A two-tiered driving range and two 18-hole miniature-golf courses welcome visitors to Branchburg Family Golf Center’s 27-acre golf complex for game improvement and friendly competition. Each tier at the range comprises more than 30 hitting stalls and features a natural-grass tee area that remains open from April through September. In colder months, 12 recently installed heaters keep golfers cozy or help them sweat off pounds to drop a weight class in golf-cart jousting. Professional instructors roll in when players reach an improvement plateau, offering their keen expertise to develop consistent swings that lead to lower scores.
The center’s two miniature-golf courses summon putts past crashing waterfalls and through lush landscapes, fostering a sense of friendly competition in a pint-sized oasis. When swatting stationary spheres becomes too easy, visitors can head over to the batting facility to work on baseball swings and tackle techniques when charging the mound at a cyborg pitcher.:m]]
The course at Stonybrook Golf Club weaves along verdant paths buttressed by dense walls of foliage, creating a relatively short 3,514-yard track from the back tees. Course architect Robert Krieger incorporated frequent misdirection that leads to blind shots, including double doglegs on the 6th and 15th holes, the course’s only two par 5s. Water hazards come into play on seven holes and speedy greens can cause further complications for golfers with the yips or roller-skate golf shoes. When walking, a round can be finished in under three hours, letting players quickly return to daily life or the scene of the accident.
Course at a Glance:
With a 39-stall driving range, a miniature-golf circuit, and a nine-hole par 3 course, Mt. Freedom Golf helps golfers fine-tune every aspect of their game. That par 3 layout features several holes that span at least 100 yards from the tee to the bentgrass greens, showcasing a verdant expanse for players to work their short irons. Players bogey-proof swings at the driving range, where natural-grass hitting areas cater to those who favor a natural feel and provoke artificial mats to crow about how photosynthesis is overrated.
After grappling the yips at the safari-themed mini-golf course, players can seek out putter advice from one three ace instructors. Mt. Freedom Golf also offers a nine-hole Frisbee-golf course that favors those with disc-hurling prowess or enough money to hire a pizza chef as a caddy.
Hyatt Hills Golf Complex aims to make the game of golf less complicated. The facility exceeds the call of a typical golf venue, incorporating an 18-hole mini golf course, a driving range, and even a restaurant in addition to its nine-hole course. Measuring 3,350 yards from the back tees, the par 36 layout forces players to contend with several shots over water, healthy doses of greenside bunkering, and a pair of long doglegs in holes 2 and 5—both par 5s. Players can also work with Hyatt Hills' roster of PGA professionals for help getting over a scoring hump—a solution that's easier on the conscience than just conveniently forgetting every third stroke.
The nine-hole, 2,811-yard Clearbrook Golf Course charts an emerald path through densely wooded terrain, notable for its carpet-like fairways and smooth-rolling greens. The Hal Purdy design has received a number of recent updates, including refurbished sand traps, repaved cart paths, and improved drainage. Head course professional Scott Sterling conducts onsite lessons that cover pre-shot routine, alignment, and putting for players hoping to overcome a scoring plateau, as well as rules and etiquette for players unfamiliar with golf’s infield-fly rule.
Course at a Glance:
Designed by 10-time PGA Tour winner Mark McCumber, Knob Hill Golf Club’s 18-hole course bobs and weaves through 145 acres of scenic, dense woodland terrain. The first McCumber course to grace the American Northeast, the 6,408-yard layout seamlessly incorporates imposing tree lines and 15 manmade, natural, and caddy-tear ponds into an elegant, golf-clap-worthy fairway chain. The course’s most difficult hole—the 464-yard, par 4 fourth hole—showcases characteristic challenges with a tee shot that must carry a pond and bisect a tree-ensconced fairway on its path to a green fronted by a sandtrap. After rounds, duffers can replenish with a sudsy drink and a nosh from a menu of casual, gourmet fare at The Sycamore Grill, named for the 185-year-old sycamore that casts its shadows on the clubhouse and sheds celebratory leaves for players who score under par.
Course at a Glance:
Boasting one of Staten Island’s only go-kart tracks, Staten Island Go-Karts launches drivers around exhilarating turns and down straightaways at speeds of up to 20 mph, while its mini golf course's soothing brook and scenic landscaping maintain more moderate adrenaline levels. Speed-demon duos can rocket around the track in one of the rubber burners, tearing through each five-minute race like the Flash riding Seabiscuit (a $6 value each). Each speedy steed features a sturdy shoulder harness, and the track's qualified operator can control all karts to ensure safety.