Golfers across the handicap spectrum practice bogey-thwarting skills at Natick Golf Learning Center, where PGA- and LPGA-certified pros preside over a multifaceted outdoor practice facility. The center?s outdoor driving range offers 75 artificial and natural-grass hitting mats; two chipping greens, a putting green, and a practice bunker let players practice their finesse shots. During daily lessons, the pros enlist video analysis and other teaching aids to help pupils tackle new skills or correct recent on-course weaknesses.
The high-pitched thwacks of flush drives pierce the air from the elevated hitting bays that encompass Leo J. Martin Golf Course's driving range, inspiring clubbers of all abilities to perfect their pendulous swings. With more than 30 hitting stalls replete with new artificial mats, the expansive range facilitates practice shots with all clubs or overenthusiastic legs as guests soak in sweeping views of the tree-lined New England countryside. The range faces due east, so golfers won't have to reckon with the setting sun as they follow soaring shots through the stratosphere. A selection of new and used clubs anchors the facility's fully stocked pro shop, providing pristine wares to accompany swings fine-tuned at the range or during lessons. The practice area shares grounds with the Leo J. Martin Memorial Golf Course, a 6,320-yard course that opens its grassy passageways to all aspiring pin hunters.
With six distinct courses etched into the New England countryside, Sterling Golf Management promotes pin-hunting recreation for Boston-area golfers of all abilities. The longest and most difficult of the six, The Shattuck Golf Club's 18-hole course kicks off with a 409-yard par 4 where players hack their way toward a green that is visually wreathed by the rising red rocks of Mount Monadnock, setting the tone for a scenic, 6,764-yard round. Groves of trees ensconce the fairways and barter over carbon dioxide at Norwood Country Club's recently renovated course, a relatively flat layout characterized by smallish greens and flanked by a lighted driving range. The newest member to the Sterling Golf Management team is the Rockland course, where 18 par-3 holes wind between tall oaks for a picturesque par-54 round. Designed in 1921 in the Donald Ross tradition is the Maynard Golf Course, a picturesque par 70, 9-hole course with a full-service clubhouse. The same sylvan makeup returns at Newton Commonwealth's course, where lush tree lines cast shadows over a creek as it snakes across the fairways of seven holes. Rounding out the grassy sextet, Chelmsford's nine-hole course takes golfers careening across 2,467 yards of narrow fairways, placing straight drives or skilled golf ball pilots at a premium.
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.
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For many years, the scariest thing about golf has been the Sansabelt pants. With today's Groupon, trade gentle golf claps for screams of putting panic: for $15, you get four rounds at Monster Mini Golf in Marietta, a $30 value. Come once by yourself and save the other three passes for when you have the hiccups, or bring three friends and see who has the strongest stomach for fun monster statues.
If you’re like most people, seeing another windmill boringly swooping its blades on a standard miniature golf course makes you secretly long for glow-in-the-dark zombies. Monster Mini Golf has heard those silent screams and created a fright-filled attraction perfect for couples, kids, adults with kids, and adults unafraid of sharing a fun evening with Dracula. Monster Mini Golf’s owners created most of the oversized monsters that stalk their greens and constitute the course’s obstacles. The creatures glow under ample black lights, and range in monstrosity from animated cuddliness to Bella-Lugosity. Kids of all ages are able to appreciate Monster Mini Golf's kitschy post-structuralist take on the play of difference between signifier and signified.
The links consist of 18 holes spread over 12,600 square feet, and the focus of the course is on challenging angles. Monster Mini golf offers just the right level of challenge to entertain both kids and adults. The Marietta branch opens its creaky doors from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday. Check Monster Mini Golf's website for upcoming holiday hours.
Monster Mini Golf also offers themed party rooms, such as the Haunted Mansion; a quarter arcade; and traditional arcade challenges, including skee ball and glowing air hockey. Success at these monster-supervised games offers not only personal fulfilment, but also the thrill of having conquered death incarnate. Plus you win prizes. While playing, be sure to listen for Monster Mini Golf’s own in-house radio station, “W.I.R.D. (Weird Radio),” whose live, on-site DJ hands out prizes for goofy reasons on the links.
CityVoters name Monster Mini Golf as the best mini golf site in the Atlanta area, and Yelpers give it five stars:
- It’s fun! It’s indoors, so can be played year round! The price is right and staff is very accommodating. – prs0, Cityvoter
- Monster Golf totally rules…The kids had a blast! Good times all around. I’d highly recommend this as an alternate for kiddie birthday parties or a cute, fun date spot. – lee y., Yelp
- The 18 spooky holes surprise golfers with challenges and tricks…They play GREAT music…Hopefully this one lasts! – Amy S., Yelp