Golfers prepare swings for their next pin-hunting expedition year-round at Fore Seasons Learning Center’s indoor and outdoor golf facilities. Whirring orbs race across the New England sky above the center’s 76-stall outdoor driving range, which features both natural grass and turf hitting mats as well as 18 covered and heated stalls, where golf devotees are safe from the elements of chill winters or perilous golf cart-size hail.
Inside the studio, aboutGolf simulators whisk clients away to digitally replicated versions of legendary courses, allowing them to hunt birdies amid the blustery seascape of St. Andrews or evade pixilated porpoises at Pebble Beach. PGA professional Joe Pustizzi roams the center’s grounds, divulging wisdom drawn from more than 30 years of experience and harnessing the simulators and other technological teaching aids to help clubbers on their path to lower scores and higher fives.
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.
In 1967, William J. Cuddigan began tilling and transforming his farmland using natural grasses and wooded barriers, slowly building what has since grown into a family fun center replete with a miniature golf course, batting cages, and a 52-stall driving range. The Cuddigan family still tends to the landscape, honoring William's original design while updating the facility with modern amenities. Covered and heated hitting stalls line the driving range, enabling players to practice in a natural setting throughout the year. The 18-hole miniature golf course has also seen many renovations but, like a recurring dream, many of its original features—windmill, lighthouse, and sinister clown nose hole—have been faithfully preserved.
Sandy Burr Country Club is a golf course in good company. It's among the nation's ever-dwindling stock of courses designed by Donald Ross, master architect of such notable courses as Pinehurst No. 2 and Inverness Club. The legendary designer unveiled the 18-holer in 1922, at the outset of the decade that would soon become known as the "Golden Era" of golf course design—due to the proliferation of course construction, not because stockbrokers refused to play with anything but golden clubs. Adding to the historical pedigree, professionals Walter Hagen and Gene Sarazen played the course in the 20s and 30s, even participating in the 1935 Massachusetts Open. Golfers today walk in their large footprints as they take on the 6,550-yard course and its three water hazards, before retiring to the English Tudor-style clubhouse—a charming piece of history in its own right.
The weather in Boston doesn’t always provide for ideal golfing conditions. In 2003, a record storm buried the city under nearly 28 inches of snow. Other years have simply been cold. In either case, On The Tee Indoor Golf Club lets players work on their swings year-round with an advanced golf simulator that re-creates some of the world's finest courses. Standing in front of a high-definition 14'x9' screen, golfers shoot actual balls as 3-D Doppler tracking radar—not unlike the radar used to track stray caddies—accurately follows the shots and relays the results within the simulated course. Computers also help visitors take their games to the next level during lessons with professional golfer Russell Quigg, who uses video-analysis software to diagnose and fix problems in players’ swings.
At Paradise Mini Golf, friends and families guide colorful golf balls through an 18-hole oasis of zigzagging putting greens and tropical obstacles. The course’s river exposes orbs to the treachery of a flowing stream on multiple holes, and a 35-foot-tall tree house gives local birds a chance to cheer on putt-putters or stock up on nourishing golf balls for winter's hibernation. After a round, golfers can stop by the koi pond and feed the fish at the feeding station or visit the ice-cream stand. Visitors looking to expand their golf game beyond the mini domain can drop by the Paradise Driving Range to hone lengthier swings.