As one of the only PGA-recognized indoor golf facilities in Massachusetts, Big Sticks Indoor Golf provides many of the same skill-honing luxuries as a quality golf course. Here, visitors can develop consistent swing mechanics, practice their short or long game, and receive PGA-certified instruction?the only difference is they can do it all year round, even when it's snowing outside or the streets are running red with molten lava.
Owner and PGA Class-A professional Terry Felty?an award-winning instructor and Titleist Performance Institute Certified Golf Fitness Instructor?heads the facility's instructors, who utilize the latest technology to help improve scores for golfers of all skills and ages. ASTAR and JC video swing analysis, Ag studio, and GC2 with HMT launch monitors provide visual reference as well as ball-flight feedback. This is also evident in Big Sticks' use of high-tech simulators, which use stunning graphics to replicate some of the world's most renowned courses, including the TPC Scottsdale, Pebble Beach, and many more.
With 35 years of golf experience and as a shoo-in for Golf Digest's Best Teachers in the State list five years running, Rick DePamphilis brings a bounty of stroke-shaving wisdom to each lesson he conducts as a part of his player-development program, NexLevel Golf. Whether students are greenhorns or green-jacket holders, the PGA master professional tailors his instruction to the player's individual needs, ranging from small tweaks in course-management strategy to deciding which end of the club to grip.
Private lessons help a player improve his or her number of fairways hit in regulation, short-game play around the greens, and shot selection. V1 Pro cameras analyze the student's swing for later reflection on mechanics and tendencies, such as swing-plane angle or ending the follow-through with a pirouette. Rick also takes stock of the player's arsenal of equipment and makes recommendations based on their skills and style of play. Lessons take place at Paradise Driving Range in Middleton.
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.
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.
In a day spent at Sun 'N Air Golf Center, golfers can hit nearly every shot they would encounter in the course of a normal round?all under the pressure-free auspices of a practice session. At the driving range, laser-measured targets reward precise iron play, and a target field that extends nearly 300 yards into the distance provides ample space for ripping drives. A short game practice area lets golfers hone their finesse on the green and in approach shots up to 50 yards from the pin.
The center also lets golfers test their mettle at their 3-hole practice course. The trio of par 3s range from 100 to 200 yards in length, and each features four tee options to cater to golfers of all abilities. With its ample practice resources, Sun 'N Air Golf Center provides fertile training ground for golf lessons, too. Their staff of experienced instructors?including PGA pro Tim Kilcoyne, who has coached at the high-collegiate level?can assist on all aspects of the game, from hitting the ball straighter to fitting multiple golf bags into the trunk of a compact vehicle.
OptiGolf, though absent the acreage necessary for a real golf course, still boasts some pretty impressive dimensions. The indoor studio replicates world-class golf on 14-foot HD projection screens capable of simulating everything from 300-yard drives to three-foot putts, with players using their own clubs. All nine of these simulators possesses a library of 85 championship courses. Plus they include training resources?such as video swing analysis and ball-flight tracking?,which are instrumental during private lessons conducted by director of instruction Phil Cornetta.
The ping of flush drives may echo throughout the 7,000-square-foot center, but golf is not the only thing on the menu. Balls veer towards pockets on a pool table, six draft beers and top-shelf liquors wet whistles or clean sullied grooves on wedges, and free wireless Internet keeps the entire complex connected.