Finding a flat lie at Vineyard Valley Golf Club is a lot like sinking a hole-in-one: it's rare. The course resides atop land that used to be a vineyard, creating a layout that is undulating with constant elevation changes. Along with a relentless breeze, the course's hilly quirks make the 9-hole, 3,000-yard layout far more difficult than it initially appears. After testing their mettle on the first eight holes?which include views of a castle between the sixth green and seventh tee?golfers encounter a final hole that course designer Gus Loos viewed as Eastern Connecticut's version of the famed island green of the 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass. This hole plays anywhere from 120 to 160 yards, and a watery marsh swallows up shots that fall short of the green.
Along with providing classy urbanites with a pastoral setting of forested hills, treacherous water traps, and the scenic Moosup River, the Foster Country Club offers a full 18-hole, par 72 course for your golf-cart-rampaging pleasure. Players of all skill levels can get in on the action, but every golfer should beware of the approach to the elevated green on hole 6, the double dogleg on hole 12, and the resident troll beneath the covered bridge.
The tree-lined fairways that constitute Woodstock Golf Course were once sheep pastures, but you'd have to go back more than a century to find any grazing ewes there. Built in 1896, the course is one of the state's oldest nine-hole facilities. Since its inception, the owners have worked to keep the course inclusive and accessible, as reflected in its relative simplicity and inclusion of only one moderate hill. But like procuring blueprints of your bank, navigating the 2,397-yard course still requires care: golfers must maneuver through narrow fairways and small greens precisely if they want to make par.
Boasting 56 hitting bays, a sand trap, and putting greens for both adults and children, Eagle Quest Golf Dome is a year-round, indoor haven of walk-spoilage where swingers of all experience levels can work on mastering their golfing mechanics. Each large-sized bucket brims with 70 balls that can be used for driving distances, strengthening short games, or as a functional accessory to plaid pants. Eagle Quest's indoor bunkers allow golfers to practice the art of masterfully digging their way out of sand traps and other dishonest terrain, regardless of depth, positioning, or snapping turtles. Once you have driven through the dome's well-manicured range, engage in some finer technique tuning by way of the on-site, Spargo Golf Pro Shop, or grab a round of grub and drinks at Henry's Bar & Grill.
At Mulligan's Island Golf & Entertainment, 60 covered hitting stalls look out onto 11 acres of target areas, a sprawling configuration that helped earn the facility a spot on Golf Range Magazine's 2011 list of top 100 ranges. Golfers can use the driving range's 20 heated stalls to practice during off-season months without worrying about cooler temperatures stiffening their swings, or they can invest in lessons that use digital teaching methods such as computerized swing analysis to lower handicaps. A USGA-rated course tests participants with nine holes of regulation-size golf, while an 18-hole pitch-and-putt short course and two mini-golf courses help golfers calibrate aspects of their short game. The practice mecca also tests swings at 10 batting cages that feed baseballs and softballs at adjustable speeds to suit both little leaguers and professionals fishing for compliments.
GolfTEC has two convenient locations in Charlotte, both staffed by experienced golfing professionals and computers who’ve sworn allegiance to the Three Laws of golfing robotics. Motion sensors and high-speed cameras monitor your swing and break down your form on a high-definition video display. GolfTEC’s PGA specialists point out your flaws, strengths, and coach you on how to permanently improve your game, from tee to green. Sensors chirp with approval when you’ve executed a perfect stroke or cracked an especially witty golfing joke.