Don't expect windmills and clowns or animatronic alligators gobbling up golf balls when you head to Indoor Greens Mini Golf and Cafe. Do expect an 18-hole green with small hills and undulations that can keep golfers of all ages and abilities occupied.
The Cary business is the product of two local families - the Luffs and Flanagans with five kids between them. Michael Luff and Chris Flanagan work together. Angela Luff tells me that the idea started to form as she saw that her own children, ages 8 and 12, were starting to lose interest in indoor inflatable places. The Luffs had seen indoor mini golf when they lived in Singapore for a few years.
"I started the fire," said Angela, a former school teacher, who let her husband, who holds a business degree, take over the research. The husbands talked about the idea during long drives for work to Greensboro. The talk got serious last fall as they began the process of looking for a space and designing the course. It opened just before Easter this year.
The 3,200-square-foot course offers an opportunity for golfers to practice their putting or chipping. For kids, it's a fun way to get out of the heat or rain and hit some balls. The course design allows for 41 different spots for the holes.
My eight-year-old and three-year-old and some friends spent about 45 minutes going through the course. The older girls enjoyed the competition, focusing on how best to hit the ball. The three-year-olds, with their little child-sized putters, just enjoyed pushing the balls with their clubs and watching them fall into the hole.
The spot is a clean, streamlined space without a lot of bells and whistles. But there's still plenty here to keep kids occupied, including the cafe that serves up sandwiches, salads, Greek casseroles, drinks, snacks and treats. A kids menu offers peanut butter and jelly; grilled cheese; grilled chicken strips; and pita pizzas.
You'll find Angela Luff and Tracy Flanagan behind the counter, serving and preparing food in the cafe. Angela Luff grew up in a Greek restaurant family and is behind the Greek specialties.
"My Big Fat Greek Wedding ... that was my house," she tells me.
Indoor Greens offers regular weekly specials. Kids 12 and under eat free on Tuesdays with a paying adult. On Fridays, unlimited play from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. is $5. On Sunday, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., it's $7.50.