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.
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.
In 1938, "The Long Island Expressway"?a vicious hurricane?plowed through John Hoenig's property in Thompson, Connecticut. His farm was destroyed, but when he decided to rebuild, he didn't rebuild the farm. Instead, he began clearing his land for the area's first 5/8-mile, high-banked racetrack. As soon as it opened, it was heralded as "the Indianapolis of the East." It was a destination for racecar drivers across the country.
In the more than 70 years since then, the track has blossomed into Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. Today, it's one of the country's oldest tracks, besides that one high-banked crop circle from 1910. It plays host to three iconic racing events, including the World Series of Speedway Racing, and its modernized 5/8-mile oval now shares its space with a 1.7-mile road course. Even more exciting, neither track is just for pros. Civilians can try out the speedster lifestyle during driving school, or as part of the Driver's Club, which offers 30 days of members-only access to the track each year.
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.
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.
Feeling the raw power of a Ferrari engine as you floor the pedal and steer down an empty road may seem like a fantasy to some?but it's a perfectly attainable adrenaline fix at The Motorsport Lab. The Lab's driving experts allow clients to slip behind the wheel of a Ferrari, Aston Martin, Lamborghini, or other rare and exotic automobile for a once-in-a-lifetime ride.
After explaining the vehicle features and the proper safety protocols, staff members turn over the keys. Drivers can gain a feeling for the automobile's speed and cat-like agility while guiding it around a controlled autocross course for several laps. For a truly immersive experience, The Motorsport Lab occasionally rents out its sports cars for weekend-long escapes that let clients travel in style and become the object of envy at any drive-through dry cleaner.