounds on the 18-hole course and usually takes families 1–2 hours.
Cost: $9 adults; $8 ages 6–12; $6 ages 3–5; free for age 2 and younger
When: Friday 3–9pm, Saturday 10am–9pm, Sunday noon–6pm
Where: Collin Creek Mall, 811 N. Central Expressway, Plano, 843/461-6190
TRAINING FOR LITTLE MASTERS
If your kid is serious about golf (and old enough to wield a club), sign her up for a lesson and practice package at the brand-new Golftec facility in Plano. Beginners are welcome, but your child will need to bring her own clubs. First, coaches use stateof- the-art video to analyze your child’s swing in slow motion, making it easy for her to follow along with the coach’s pointers. Then you can set up a schedule of hourlong lessons and practice sessions in the indoor, climate-controlled hitting bays. Download the app to chat with your child’s coach and view recorded lesson videos, notes and recommended drills.
Cost: $95 swing analysis; lessons from $66.50 per session or $294 for a five-pack
When: By appointment
Where: 340 Coit Road, Suite 600, Plano, 972/398-8000
Stop by Hank Haney Golf Academy at Westridge on a Saturday to improve your kiddo’s full swing and short game — or to put a club in their hands for the first time. The McKinney facility hosts an hourlong clinic for kids ages 6–15 of all experience levels from 2–3pm every week. Walk up or preregister online. For a more intensive course of study, join the Junior Development Program for weekly lessons on the driving range, practice green and neighboring WestRidge Golf Course. It’s not all hitting shot after shot — games and contests build hand-eye coordination and other essential skills and give kids lots of chances to feel successful. The student-instructor ratio is small for safety’s sake and to make sure each player gets maximum attention. Junior clubs are available to borrow. Keep an eye on the website for weeklong camps during school holidays and summers.
Cost: $20 for Saturday clinic; Junior Development Program starts at $100 per month for one lesson per week
When: Saturday clinic 2–3pm; Junior Development Program practice times vary
Where: 9055 Cotton Ridge Road, McKinney, 972/315-5300
A LITTLE PLAY + LESSONS