This is a guest post from Wellesley resident Robert Dwyer, who will be writing for us occasionally about local golf options. He also blogs about wine at The Wellesley Wine Press.
Back in the day if you wanted to go hit some golf balls you’d head over to the Natick Golf Center, park in the lot behind Ziti’s restaurant, and drive a golf cart up to the range. The conditions left a bit to be desired, but kids enjoyed the ride in the golf cart and it was nearby.
I always wondered though: What if someone took the place over and spiffed it up?
Enter KOHR Golf.
When you visit now, the site will be familiar but it’s been enhanced to become not only a great driving range but one of the top practice facilities in the region.
We recently met with KOHR Golf Co-General Manager Nathan Boroyan who walked us through improvements made since they took over. Along with a heightened interest in golf related to COVID, business has been booming.
“I’d say, pre-pandemic, 150-200 buckets was a good day. Post-pandemic, we like to see 250-300 buckets during full operating hours (Summer, 9am-9pm). During great stretches the past couple of summers, we routinely sell over 300 per day. Our best day on record happened last June when we sold 505.” Boroyan said.
Typical driving ranges have a few yardage markers in a pasture-like field which tends to encourage hitting balls as far as possible.
At KOHR the setup encourages more target-oriented practice because you’re hitting into dozens of greens with bunkers and pins so you can really get a feel for how well your shots are holding.
The net effect is that practice at KOHR tends to translate to game improvement because you’re practicing the wide variety of shots required in a round of golf.
New for 2022 is Trackman Range that allows golfers to track the distance, speed, and flight characteristics of their shots. It boasts similar technology to that used on the PGA Tour and in golf simulators–but rather than installing dedicated devices in each bay they’ve managed to figure out how to measure flight data through trackers at various locations on the range.
Ball flight data is relayed to your smartphone depending on which bay you’re hitting from which enables accurate measurement of carry and total distances of each club and more. Games like “Bullseye” make target-oriented practice fun for kids and adults alike.
Best of all Trackman Range is complimentary for all guests.
Customers who find themselves addicted to hitting buckets of balls might find a membership beneficial. Two levels are offered.
A Season Pass includes unlimited range balls and access to the putting green. The break-even point is around two or three buckets a week, but I’ve found I hit more buckets each time I’m there and go more often with a Season Pass.
The Club Membership adds access to a private short-game area with two manicured, bunkered greens designed to enable practicing a wide variety of shots. Driving range guests might not even realize this area exists, but check it out next time you’re there hitting balls.
Depending on when you visit, you might not realize the extent of training that occurs at the facility.
Kids clinics and camps are offered, and for serious juniors a year-round KOHR Golf Academy is available.
Adults can improve their game through private lessons or small group clinics. Nine instructors are available.
Golf has become a year-round endeavor in the Northeast thanks to indoor simulators.
They’re building out five indoor practice bays to enable instruction during colder months. Boroyan said “The goal is to open this winter,” with space initially reserved for Academy golfers and private lessons. Stay tuned for more on that front as winter approaches.
218 Speen St., Natick, Mass.
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