Want to train your bub to be the next Tiger Woods? Victoria Bentley recommends a visit to Tee & Putt.
The cool weather is still holding out, which for us means avoiding indoor playcentres for the time being. Having spent last summer with my two girls searching desperately for new ball pits, I’m not sure what I was thinking when I suggested indoor golf on a Thursday afternoon.
‘Golf?’ said my three year old, ‘What is golf? Is it like cricket?’ You could tell that her sporting education was limited, she may know how to shout ‘six’ at a cricket match but golf was a game that lay undiscovered. The problem was I needed to visit Dubai Library Distributors, a great shop in the Arabian Centre that sells stationary, plus craft bits and pieces — and I needed to persuade the children to come with me. Being dragged round the shops is not their favourite pastime, so in desperation, I suggested golf and shopping. Result! They hopped into the car without any sort of fuss.
Tee & Putt is the new sister course of Tee & Putt at Wafi, where you can play ‘glow in the dark’ golf. There are lots of packages available where you can play golf, and go bowling at a reduced rate. The course has 18 holes, and spreads over 20,000sq feet, with a separate birthday party area.
We arrived and met up with my friend Emma and her three year old daughter. (Golf is best played as a team, I think!)
There is a multitude of attractions for children in the Arabian Centre, including soft play cages and bizarrely, a giant pond with boats shaped like ducks. But managing to herd the children past these exciting distractions, we arrived safely at Tee & Putt Funky Mini Golf.
Smiling staff immediately served us, helped by the fact there were very few other visitors. They charged us for two adults, but kindly gave the two three-year-olds mini clubs and balls at no charge. The course is fresh and colourful, with the various holes laid out around the bowling alley and reception desk. Wildly excited, the kids immediately started at the nearest hole, throwing the ball straight down the fairway. Probably fearful for their safety, two of the staff rushed over and immediately started teaching the two girls how to hold a club and putt.
Emma and I were amazed – they may not do anything we tell them but they were entranced by trying to master this new skill. The staff were patient and kind, if slightly over-attentive. But they were probably just anxious that our little monsters might smash a window…
The holes on the course were all different, with bumps, tunnels and hills to conquer, as well as my favourite, a giant windmill where you have to get the ball in between the turning blades. There was also a ‘conveyor belt’, where the ball climbs steadily up to the top of a helter-skelter where you can watch it twirl round and down until it shoots out into the hole – result! We tackled the holes in a random manner – older children would probably be more disciplined, but the golf definitely held the girls’ attention. On the last hole, the aim is to get the ball into one of the ‘slots’ in a big spinning wheel. To my daughter’s delight, her ball went into hole number one, at which point an alarm sounded and one of the staff announced she had won a prize – a Hello Kitty book and stickers! Brilliant, and there was also a prize for
Emma’s daughter, so there were no tears; everyone was happy.
We spent an hour and a half at Tee & Putt and it was great, an enjoyable distraction and a bit different to our usual playcentre haunts. We will be back once the weather heats up and we can’t bear to be outside during the day. I imagine older children would play less erratically than our brood, and enjoy the bowling as well. Saying that, apparently Tiger Woods picked up a club when he was just two. Future PGA champions, you can start your training right here.
TEE & PUTT FUNKY MINI GOLF, Arabian Centre, Al Khawaneej Road www.teeandputt.com, firstname.lastname@example.org (04 239 3636)