I wasn’t sure what to expect when I entered Golf & Body NYC. Who, after all, improves his golf game on the third floor of an office building in Midtown Manhattan?
A lot of people, as it turns out.
Golf & Body NYC is a place you go in order to get into better physical shape and improve your golf game. Can a space marry those skills? Maybe: It offers both fitness and golf equipment, giving its members a country-club experience alongside hitting bays, practice greens and high-definition simulators that measure spin and swing speed, plus a restaurant and lounges.
It provides players who live in the Northeast, where year-round golf isn’t an option, a place to work on their games during a lunch break.
During a visit, the experience begins with a 29-point fitness screening and ends with a diagnostic golf-swing and putting analysis. Alex Harris, a performance coach and trainer, works me through various drills to measure my physical strengths and weaknesses, including flexibility, stability and power. Harris then delivers his analysis to golf director Joe Ostrowski, who puts me through a series of golf tests in the club’s simulators for further swing and putting analysis. The pair then take the combined results to form a program for me based on my goals.
Mark Kirk, a Manhattan resident who’s been a member for two years, came to Golf & Body two years ago with a 14-handicap index. He’s now an 8.7.
“Having a year-round place to go [to] like this, so your sticks don’t sit for months, and having the technology they have here, is so much better than going to a driving range, banging balls and thinking you’re helping your game,’’ Kirk says.
The place is the brainchild of owner Tom Schiff, a former commodities trader from Long Island. Several years ago, he suffered from back problems that prevented him from playing golf and even walking. By chance, he connected with a physical therapist who happened to specialize in golf-specific therapy, and the idea to create Golf & Body dawned on him. He initially opened a small place on Long Island and, about three years ago, opened the current center in Herald Square.
Instructors include some of the most renowned in the area, such as Darrell Kestner from Deepdale Golf Club and Eden Foster from Maidstone Club. But the experience will set you back a lot more than buckets of balls at the driving range — $10,000 for initiation for individual memberships, plus $7,500 annual dues.