The Golf Club at Chelsea Piers - Chelsea, Manhattan
18th Street and Hudson River Park (12th Avenue) in Manhattan. Subway: C/E train to 23rd Street then a ten minute walk due west. Citibike: 20th street and 11th avenue.
Club(s) of your choice (No irons on the two lower levels); rentals available. $25
Here's the Story:
A buckets of balls? How antiquated. Is it your back? Doesn't matter. The driving range at The Golf Club at Chelsea Piers, a modern golf facility on Manhattan's West Side, has robots below deck who tee the ball for you. Just like in Japan!
As you'd expect, this place isn't cheap. Unless you want to go when everybody is still asleep, you're looking at 90 balls for 25 bucks. From there the values get "better." God bless New York and no place else.
A signature piece of the now 19-year-old Chelsea Piers sporting complex, The Golf Club has two simulators and a turf practice green. So, the on-site pro shop with lots of stuff—the fancy kind—is a place to spend your money. The main attraction, however, is the four-level driving range which features lovely views of the setting sun and Hoboken.
If I don't see you in the future, I'll see you in the pasture: the gigantic restaurant and brewery adjacent to the facility seems like a passion project for the powers-that-be. They clearly had Sunday brunchers and upscale football fans in mind (dark wood, lots of TVs, enormous tanks brewing hoppy beer for another day), but those crowds rarely materialized. It's closed now. Indefinitely. Your best bets for food are the vending machines (credit cards accepted) serving assorted Powerades and various iterations of gorp.
On Friday evenings from 6:30-8, Chelsea Piers hosts an open wine and beer bar with snacks, open hitting on the range, and teaching pros. It costs $30 and you're allowed to have three drinks. It's a gentleman's game. Ladies, too.