half a GT logo out of four, being generous. Sherpa JB asked, "Can we just give it a horn?" That pretty much sums it up. Hoboken Golf scores high on the overpromise/underdeliver scale. Going back to the brochure, "Hoboken and Golf, two words seldom associated with one another..." and probably rightly so. We remain much bigger fans of FSGC.
Hoboken Golf was an effort to reach from Connecticut for part of our foursome, but as Goat Trackers, it's all about effort, occasionally futile effort. We've invested some serious time seeking out other "Virtual Tracks" in addition to our favorite off-season corrugated resort, Fore Seasons Golf Club, just to see what else was out there and that led us to Hoboken.
There was a sense of excitement on several fronts that made this trip most intriguing. Would it be the same sim-golf experience we were used to? Better? Worse? Would Snooki be off her publicity tour and returning home to serve as the BCC (turns out that Snooki's actually from NY, whod've thunkit...)? So many unanswered questions...
There's no need to describe the thrill of venturing into Jersey to anyone who's previously tried to navigate the approaches to the GW bridge or the Tap. Sherpa JB and Golfer Number Two arrived at this golf hot spot well ahead of schedule and, in true Costanza fashion, were excited to get such a good parking spot, not even a half block away from sim-golf nirvana, or so it seemed (of course, the vehicle had to be moved because, to the uninitiated, the on-street parking rules in Hoboken are so complex and inane that you may want to seek legal counsel before leaving your car on the street there).
First impressions of Hoboken Golf were impressive, or at least as impressive as they can be in Hoboken. Somewhat similar to the "Learning Corridor" (f/k/a the "Hooker Corridor") near Goody(2007 Goat Track of the Year), Hoboken Golf is nestled in the "Anger Management Corridor." If smacking a golf ball doesn't work for you, try the kick boxing studio next door. The wording on the awning at 127 Grand St. isn't legible in the pic above right, but it seems that KO Kickboxing has a pretty dedicated following, part of which may be patrons leaving Hoboken Golf, wanting to smack something else.
The early arrival gave Sherpa JB and Golfer Number Two an opportunity to scope out the vicinity and the facility. Ian, the owner/proprietor, assured that this would be an exceptional fake golf experience. "We've been open for seven years; a lot of other places have come and gone in that time."
Despite such assurances, things started to go awry when we received what seemed like a half hour tutorial from Ian on how to use the "improved" simulator. Maybe it was only five minutes, but it still felt like thirty that none of us would ever get back. Delivered with all the enthusiasm of a Ben Stein economics lesson from Ferris Bueller's Day Off (maybe less), it was excruciating and did not set a good tone for what should've been an enjoyable fake round at Pebble.
As aficionados of FSGC, we're accustomed to hitting normal clubs normal distances while playing fake golf. That said, drives over 200 yards were rare in Hoboken, 170 was more common...and frustrating. We asked Ian about this apparent glitch in the "improved simulator software." The response, "I'm a two handicap and it's pretty accurate." On what planet it's accurate remains to be determined, but rest assured our group has never had to bang out approach shots from 200 yards plus on nearly every hole...ever! None of us will ever mistake ourselves for Jamie Sadlowski, but If we didn't know better, we may have done a brief check to make sure our cajones hadn't been removed after hitting such lackluster drives.
When all was said and done, there has never been a more weary group of Trackers; a group of Trackers less enthused about finishing a round, than at Hoboken Golf. Never has there been a foursome so worn out that merely getting up from a couch to play a shot became an unwelcome challenge. When asked, the consensus grade for Hoboken Golf was "F-."
That roughly translates to a rating of...
Hoboken Golf, where else but in Hoboken, New Jersey, 125 Grand St., to be specific. As the brochure says, "Hoboken and Golf...two words seldom associated with one another..."