Nestled within 164 acres of mature pine trees and hardwood forest, the secluded golf course at Quail Ridge Country Club surrounds visitors in natural splendor. Course architect Mark Mungeam of Cornish, Silva, and Mungeam, Inc., designed the fairways to harmonize with the naturally rolling terrain, where occasional stone walls line the edges of what were once farmers’ fields. After teeing off, players choose carefully among their bag’s fairway woods, long irons, and golf-ball-sized blowguns as they confront a number-one handicap first hole whose fairway unfurls over nearly 600 uphill yards. The course doesn’t let up, keeping golfers on their toes right up to the end of each round.
Off the course, players gain the skills needed to meet such challenges by frequenting the chipping area or practice putting green. During lessons held in these practice spots, head teaching pro John Carco harnesses more than 15 years of experience to help students eliminate slice and perfect their swing. The country club’s family center hosts a snack bar where golfers can fuel up for a round, stash their belongings in lockers, or build ball-driving muscles at the fitness center.
Just a hop and a skip from the family center, the club’s 3,200-square-foot outdoor pool entices visitors of all stripes with its widely varied facilities. Athletes zip down 75-foot swim lanes, parents and kids splash in a baby pool with zero-grade entry, and sunbathers bask on more than 4,500 square feet of deck. On four adjacent tennis courts, serves rebound off of Har-Tru clay surfaces, and windscreens keep out distracting breezes and lost pool-goers murmuring "Marco?"
Course at a Glance:
With 35 years of golf experience and as a shoo-in for Golf Digest's Best Teachers in the State list five years running, Rick DePamphilis brings a bounty of stroke-shaving wisdom to each lesson he conducts as a part of his player-development program, NexLevel Golf. Whether students are greenhorns or green-jacket holders, the PGA master professional tailors his instruction to the player's individual needs, ranging from small tweaks in course-management strategy to deciding which end of the club to grip.
Private lessons help a player improve his or her number of fairways hit in regulation, short-game play around the greens, and shot selection. V1 Pro cameras analyze the student's swing for later reflection on mechanics and tendencies, such as swing-plane angle or ending the follow-through with a pirouette. Rick also takes stock of the player's arsenal of equipment and makes recommendations based on their skills and style of play. Lessons take place at Paradise Driving Range in Middleton.
The high-pitched thwacks of flush drives pierce the air from the elevated hitting bays that encompass Leo J. Martin Golf Course's driving range, inspiring clubbers of all abilities to perfect their pendulous swings. With more than 30 hitting stalls replete with new artificial mats, the expansive range facilitates practice shots with all clubs or overenthusiastic legs as guests soak in sweeping views of the tree-lined New England countryside. The range faces due east, so golfers won't have to reckon with the setting sun as they follow soaring shots through the stratosphere. A selection of new and used clubs anchors the facility's fully stocked pro shop, providing pristine wares to accompany swings fine-tuned at the range or during lessons. The practice area shares grounds with the Leo J. Martin Memorial Golf Course, a 6,320-yard course that opens its grassy passageways to all aspiring pin hunters.
With 160 driving range tees, 72 miniature golf holes, and 16 batting cages spread across its three locations, Golf Country provides ample opportunity for visitors to hone all aspects of their swings. Each driving range features overhead lights for practicing after the sun goes down for the evening, as well as a number of covered, heated tees that allow for practice when the sun goes down forever. The Easton and Saugus locations offer one 18-hole miniature golf course apiece, while the Middleton location showcases two courses. Nicknamed the Millpond Course and the Stone Bridge Course, Middleton’s miniature tracks meander through large flower beds, flowering trees, and ample water features.
Within King of Swing Golf, aboutGolf simulators recreate the sprawling fairways of 32 different world famous courses, including Pebble Beach and Pine Needles. The simulators also help golfers hone their skills with 10 different practice modes. Additionally, the indoor facility houses a retail shop, and its golf experts can custom-fit clubs.
Most people will never get the chance to play a round of golf at Augusta National. At Pappas Indoor Golf & Baseball, players can approximate their dream round inside the complex's trio of indoor golf simulators. The simulator screens replicate 230 courses in vivid detail, including the venerable host course of The Masters and Scotland's Saint Andrews. The simulators share space with a well-rounded practice facility that includes a 1,600-square-foot putting green, 12 hitting bays, a short game area, and a sand bunker. In areas designated for private lessons, PGA pro Bill Pappas polishes his clients' mechanics with the help of video swing analysis equipment.
Golfers aren’t the only athletes taking cuts at Pappas Indoor. The facility’s indoor batting cages let softball and baseball stars fine-tune their swing, take some extra batting practice on a rainy day, or test whether pitching machines can feel human emotions.