Night Lights--with the Kids!
About 45 years ago when my family used to take trips from Georgia to North Carolina to visit relatives, we always passed a “night golf course.’’ I can’t remember exactly where it was, but I do remember in the mid-1960s watching the duffers with pull carts going at it, thinking, “Wow, that would just be the coolest thing. Can’t we stop?’’
"Well, Barry, we have no clubs in the car!’’
*Sigh* My dad never took me out on a night golf course.
Fast forward several decades and for the last two Sunday nights, my 15-year-old son and I have set out for the Links at 434, a Par 3 course right behind the Costco in Altamonte Springs. We get there around 6:15 and play nine holes under the lights, no waiting. And what a clientele: This is the kind of course where if you do happen to encounter a group on the first tee, they say, “We don’t know what the heck we’re doing; why don’t you play through?” right after they've hit a shot 10 yards and taken up a huge slab of sod doing it. And then you get up there, Mr. Professional I’ll Show 'Em, and slice a shot two fairways over. Get my drift? These links are hacker-friendly. The lighting’s not the greatest – you’ve got glare in your eyes, and the 90 minutes on those nine holes is punctuated by “Did you see it?’’ and “Where’s the flag?’’ and “Is that my ball?’’
But you know what? It’s fun, it’s cheap, and I can guarantee that a gabfest will be breaking out between parent and son or daughter and maybe, just maybe, it’ll be one of those things where you’re sitting around in your rocking chair 30 or 40 years from now and your kid says, “Remember when we used to go out on that golf course at night and…?''
The best part: The course is in much better shape than in years past. Whereas it used to look like a place where the Chick Fil-A Cows might hang out, they’ve reseeded the greens and it’s a primo place to practice – or connect with your kid.
Do it. There’s nothing like having fun under the lights.