NEW YORK | While Metropolitan New York is as rich a golf region as can be found in America, the city itself doesn’t have much to offer the avid player. But there are a handful of places where a person can go to hit balls, take lessons or get fit for new equipment, even in midtown Manhattan. And one of the newest of those is Konnectgolf.
Located on in a second-floor space some 5,000 square feet in size on Fifth Avenue just a few blocks south of St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Trump Tower, Konnectgolf is described by its owner-operators Ralph Kartzman and Lee Hetfield as an indoor golf club. It features eight hitting bays, all of which are equipped with Trackman 4 technology and Jack Nicklaus Perfect Golf simulators, and golf clubs sets from PXG. The head professional is Steve Keogh, who hails from Canberra, Australia, and specializes in 3D analysis and golf bio-dynamics. He is also affiliated with the Leadbetter Golf Academy, which has made Konnectgolf its first indoor location in the U.S.
The idea at Konnectgolf is to create a social and convivial club-like atmosphere, a place to hit balls in the mornings before heading to the office or entertain friends and clients at lunch or after work over “games” on top-100 golf courses as well as drinks offered from the club bar and catered food. Annual dues are $500, and there are usage fees for the hitting bays – and for lessons, of course. The club can also serve as a venue for corporations to hold outings as well as for golf league play, and several Manhattan high schools have become members so they can hold pre-season practices for their golf teams there. And travelers will be pleased to know that there are hotel guest rates for non-members.
I recently stopped by Konnectgolf for an evening visit and was impressed with the buzz at the club, its upscale yet comfortable aura and its state-of-the-art gear. I was also amazed at its locale, right in the core of the Big Apple. Now, I will always prefer to play my golf outside. But having lived and worked in Manhattan in an earlier life, I also appreciate how nice it is to have a place in midtown to hone one’s game – and be able to enjoy a craft beer or two with friends afterwards.
“New Yorkers expect great service and convenience and are always looking for fun, new experiences,” says Kartzman, who like his partner is a self-described golf addict who long worked on Wall Street. “We have created the perfect private club experience for golfers at all levels. We’ve taken all of our favorite things about our club experiences and brought them to life here on Fifth Avenue.”