Do you yearn to compete on the green next to Phil Mickelson? Well, that's going to take plenty of practice. Luckily, New York City offers a bevy of driving ranges where you can hone your zingers and fairway hits. If your game could benefit from expert tutelage, some of these spots offer lessons from pro golfers and golf clinics—a full-course regimen to get you ready for next year's Masters…or at least a round at Dyker Beach Golf Course. And most of them have a pro shop, so even if your stroke is not up to par, at least you'll look good trying and have all the equipment you need to emulate the professionals. Whether you're a pro wannabe or a newcomer to the game, you can take a swing at these ranges for a small fee—and some offer a money-saving membership as well.
Alley Pond Golf Center
Voted one of America's top 100 golf ranges by Golf Range magazine, Alley Pond Golf Center is an ideal setting to get your swing into shape. This recently renovated golfing mecca has more to offer than just a driving range. Target greens located in the driving range give golfers something to aim for; likewise, its grass short-game areas give them a chance to practice on real terrain without having to walk all 18 holes. Alley Pond also offers private sessions with pros, as well as clinics.
Turtle Cove Golf Center
This completely revamped driving range in the Bronx gives you and your comrades a generous distance to practice your long game. Turtle Cove Golf Center has 56 stalls, 12 of which are sheltered and heated so aspiring Tom Watsons and Jack Nicklauses can practice year-round. The complex also has batting cages and a miniature golf course, providing plenty of recreational options for the kids.
Brooklyn Golf Center
With a fully stocked pro shop and an impressive 75 tees that are open 8am to 10pm daily, Brooklyn Golf Center allows you to practice your shot and look the part of the veteran golfer. Some of the teeing grounds here are covered and heated, and the putting green has real grass.
Staten Island Golf Practice Center
When you bring your practice game here, you can be sure you'll be getting the pro treatment. Using ersatz-grass mats from JR Mats—preferred by such luminaries as LPGA superstar Annika Sorenstam—and Top-Flite Super Range balls, Staten Island Golf Practice Center provides aficionados and first-timers the optimum environment in which to practice their strokes. In addition, the site's newly upgraded pro shop offers custom club fittings.
The Golf Club at Chelsea Piers
As Manhattan's only multilevel, year-round driving range, The Golf Club at Chelsea Piers is where you go to get the deluxe treatment: an automated system places the ball on the tee for you, and if that's not enough, its two simulators give you an opportunity to play at some of the world's most famous courses—Pebble Beach, anyone? If you're not a seasoned player, you can learn to improve your technique at the club's Golf Academy.
Randall's Island Golf Center
The grass tees and 320-yard landing area at Randall's Island Golf Center are just what you need to prepare for your next fairway adventure. The two-tiered range has 82 stalls and targets whose distances are measured by laser for pinpoint accuracy. After getting in some practice time, you can stop by the center for custom club fittings. The pros here use the latest technology to outfit you with all the essentials so you can improve your score, lower your handicap and impress your golfing buddies.