Off-Season Alternatives for Golfers

Summer may be here, but it’s never too early to start thinking about winter.

Tour Links Nine-Foot Training Aid Putting Range 

The expression “putt for dough” should tell you just how important that aspect of the game is, so naturally it should be the centerpiece of your in-home practice setup. There are very expensive indoor/outdoor putting systems, and there are flimsy, bad carpet options. One of the best putting solutions we found in the middle of those two extremes is the Tour Links Nine-Foot Training Aid. The unit is simple to set up, comes with many useful features and is made with a high-quality polypropylene turf. A string guide helps train your eye and your putting stroke, while teaching aids like break strips, easy grab pin, cup reducer and movable standing pad make for a variety of training options. Tour Links also provides many other size and format options to fit your space. $448.


Rukket Portable Driving Range 

The Wilmington, Del., based Rukket Sports continues to impress with its nets and practice tools, offering options that are portable, easy to set up, durable and affordable. The RukkNet Portable Driving Range includes RukkNet (with a chipping attachment) and a portable three-turf hitting mat. The surfaces mimic tee turf, rough and the fairway. The net is sturdy and well designed with a no-skid base and a ball rollback feature. It sets up in seconds, and has you practicing indoors in no time. There are much more expensive options on the market that don’t offer all the features of this package. $229.

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No Room At Home?

Steve Graves Sr. may have the title of “chief fun officer” at Malvern, Pa.’s Play-A-Round Golf, but his indoor facility also appeals to serious players. Play-A-Round Golf utilizes high-end PGA Tour simulators featured on the Golf Channel. With specially marked golf balls, the simulators can even track the precise shape of your shot. Two on-site professionals can provide lessons and other fitness and teaching services. Visitors are also encouraged to bring their own pro, if need be.

For the cost of a municipal course green fee, customers can play there year-round, playing 18 holes at courses like Sawgrass, Pebble Beach and The Old Course. The facility is popular with groups that head outdoors during the warmer months, then move inside when the weather is bad. “Most of our business comes from regular players and groups who come in to play, bring some beer or wine, maybe a pizza or a cheesesteak from nearby, and just enjoy the camaraderie,” Graves says. Fees are $40/hour weekdays, $45/hour weekends.

245 Lancaster Ave., Malvern, Pa., (610) 725-9155.

Our Best of the Main Line & Western Suburbs Party is July 25!