Cool Crest Miniature Golf in San Antonio Reopens for Spring Break with Live Music, Food Trucks and a New Game

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Just in time for spring break, the Cool Crest Miniature Golf reopens and fans of San Antonio’s staple will find a new addition.

While the site was closed for the winter, the owners installed a dance floor in front of the Metzger Biergarten stage.

“People have been asking for this over the past year,” said Mitchell Andry, owner of Cool Crest with his brothers. “We knew we had to do it. People were getting up and dancing on the rocks, and it’s a bit dangerous.

Last year, the Andrys tried a market selling plants, dog treats and other items, and it turned out well. So that’s 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the first Saturday of every month.

The course will open at 5 p.m. Friday. Golfers can roam the new dance floor to the music of Los Callejeros de San Anto, and they can nibble on a pizza from the Stone Bro’s food truck. On Saturday, live music will come from Los #3 Dinners, and Tex BBQ will be on hand. On both days, food trucks start taking orders at 5 p.m., and the music starts at 6:30 p.m.

Bands will play every Friday and Saturday evening. Starting March 10, Cool Crest will launch SINGO, a variant of Bingo in which players cross out songs rather than numbers on their SINGO cards. It will take place on Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. and is free. Winners receive gift cards to Cool Crest.

Patrons choose putters before hitting one of the courses at Cool Crest Miniature Golf. Golfers have the choice between two courses. The 1929 course has longer fairways and the 1959 course has more complicated holes.

Ronald Cortes /Contributor

During Spring Break, Cool Crest will be open 5-10 p.m. Friday, 10-10 p.m. Saturday, 12-8 p.m. Sunday, 10-10 p.m. Tuesday, March 12, and 12-12 p.m. 6 p.m. March 13.

Carly Coburn and Jose DeLeon share a laugh after his ball returned to where it rolled during a Sunday game at Cool Crest Miniature Golf.

Carly Coburn and Jose DeLeon share a laugh after his ball returned to where it rolled during a Sunday game at Cool Crest Miniature Golf.

Ronald Cortes /Contributor

On March 17, it will resume its normal opening hours of 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturdays and noon to 6 p.m. on Sundays.

On a recent Saturday morning, Tricia Taubert stepped back in time when she returned to Cool Crest Miniature Golf for the first time since she was around 15 years old.

“When I was a kid, I thought it was awesome,” said Taubert, 50, Medina County Public Health Director, who played a trick with her husband, Dee, and their 10-year-old daughter. , Lily. “At the time it was just the best place to be – it was packed, the water was flowing and every little spot was full of plants. I remember it was just beautiful.

“It’s always great. I still like it.”

The family plans to return to play in the evenings, when they can check out the bands and food trucks that pop up Friday and Saturday nights in Cool Crest’s new Metzger Biergarten.

Tucked away on Fredericksburg Road, Cool Crest has been a popular spot for San Anton locals for generations. The current owners, who bought it in 2013, have worked to preserve the nostalgic spirit of the place as much as possible, striving to give visitors like Taubert an experience as close as possible to their memories.

Jeff Ritter gives his 3-year-old son Leo a high five during a game at Cool Crest Miniature Golf on a recent Sunday.

Jeff Ritter gives his 3-year-old son Leo a high five during a game at Cool Crest Miniature Golf on a recent Sunday.

Ronald Cortes /Contributor

That’s why the sound system plays oldies – Beach Boys, the Monkees, Frank Sinatra – and why the green-shaped sign that has greeted visitors for decades has been restored.

Address: 1402 Fredericksburg Road

Hours: 5pm-10pm Thursday, Friday; 10am-10pm Saturday; noon-6 p.m. Sunday

Contact: 210-732-0222; coolcrestgolf.com


The biergarten, which opened in October, may be new, but it too is a reminder of the site’s past. It is named after the Metzgers, the couple who owned the course for much of its history.

“It’s the memories that draw the die-hard fans,” said Mitchell Andry, 61, who owns the course with his brothers. He spent a lot of time in Cool Crest growing up.

“If you came here as a kid, fell in love with it, that’s what brings you back,” Andry said. “We had a 90-year-old who played here as a kid. And he had with him his son, his grandson, and his great-grandson. And they had all played here when they were kids. People have gone on first dates and then come back for their 50th birthdays. It’s kind of a common memory of things. It is therefore an icon of San Antonio. It really is.”

The miniature golf course dates from the late 1920s. Harold Metzger, a trucker, leased it from the original owner beginning in 1937, eventually buying it. He and his wife, Maria “Ria” Metzger, lived in a house adjacent to the property, where the beer garden is now located.

