Nestled north of the city, off Interstate 435 and down a postcard stretch of rural road, is a sportsman's Shangri-La. The main event at Shoal Creek is the driving range, an unfussy row of tees that aims golfers at a deep, lush parcel of land. Which makes the six batting cages on the other side of the clubhouse a happy secret. (On a muggy night this summer, a dad counseling his helmeted Little League son was the only competition for the dime-a-hurl action.) One of the most life-affirming ways to celebrate the season is taking on 80-mph pitches until you melt in the high-dew-point July twilight. And it doesn't hurt that, beyond the fence and the netting, you can imagine sending every yellow ball over the same scenic Missouri vista that golfers get to stare at. It's as close to a field of dreams as you'll find in the metro, give or take the corn and James Earl Jones.