It’s not that difficult to find a gun range in Tarrant County. The same goes for a driving range to hit some golf balls. And if you’re looking to drive something exotic, there are rental places that let you roll in something different than the typical SUV.
But if you’re the kind of person who likes to turn up the wick on your entertainment, you don’t have to venture far to find different versions of any of those three activities. Not when there are places like Greystone Castle Sporting Club, Topgolf Fort Worth and TexPlex Park within a gallon or two of gas from Tarrant County.
All three new adventure destinations offer the opportunity to turn a typical hobby into something that’s a lot more fun.
Topgolf Fort Worth
Fort Worth seemed like a natural spot for a Topgolf location. After all, eight other cities in Texas, including The Colony and Webster, had Topgolf locations before the Fort Worth one opened, fittingly, on Cinco de Mayo.
Fitting, because everything at Topgolf Fort Worth is set up with a party atmosphere in mind.
The 6,500-square-foot facility loosely caters to the serious golfer. Loosely because the venue has several bars, 200 TVs, an interactive driving range and private event space.
And there’s even some golf thrown in there, too, courtesy of the 102 hitting bays. And because golf in Texas in the summer can be a little on the warm side, each of the hitting bays is climate controlled. Call that free AC on the Topgolf dime.
Why Fort Worth for Topgolf’s fourth Metroplex facility?
“Fort Worth is just a growing city,” says Topgolf spokesperson Morgan Wallace. “It’s a different place than Dallas. It just made sense to us.”
While Topgolf Fort Worth is similar to the other venues, it does have a couple of things are unique. They are completing a nursing mother’s room on the first floor, a first for Topgolf. And then there’s the view of the Fort Worth skyline from the rooftop. It’s the kind of vista you can’t get in Allen or The Colony.
That’s a huge selling point.
“The third-floor terrace overlooks downtown,” Wallace says. “Events are a big portion of the business. People rent out the terrace area because it overlooks the city. There’s a really cool ambiance to Fort Worth.”
The hitting bays are also a little different, because of the bays open like garage doors, which gives everything more of an open-air concept.
It’s those hitting bays where the majority of the action comes, from hitting for distance for the serious golfer to trying to aim for the well-lit targets for those who either have a lot of skill or a bit of Lady Luck on their side when they hit a target from 100 yards out thanks in large part to a 75-yard roll after hitting just the top half of a golf ball.
Skill or no skill, the goal of Topgolf Fort Worth remains the same — fun. And if the first month of business is any indication, it’s a big hit. Wallace says she had trouble getting a reservation to take her family to the Fort Worth location. That’s a good thing.
“A lot of people in the area hadn’t really been to Topgolf or hadn’t heard about it because it was on the other side of the Metroplex,” Wallace says. “It’s going to stay hot in the Fort Worth market for quite some time.”
Details: 2201 E. Fourth St., Fort Worth, 817-349-4002, www.topgolf.com/us/fort-worth. Cost: Each bay can hold up to six golfers, and the prices are per bay. From opening until noon, $25 per hour. From noon . until 5 p.m., $35 per hour. From 5 p.m. until close, $45 per hour.
TexPlex Park, which scheduled its grand opening for June 3-4, offers 1,000 acres of fun activities both familiar and rarely seen around the Metroplex.
The Midlothian park boasts a motocross park and a four-wheel park. If you’re into speed on the water, there are jet boats. If you’re intro controlled adventure, you can be the passenger in a four-wheeler and attack a 20-mile track on the property as a spectator. And of course there’s a bike park for those who like two wheels.
All of those activities are great, but none of that is going to set TexPlex Park apart from other places.
The Dig This attraction will. Dig This gives customers a chance to operate an excavator or a bulldozer. If you’re not sure that’s your kind of thing, think back to when you were a kid and you were playing with your Tonka truck in the dirt.
“In general, the whole park, we’re trying to offer a form of entertainment that’s more hands on and immersive,” says President Tommy Kehoe. “The days of dinner and movie are behind us. Dig This is a memorable kind of event. It’s something you’ll cherish and that’s unique.”
TexPlex brings your backyard dirt dreams to life on a grand scale, complete with a lesson, some guidance and specific tasks. It’s all done in an hour in a 10-acre pit, and your friends and family can check your heavy-equipment prowess from a spectator area.
While Dig This is new to the area, it’s the second one in the country. The original opened in Las Vegas and provided the blueprint director of operations Casey Jarzombek used when designing Dig This.
Dig This appeals to the real kids, too, with a mini excavator available to those age 8 and up, and also to the kid at heart, with anyone at least 14 allowed to give the heavy equipment a try.
While Dig This sets the TexPlex Park apart, it’s the mountain biking and off-roading that will be the staple of the park. That will allow Kehoe and his team an opportunity to continue to fine-tune the park throughout the year.
“If you put a Dig This location alone in Midlothian it would struggle to succeed,” says Kehoe. “We’re really an event platform, and Dig This is an offering to the action-sports demographic. We can pace ourselves and really grow into that. We think it’s going to be a hit. We think we can draw corporate customers. We’re flexible in what we can offer.”
Details: 881 Miller Road, Midlothian, 972-752-2223, www.texplexpark.com. Cost: Each piece of equipment is for one rider only. Big Dig Bulldozer, $249; Big Dig Excavator, $249; Mini Excavator, $189.
Greystone Castle Sporting Club
Ever wonder what that big castle is when you’re heading west on I-20? Wonder no more. That’s the home of the biggest attraction in the small town of Mingus — Greystone Castle Sporting Club. And while the 6,000-square-foot facility boasts everything from hunting to world-class cuisine, it’s sporting clays that are all the buzz right now.
With good reason.
“I just think it was the one area we could make the standard for everything else in Texas,” says general manager Andrew Wilcox, who has been at the club for 18 months after spending 25 years in the Marine Corps. “Texans seem to have a fascination with sporting clays. It’s a Texas obsession.”
So how did Greystone feed that obsession? It started by hiring the best of the best. Weatherford native and resident William Walton was brought in to design the course the club uses. All Walton did was win the National Sporting Clays Association national championship in 2015.
The club now has two courses with a total of 23 stations. There are also two five-stand spots, running the total to 33 areas to shoot and approximately two miles of action for the shooting.
So what’s the big draw for Greystone and sporting clays?
“It just complements what Texans do,” Wilcox says. “It prepares you for bird season and it’s addicting. You get out there and you think you can get the clay. It’s difficult to hit. And then what you hit it, we change up the presentation. It’s like golf with a shotgun.”
The courses are designed to challenge shooters at any level. There are lessons available for those who haven’t ever shot at a clay. And if you don’t have a gun, you can rent one at Greystone. It will also supply you with the ammo.
For those who have been shooting all their lives, there are other benefits to shooting clays. It’s good practice for hunters, as the clays can mimic anything from a bird to a rabbit.
And because Greystone believes in offering first-class amenities, there are carts provided if you don’t bring your own and, like golf, there are cart paths. There are also beautiful views on the clay course. Another golflike draw of sporting clays? If you don’t like doing things on your own, Greystone can provide you with your own trapper. Consider him the caddie of clays.
And unlike some of the other options offered at Greystone, there’s no such thing as sporting-clay season.
“It tends to get busier in the warmer months,” Wilcox says. “But fishing is normally in the spring or summer. Hunting season is in the fall or winter. The thing about sporting clays is you can do it year-round.”
Details: 65756 Interstate 20, Mingus, 254-672-5927, www.greystonecastle.com. Cost: $45 per 100 clays; gun rental $25 a day; cart rental $40 per cart (up to four people); instructors $125 hour (adults) and $75 hour (18-under).