The fourth annual Southern New England Golf Expo brings club swingers one step closer to the ever-elusive hole-in-one with live demos, seminars, and booths from more than 50 brands, businesses, and vendors. Visit the 10-bay indoor driving rage to test-swing equipment from the likes of Callaway, Nike Golf, and Taylor Made, or glean tips from seasoned professionals during the "Tune Up With A Pro" seminar, which teaches golfers when to let go of their clubs as they sail into water hazards. Expo-goers can also enter to win myriad golf prizes, and all visitors will receive either a one-year subscription to Golf Digest or a six-month subscription to Golf World. The Southern New England Golf Expo donates its proceeds to the Boys & Girls Club of Providence, which was founded in 1868 to help fund character-building extracurricular programs for at-risk youth.
PGA professional instructor Al Vallante diagnoses swing maladies and breaks down proper technique for players of all abilities at his golf school at Harbor Lights Country Club. Rather than asking golfers to completely replace their old swings, he takes into account their body type, skills, and goals in order to fine-tune their whacks. Al’s instruction makes use of pitching and putting greens, a par three course when necessary, and private teaching bays that allow lessons to take place even when it’s raining or the moon is crashing into the Earth.
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.
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.
Heather Hill Country Club lets players decide their own 18-hole path using a trio of nine-hole layouts that populate this 27-hole country club. Whatever two tracks they choose, golfers bend their shots around dense foliage and over the streams that occasionally babble into the line of play. After the last golf ball emerges from the 18th cup as pure gold trophy, groups can retire to the bar and grille to satisfy hunger with burgers, salads, and wraps on the back patio.
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.