Even if your kids (or you) have never picked up a club, you can tee it up for an evening in outer space or a tropical safari — at two of Dallas’ mini golf courses, that is. And for kids, junior golf classes teach more than the secret to shooting under par. It’s a game of patience, strategy and etiquette that teaches them to be stand-up players both on and off the green. Challenge your kids to a putting duel or sign your PGA prodigy up for lessons and let the good times roll.
JUST FOR FUN
This is an all-out entertainment complex, so in addition to the go-karts, laser tag, and batting cages and (bumper boats during the summer), they’ve got safari-themed miniature golf courses. Beat the heat under the shade of tropical palm trees, stone caves and waterfalls. Giant animal statues beckon for family selfies along the 18-hole adventure.
Course 2 usually proves most difficult with bricks and blocks guarding the holes and putting your kid’s putt-putt skills to the test. But if they do sink a hole-in-one with the ball of the hour (winning ball colors rotate throughout the day), they win a coupon for a free popcorn or ice cream.
Where: 17717 Coit Road, Dallas; 972/248-4653
When: Monday–Thursday noon–8pm; Friday noon–10pm; Saturday 11am–10pm; Sunday 11am–8pm
Cost: $9.99 for adults; $7.99 for children for day passes. Golf season passes available too. Or you can get an attraction pass for three or five activities.
Lunar Mini Golf
Step out of the heat and into space at this alien-themed indoor course. The black lit 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. Admission includes two rounds on the 18-hole course and one shot at the prize hole at the end. The whole visit typically takes about 1 to 2 hours.
Where: Grapevine Mills, 3000 Grapevine Mills Parkway, Grapevine; 817/422-1771
When: Monday–Saturday 10am–9pm; Sunday 11am–7pm
Cost: $9 general admission for adults and kids 6 and older; $6 for ages 3–5; free for 2 and younger
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 micro-chipped golf balls toward the targets and watch the points pile up on the digital scoreboard — even if you have no golf skills. Or you can take your game to the green on three mini golf courses that pass through caves and cross hilly terrain.
Topgolf now has North Texas locations in Allen, Fort Worth and The Colony too, but Dallas is the only one with mini golf, by the way. And did you know Topgolf also offers lessons? During hour-long group or private lessons, kids improve their swing with the help of high-tech video. A professional instructor records their swing and plays it back in slow motion to show the player where to make adjustments to their arms, knees, hips and posture.
Allen location: 1500 Andrews Parkway, Allen; 469/675-9730
Dallas location: 8787 Park Lane, Dallas; 214/341-9600
Fort Worth location: 2201 East Fourth Street, Fort Worth; 817/349-4002
The Colony location: 3760 Blair Oaks Drive, The Colony; 469/213-5204
When: Sunday–Thursday 10am–11pm; Friday–Saturday 10am–1am (until midnight for Allen)
Cost: Bays start at $30 per hour ($28 for Allen), depending on the day and time of day. Half price on Tuesdays. $5 one-time membership fee per new player.
Dallas mini golf: $9 adults; $6.50 for kids ages 4–17; free for 3 and younger.
Book a private lesson for $69 ($99 for adults), or learn how to play during the spring academy for $149.
Golf Center at The Highlands
The mini golf course may not have windmills or pirate ships guarding the holes, but it does have winding greens, inconvenient rocks and subtle breaks to keep the game exciting. If the kids are ready to take their swing from the mini golf course to the real course, join the all-ages private lessons or one-hour clinic offered several times a week to ages 7–17. Players learn hand-eye coordination and practice the fundamentals on the driving range and green. Week-long golf camps are open to ages 5–17 during the summer.
Where: 2538 Golden Bear Drive, Carrollton; 972/733-4111
When: Open daily; 9am–8pm Wednesday–Monday; 10am–8pm Tuesday; junior practice times vary
Cost: Mini golf: $12 adults; $10 ages 11–16; $6 ages 10 and younger. Junior prep clinics are $35 per session or $115 for four.
There’s no age limit here, so if your kid is serious about golf (and old enough to wield a club), sign them up for a lesson and practice package at GolfTec in Addison and Dallas. Beginners are welcome, but your child will need to bring her own clubs. First, coaches use state-of-the-art video to analyze your child’s swing in slow motion, making it easy to follow along with the coach’s pointers.
Then you can set up a schedule of hour-long 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.
Where: Allen: 977 TX-121, Suite 140, Allen; 469/663-0015
Fort Worth: 2600 W. Seventh Street, Suite 158, Fort Worth; 817/524-6648
Frisco: 8549 Gaylord Parkway, Suite 104, Frisco; 469/294-1441
Las Colinas: 901 N. MacArthur Park Drive, Suite 130, Irving; 972/294-7787
Park Cities: 5400 East Mockingbird Lane, Suite 221, Dallas; 469/334-0500
Plano: 340 Coit Road, Suite 600, Plano; 972/398-8000
North Dallas: 5290 Belt Line Road, Suite 122, Addison; 972/239-4700
Southlake: 2757 E. Southlake Blvd., Suite 120, Southlake; 682/651-4013
When: By appointment
Cost: $95 swing analysis; juniors lessons pricing varies
Brookhaven Golf Academy
You don’t have to be a member of Brookhaven Country Club — where Jordan Spieth learned to play — to enroll in the year-round junior program. Ages 6 and older are matched with other kids in their age and skill level for lessons in putting, chipping, full swing and even bunker play. As players sharpen their skills, they can test into higher levels. PGA Jr. League is open to both boys and girls of all abilities
Where: 3333 Golfing Green Drive, Farmers Branch; 972/243-6151
When: Reach out to the club here to inquire about scheduling and pricing.
Top photo courtesy of Topgolf