Living in New York City sometimes makes it difficult to get to the golf course. I decided to go on a quest and explore the golf options in the city that never sleeps. Some of these you may be able to find in your city.
First I have been meaning to get fitted for new clubs and this was a great time to go in and take the time to try what is new on the market and actually see and feel the difference. Golfsmith on 5th Avenue in NYC has three hitting bays and staff members that are certified as master club fitters. You can drop by anytime they are open and meet with a fitter or make an appointment in advance. I was able to try hitting with various clubs in the simulator and discover which clubs had a comfortable feel and best for my game. I ended up with Taylor Made Men’s senior clubs because of my height. A choice I would not have thought of or even known was an option. Having someone who can evaluate your swing opens your mind to options you may not have conssidered. Fifth Ave. between 37th & 38th Street
New to NYC is Golf & Body, an amazing state of the art golf CLUB that offers all the amenities of a high end gym with the feel of a country club. Perhaps its most amazing feature is the ability to provide the same services as a touring PGA Pro. They have professional staff members that are the best in the business including swing coaches, physical trainers and a therapy department. A unique aspect of the process is that each department communicates with one other about every client. So if you have a back ailment the therapy professionals will discuss this with both the trainer and swing coach thereby allowing each to assist the client as needed. Ben Shear is the head golf fitness professional and has developed a system to evaluate and implement golf-specific fitness. I met with Zeon Dolnyckyj, the head trainer under Ben who took me through a personal assessment and how he and the trainers work with the swing coach and therapy group to create a specific program for each individual. Then Jared Seitters, golf professional, took me through some swing analysis on the HD Golf video in one of the high tech simulators, which produces images that look like a golf sonogram. There are a number of them in the club that members can use themselves or as part of a lesson with a pro. This allowed me to review my swing and save it in the computer as well enabling any of the training professionals to review it at any time. The luxurious interior makes you feel as if you are in high end country club. 6th Ave & 32nd St. www.golfbodynyc.com
Another option in the heart of Soho is Drive 495. This golf gym has a hip modern feeling with the warmth of a family. This golf specific gym was started by two brothers, Don & Joe Saladino, who really live the golf and fitness regime. Don is certified fitness professional and Joe regularly competes at a high level in National Amateur events and has been named Metropolitans Player of the Year multiple times. They are very focused on the combination of nutrition, fitness and golf and offer state of the art fitness equipment and golf instruction with well trained professionals in both fields. Broadway between Spring & Broome. www.driveclubs.com
The Golf Club at Chelsea Piers is an amazing place to practice you game with 52 heated and weather protected hitting stalls on four levels and an automatic ball tee-up system, no bending required to tee up the ball, all overlooking the Hudson River. One of my favorite times to go is for the Friday Night Swings. This is combination of happy hour on the Hudson with golf. Open wine & beer bar while you mingle and rotate through the stalls receiving instruction from their teaching pros. 6:30- 8pm Fridays. Fee of $30. Pier 59 – 18th St. & Hudson River Park. www.chelseapiers.com
Randall’s Island is a great option if you want to golf outdoors. This 25-acre facility overlooks the East River and uptown Manhattan and is easy to get to with a shuttle that runs frequently from 3rd Ave. It has 82 hitting stalls on two levels, grass tees, short game area with bunker, golf lessons with Pros on site, golf clinics, a pro shop, a beer garden and grill and for a bit more fun a 36 hole landscaped miniature golf course. The shuttle van goes up 3rd Avenue and stops at 72nd,77th, 86th & 96th Streets and takes about 20 minutes .Open until 10pm every night, seven days a week. www.randallsislandgolfcenter.com
So if you can’t get to the course there are plenty of options for golf in NYC. This list would not be complete without a great 19th hole establishment. St. Andrews Restaurant & Bar is close to the always colorful Times Square. However once you enter there is an authentic Scottish experience waiting for you including plenty of golf memorabilia and scotch. West 46th St. between 6th Ave & Broadway.