The Back Nine

As promised, this week’s installment brings specifics on a covered and heated driving range nearby where you can either a) Hone the swing that you’ve left unattended over the winter, b) Develop a new swing if you never had one, or c) Blow off some steam after the carnage that recruiters left behind in what was accurately referred to as `Hell Week.’

The place I reviewed is called GolfTown Driving Range, and it’s located about 12 miles from campus, or roughly a 20-minute drive. Here are the specifics:

A two-tier driving range: There are 25 slots on the bottom level, each with tarps to block wind from both behind and the sides. More importantly, each of the slots on the ground floor has its own overhead heater. The upper tier has an additional 27 slots, but these are “open-air” so pray for nice weather if you head up top. Buckets of balls come in three sizes: $5 for 40, $7.75 for 75, and $9.75 for 105 balls. Additionally, they run 2-for-1 specials on buckets during the weekday mornings. Call for details. Lastly, when you buy a punch card of ten buckets (regardless of size), you get a free large bucket when it’s completed.

18-hole putting green: This isn’t mini golf, but the head pro did tell me that it’s brand new. Note – this is only available based on the weather conditions – i.e. with the ice and snow they currently have it would be a no-go. Anticipate this being available by late next week…

Sand traps: Unfortunately, this won’t be available until late spring.

Lessons: Lou O’Keefe is the head instructor, and has been with GolfTown for roughly three years. Prior to that he instructed at the Stratton Golf Academy in Vermont and in both Hilton Head and Scottsdale, AZ. He played college golf at Clemson and spent four years as a pro on the North Atlantic Tour. Lessons are available Monday through Saturday and reservations are recommended. The prices follow, where `junior’ is defined as 15 years of age or under: 1/2 hour (junior):$ 25, 1/2 hour (adult): $ 35, 1 hour (junior): $ 40, 1 hour (adult): $ 55 note: Adults can purchase a package of 4 x 1/2 hour lessons for $125, or 4 x 1-hour lessons for $195. Additionally – two adults can `share’ one hour of instruction for a special rate of $50 per hour, clearly the best deal for most folks if you can grab a friend or significant other to join you. Additionally, there is no cost to borrow equipment if you are taking lessons.

Bring in a copy of this column to your first trip to GolfTown and get a free bucket of balls with one purchased at full price – up to a $9.75 value.