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Historic Cool Crest Reopens To Thankful Nostalgic Crowd

For many San Antonians,  putt putt golf at the Cool Crest miniature course on Fredericksburg Road wasn’t just another thing to do, it was a way of life.

The historic course closed in 2007 after Maria Metzger passed away. She and her husband, Harold, had owned and operated the date-night spot for decades, but now four brothers have taken it under their wing.

James, Phillip, Albert and Mitchell Landry look back on their many times spent on the turf greens with fondness.

"We grew up around this place," Mitchell said. "We all came here, we brought dates here. The Metzgers parented us when we were young. We just -- it was more of a love thing than it was an investment type of thing, not that we don't hope to recoup some of the investment, but this is just a wonderful venture that we're doing."

Cool Crest is nestled behind a fence of Queens Vine in the Arts Deco District. Traffic just outside flows by while the course is hidden in an oasis of plants recreated by horticulturist Frank Decock.

He said the banana trees were essential to the look of the old Cool Crest. Also planted are olive trees, Pride of Barbados, and Hong Kong Orchid Trees.

"90 percent of this place had died back because no water for six years," Decock said.

"It looks just like it did in the old days. The banana plants are cut back a little bit, but that's fine. It looks great."

With the modern upgrades to the irrigation system, the course has gotten rebates from the San Antonio Water System and will help conserve water.

"There's a lot of things that went in to putting this in the 21st century -- mainly the drip system," he said. "It was quite a challenge to get it back at a reasonable cost to get this thing done and to bring it back to its glory."

Andry said the restrooms were upgraded to be compliant with disability laws, and air conditioning was added to the office.

Aside from that, past and present customer Craig Thornton said Cool Crest is as he remembers:

"It looks just like it did in the old days," he said. "The banana plants are cut back a little bit, but that's fine. It looks great."

Thornton and his brother, Andy, remember spending lots of time at Cool Crest. Craig drove in from Waco just for the opening.

"I think it's great," said Andy. "I would drive by here all the time and I'd get so sad because it was defunct and so it's really cool that it's back together again."

The course will be open daily except Monday, most days until 10 p.m and to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.

Ryan Loyd was Texas Public Radio's city beat and political reporter. He left the organization in December, 2014.