...out of 4 GT logo rating; could've easily been 2 out of 4
BVSG, a/k/a Bobby V's Sim Golf (Windsor Locks, Connecticut) Reviewed repeatedly from December, 2014 through February, 2015.
We had the loftiest of expectations for Bobby V's sim golf, thinking that it could (should) be the best sim golf resort on the planet; combining food & grog, a dizzying array of wide screens, paramutel wagering, and, oh yeah, sim golf.
In this neck of the woods, Bobby V is personna non grata among Red Sox fans. Doesn't bother us. We're assuming that while he was working at ESPN, flying in and out of nearby Bradley International Airport on a regular basis, Bobby V was brilliant enough to recognize an opportunity near the Roncari parking lot across the street. And that deserves high marks. The sports bar is great; layout, ambience, menu, service, all that stuff. So good in fact, that we were told that the original Bobby V's in Stamford is being remodeled after this one (no more old baseball cards under plexi-glass on the tables).
With that being said, our maiden voyage to BVSG was something of a cluster; problems with set up, overhead sensors not picking up the golf ball on the mat, etc. After two hours, the natives were understandably restless.
Usually, if a course or sim resort pisses us off once, there is no second bite at the apple on the GT review front. In this case, we gave BVSG the benefit of the doubt because there was some suspended disbelief, i.e, "it can't be this much of a pain in the ass again."
BVSG's second bite at the apple was worse than the first. When the manager left Golfer Number Two a voice mail 20 min. before tee time, or 5 min. before he showed up, to say that the simulator was non-functional, that dog wouldn't hunt. It's not nearly like calling off the Normandy Invasion or a mob hit on short notice, but when the wheels are in motion on several fronts, bringing in Trackers from far and wide for a highly-anticipated round of sim golf, it's difficult to stop that on a dime. Even though we were willing to eat, drink, and play the ponies while waiting for/overseeing the sim repair cluster (which happened too late to do us any good), we were pissed. We've never used the term "mismanagement" in a GT review, but that cluster would've earned it.
Finally, where the rubber meets the road...or in this case, where the surlyn hits the screen. It took a lot of rambling to get here, but it's important to put this simgolf quest in proper context. On our third trip to BVSG, most of the kinks had been worked out. A lot less bitching from the group and the pace of play was in line with (lowered) expectations.
On the spectrum of sim golf resorts that we've played, BVSG is at the high end, if you're focusing on overall surroundings and whether you'll feel "special." The setup has its plusses and minuses. With only one sim booth available, booking a reservation at BVSG may require some planning. On the flip side, when you have that booth secured, it's like having your own club. Once you've been there, you'll appreciate it.
In summary: If you're new to sim golf or even if you've played it elsewhere, we recommend that you make your first trip to BVSG no earlier than Happy Hour, when the resident expert is available; otherwise you may spend a fair amount of time banging your head against a wall, while your prepaid time is ticking away. The staff does its best to be helpful, but that's mainly on the f&b front, not the sim front. Part of the charm that kept us coming back was that BVSG offered something that no other sim resort we've played offers and that is...self-funding sim golf. If you can pick a decent exacta, your sim fun won't cost you a dime; of course you can dig the hole deeper, but that's up to you.
We've been waffling on this GT rating for a while. Using the paramutel lingo tie-in, Bobby V's sim golf sneaks in by a nose with a...