When winter has New England in a frosty headlock, what's a normally active person who doesn't want to risk blowing out a knee on the slopes to do? Choice 1: Hunker down on the couch with a box of Cheez-Its, and curse the cold on Facebook. Choice 2: Toss your clubs in the car, and go hit golf balls in the snow.
You're Intrigued, Right?
Are there really places to practice your swing outdoors even in January and February when New England weather is at its worst? Yes! And no, you won't be miserable and eager to quit after just a few minutes. And you won't have to worry about finding your little white ball after it makes a satisfying slushy plop into a pile of snow.
At Stanley Golf Course in New Britain, Connecticut, 10 enclosed, HEATED, lighted driving range bays make it comfortable to hit golf balls in any weather. Rain? Sleet? Snow? No problem. Just swipe your credit card at the automatic ball dispenser, choose a small, medium or large bucket of golf balls ($6, $9 or $12 as of 2019), and find a vacant spot (there are also nine outdoor tees). Look on the wall for the heater control box, dial your desired amount of time, then give the overhead heater about two minutes to start cranking out some BTUs. Before you know it, you'll be shaking your bulky coat off and showing Mother Nature you don't need cheesy snack crackers to muscle through winter.
If you're a parent who wants to foster a child's love of golf, a snow day or February vacation day is the perfect time to surprise your son or daughter with the news: "We're going golfing!" Your little golfer will probably think you are joking, but chances are good he or she will play along. Starting with a medium-sized bucket of balls may be your natural inclination, but you may find yourselves back at the ball dispenser in no time buying a second bucket of balls once you experience how memorable it is to enjoy a golf outing even on the grayest of days.
Got an inquisitive kid? Brace yourself for the question: "How do they find all of those golf balls in the snow?" You can ask the on-site attendant, but some things... like when winter will finally subside to spring... are meant to remain a mystery.
Make a Day Trip out of Your Drive to New Britain
Stanley Golf Course has its own Back Nine Tavern on-site, and New Britain is known for its Polish and German restaurants: Try Staropolska or, if you're feeling rowdy, East Side, where it's Oktoberfest year-round. If you want flavorful comfort food, head to Seoul Korean BBQ & Sushi, which is just a two-minute drive from the golf course at 593 Hartford Road in New Britain. A hearty meal here will give the winter chills another boot. The local Shake Shack is another popular post-golf stop.
If You're Going
The lighted, heated driving range at Stanley Golf Course is open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. every day during the off-season, except when weather conditions are extreme (and it would be silly to be on the roads). The facility is located at 245 Hartford Road in New Britain, CT, just minutes off I-84. The ball dispenser accepts credit cards only for payment.
More Places to Golf in the Winter in Connecticut
Keep your swing sharp year-round at these CT golf facilities:
- Fore Seasons Golf Club
Walk-ins are welcome, and for just $10 per day, you can stay in top golf shape at this multifaceted indoor facility that operates from November through April in Bethany, Connecticut.
- GolfQuest Family Sports Center
No matter how foul the weather, your whole family can enjoy hitting balls at this heated, wind-protected practice range in Brookfield, CT.
- Topgolf Swing Suite at Foxwoods
Rent a luxurious golf simulator suite for your group of 21+ friends this winter, and enjoy full food and drink service while you play your choice of 80 famous golf courses.
- Toptracer Range at Chris Cote's Golf Shop
This Southington, Connecticut, golf destination keeps its heated, high-tech driving range open through the snowy season.
- Torza's Golf Driving Range
Tee up all winter in the covered, heated range bays at this Cromwell, Connecticut, sports hub.
- Virtual Golf at Chris Cote's Golf Shop
Play in paradise without leaving frozen Connecticut at Chris Cote's Portland location.