The sounds of jovial chit-chat, sharply struck drives, and golf balls rattling into holes fill the air at Canton Indoor Golf Center, where guests can hone their swings or putting strokes in a festive environment with its own sports bar. Stationed around the center’s perimeter, eight high-definition Year Roundz golf simulators transport clubbers to digital models of courses such as Pebble Beach and Bay Hill. Throughout rounds, swing-tracking technology ensures that each flush tee shot finds the fairway and each errant swing prompts digital avatars to berate their 9-iron. An indoor green fosters freestyle putting practice, and the colorful, pirate-themed corridors of Glow Cove’s black-light mini golf offer a more competitive challenge to slope-reading skills. The multifaceted practice facility provides a climate-controlled venue for lessons conducted by PGA-certified instructors, who use the simulators’ swing analysis features to sharpen their observational prowess and gather intelligence for mankind’s reckoning with intelligent machines.
Sudsy libations from Year Roundz Sports Bar & Grill keep guests in high spirits as they engage in golf fun or simply lounge in the glow of sports-tuned TVs. Guests hungry after a simulated round of golf or a club-shaft-bending competition can curb their appetites with a burger, cheesesteak, or margarita pizza from the kitchen.
PGA-certified professional golf instructor Keith Everett has spent 12 years teaching beginner and advanced clubbers, currently mentoring within the meandering creeks and colorful foliage of Farmington Woods. With a philosophy that mistakes are rooted at the setup of each tee, Keith schools orb-clobbering students on the game's fundamentals prior to recommending changes to their swings. An evaluation of the trainee's clubs is followed by a computer-aided analysis of the student's swing from different angles, played back to the pupil. Following a review of the evidence, Keith recommends necessary changes to irons, woods, and swing technique. Throughout the process, Keith encourages players to stretch their reconfigured wings by practicing on the putting green, chipping area, driving range, on the course itself, and anywhere other than on top of the hood of their boss’s BMW.
Blue Fox Run boasts a stunning 27-hole championship golf course in the Farmington Valley. Use this Groupon to schedule a full-day outing with friends: your 18-hole game allows you to practice your drives, perfect your putts, and conquer your fear of the bogeyman ($35 on weekdays, $45 on weekends). Stroll the green on foot or rent a cart for $15. Ironless chippers can rent a full set of clubs for $25.
When Arnold Palmer’s architectural firm set out to design the 18-hole course at Gillette Ridge Golf Club, it incorporated a long, wooded layout that would showcase the 19th-century politician and reformer Francis Gillette’s original homestead. Today, the course continues to showcase its beautifully crafted layout that has maintained the elegance of a bygone era while opting to share its charming characteristics with the public. Gillette Ridge welcomes all golfers to take on the blistering 7,191-yard tract that integrates groves of mature trees, placid water hazards, and white-sand bunkers that surround contoured greens.
Much of the course's difficulty comes from its length, as demonstrated on the par 5 seventh and 12th holes, which stretch 612 yards and 607 yards from the tips, respectively. Both holes make it nearly impossible to reach the green in two, though for different reasons: the seventh green prevents run-ups with a front side stream, whereas the 12th hole has an early dogleg right that demands more conservative tee shots and golf carts that are pro-environment. The course's premium on distance continues right through the finishing hole, a par 4, 478-yard straightaway that splits two fairway bunkers and forces players to carry the green's front side pond on their approach shot or hope that a friendly frog will lend a lily pad for safe passage. Three practice putting greens, two practice bunkers, and an all-grass driving range provide ample space for golfers to stretch their swings before rounds.
After rounds, players can unwind in Gillette Ridge’s 6,000-square-foot clubhouse, where the course restaurant serves up sandwiches such as the philly cheesesteak and chicken-salad sliders, and starters such as Maryland crab cakes and quesadillas—the late Mrs. Gillette’s specialty that has carried on since the 19th century.
Course at a Glance:
The Ranch Golf Club's skilled architect, Damian Pascuzzo, challenges club swingers with 340 acres of rolling bentgrass, woodlands, and water hazards that earned the course 2010 honors as a GolfWorld Top 50 Public Course. Forty acres of undulating fairways carpet formidable holes starting with the first pin, which tempts drives down a narrow fairway amid the unintelligible secrets of whispering willows. Prior to tee time, players can brush up their short game skills on two fast-rolling practice greens, or swing wildly at six target greens that pepper a 300-yard driving range. Decked out carts, featuring club washers and drive distance measurements, direct players along pathways with a ProLink GPS system that offers approach advice and eliminates the need to ask a skittish deer to caddy the next hole.
Measuring 5,825 yards from the farthest tees, Hawk's Landing Country Club's 18-hole, par 70 golf course doesn't require extreme length off the tee—but it does demand accuracy. Dense groves of trees squeeze nearly every fairway and green, and water hazards lure errant golf balls and thirsty golf carts on seven holes. On the 5th and 6th holes—two midlength par 4s—and the par 5 hole 17, golfers must exercise caution on both their drives and approach shots to avoid peripheral waterways that run along the length of the fairways. After carefully working around ponds and streams throughout the course, the 18th hole brings the round to a fitting end: a 190-yard par 3 where tee shots must somersault directly over a water hazard stationed right in front of the green. Before rounds, golfers can warm up their swings at the club's grass-tee driving range or sign misbehaving short irons up for a lesson at Hawk's Landing's golf academy.
Course at a Glance: