I have an article in this week’s New Yorker about a golf school in a place where you wouldn’t expect to find one.
We were all set to play golf last Friday, but when I got up at 5:00 to iron my golf towel I noticed that my car was covered with snow. WTF! It turned out that the entire state was paralyzed, golf-wise, so Hacker (real name), Rick, and I ended up playing eighteen holes at Harbour Town Golf Links, in Hilton Head, South Carolina, on one of the three golf simulators at the Maggie McFly’s in Brookfield, Connecticut.
I’ve written about these simulators before. They were made by a company called aboutGolf, which also makes the simulator you’ve seen on the Golf Channel. The simulators at Maggie’s are beginning to show their age—pretend-golf technology doesn’t stand still!—but they’re awesome nonetheless, and they do a remarkably good job of making you think you’re really playing golf.
And, of course, between shots, you can eat cheeseburgers, drink beer, and watch TV. Here’s Hacker working on his taxes while Rick struggles to extricate himself from a simulated swamp:
We sometimes talk about buying a simulator of our own—or, rather, we sometimes talk about tricking our golf club into buying a simulator and installing it in the basement of the club hall, for our personal use. If we were rich, we would instead do what a guy in Massachusetts did not long ago. He built a pool house next to the pool next to his house and put a golf simulator in it. Here’s the pool house:
As you can see, he’s got a bunch of other golf stuff, too, and he either doesn’t carry his own bag or is extraordinarily strong. The architecture firm that designed everything is Meyer & Meyer, in Boston. A publicist for the firm told me, “The plan revolves around the HD Golf simulator, with spectator seating on three sides. The homeowners entertain often and it was critical that the traffic flow and seating accommodate large parties. A see-through gas fireplace allows continuous views for those seated at the dining room table. Large windows face the pool deck and fire pit. Amenities include an artfully designed kitchen, first-floor guest room, en-suite bathroom, upper-loft guest room, and laundry facilities.” O.K.!
The owners have three teen-age sons, all talented golfers. Here’s the counter in the spectator area—which appears to have been fashioned from a single something. Put a coaster under your beer bottle, please:
The next time Maggie McFly’s does an upgrade, I suggest something along these lines. Or, at least, how about some new mats, balls, and tee holders? Still, even though there’s no swimming pool, playing at Maggie’s beats staying home on days when the weather is completely out of hand.