The couple took the course together until Harold’s death in 1998; then Maria ran it alone. Poor health forced her to close it around 2008, two years before her death.

The site was quite dilapidated when the Andry brothers – Mitchell, Albert, Philip and James – purchased it from Maria’s estate. The family worked hard to find what they remembered, paying attention to every detail, down to the shade of green that was part of the course design.

“Unbelievably, there was a paint store down the block here in Fredericksburg,” Andry said. “We went to see them just by chance that they had this painting. The guy pulled out this dusty old book with the formula for it.

As it has for over 60 years, the site has two 18-hole courses. The 1929 course has long fairways and is trickier than it looks, Andry said: “You have to angle the ball just right. If you like the competitive spirit, this team from 1929 is a tough course.

Fans of the 1959 course have Maria Metzger to thank, he said, because her husband built it for her.

After Noah Bierwith ball returns to where he put the rest of the quartet – John Martinez, Cassie Debolt and Anna Van Buskirk share a laugh.

After Noah Bierwith ball returns to where he put the rest of the quartet – John Martinez, Cassie Debolt and Anna Van Buskirk share a laugh.

Ronald Cortes /Contributor

“She didn’t like the (original) course, she didn’t think it was that fun, so he built her a course here in 1959,” Andry said. “It’s shorter holes and more features.”

This course has a hole that the balls must navigate under a guillotine that drops every second and a half, and another in the shape of a horseshoe angled upwards, requiring golfers to hit the ball hard to give it the speed of make a loop. Children have a particular fondness for the hole where the ball must be hit through one of the man-made streams that run through the course.

“They like to put their balls in the water,” Andry said. “And when this pond flows, they also like to jump in it.”

Maria Metzger is also responsible for Cool Crest’s distinctive landscaping. She was a gardener — she had a greenhouse next to her house, Andry said — and planted banana trees, patas de vaca, Hong Kong orchids and other greenery that line the fairways.

The course is not as lush this spring as usual because some plants – around 10% of the banana trees as well as the grapefruit and lime trees – perished in the February frost. The surviving banana trees had to be cut very far, so it will take some time for them to regrow.

Further plantings are planned, both to replace lost flora and to restore another feature that long-time visitors might remember.

“Lots of people’s memories of this place, they said there was a distinct smell when they came, and it was jasmine blooming at night,” Andry said. “And so we are looking to crash that. I would love to do it all the way, because there’s no such thing as olfactory memory.

Even without that scent wafting through the air, the course does exactly what the Andry brothers want it to do. It brings back good memories.

That’s why it was one of the first places artist Nancy Casanova and her partner, social worker Jamie Johnson, visited after being fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

John Martinez, from left, Noah Bierwith, Anna Van Buskirk and Cassie Debolt play miniature golf at a UT Health Sciences Center party at Cool Crest Miniature Golf.

John Martinez, from left, Noah Bierwith, Anna Van Buskirk and Cassie Debolt play miniature golf at a UT Health Sciences Center party at Cool Crest Miniature Golf.

Ronald Cortes /Contributor

“I’ve been coming to Cool Crest since I was little, so this place is really special to me,” Casanova, 41, said. “I try to come whenever I can.”

Johnson, 41, is also a big fan and was looking forward to trying out the beer garden.

“The putt-putt and the beer sound like a dream kid,” she said.

Musician Bob Ram, 34, recently fell in love with the place. He and his band, The Rams, have played the beer garden a few times and are scheduled to return May 29.

“People want to have a good time there, and they just want to enjoy the Texas air,” Ram said. “I don’t know about this place, but the last few times we’ve played there, a wind blows around 8 or 9, and it’s wonderful.”

The band’s sound, which Ram describes as “quinceañera fabulous”, matches the retro vibe of the place. It’s a mix of oldies and Mexican polka, among other things.

He came to play golf a few times and had fun doing it too.

“This place is amazing,” he said. “It’s like its own different world. It has this feeling of nostalgia, stepping out of 2021 and going back in time.

Andry and his family take their responsibility as guardians of the monument seriously. He noted that many other iconic locations – including the original Earl Abel’s and Mexican Manhattan – no longer exist.

“We’ve always told people that, we’re just gatekeepers to the next owners,” he said. “If we ever sell this place – I don’t think we will for 80 years like the Metzgers, and I won’t unless they come up with some magical gene therapy – whoever takes it over has got to love the place. That can’t just be a business opportunity for them, that’s not what it is.

“You have to love this place. »

[email protected] | Twitter: @DeborahMartinFR

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