...GT logos out of 4, which is the highest rating given to a Sim Resort on the GT site.
(February, 2017) We said that we'd revisit the rating...and we did. On our recent trip to Tee It Up, we didn't play the GSA sim, but asked Kyle about it and he said that they replaced a faulty camera. We were on the sensor-based sim, within earshot of the GSA sim, and the group playing it didn't seem to have any problems with it. We're upgrading the rating for Tee It Up from 3 to...
Tee It Up Indoor Golf Center – Bristol, Connecticut
Reviewed February 2016, with input from Sherpa JB (rating updated February, 2017)
As grizzled veterans of sim golf, correction, “seasoned sim golf enthusiasts,” when we heard about Tee It Up, we were excited; when we checked out their website, we weren’t sure there was much to get excited about. Seemed like touting itself as “Bristol’s Finest Indoor Golf Facility” wasn’t exactly setting the bar all that high, but that’s why we needed to review it.
Tee It Up is located in a slightly re-purposed building in a mainly residential section of Bristol, near the Forestville section. It may seem like it’s tucked away, but it’s easily accessible from I-84 and other suburban points West of the River.
First impressions: Maybe it’s just us, but walking into Tee It Up provided the “perfect tone setter,“ as Sherpa JB likes to say. Unlike most sim places, the entrance here is set up like a pro shop, which automatically takes you to a warmer climate during the dead of winter. Once through the door, after doing a quick visual scan of the trophies and other memorabilia displayed, we were greeted by someone who may as well have been our grandmother. If there were an apple pie cooling on the counter, we wouldn’t have been surprised. In short, she’s a great ambassador for this family-run establishment; most pleasant and charming.
Before You Can Peg Up: This threw us off a bit, but the message was delivered by the right messenger. On your first trip to Tee It Up, you need to sign a waiver and allow them to make a copy of your driver’s license…for insurance purposes…keeps the rates down, so we’re told. Fair enough; we’ve signed plenty of waivers for carts when it looked like we could cause trouble.
Another unique pre-tee twist at Tee It Up is that, on your first trip to the sim booth, you need to set up a player profile, so golfing in anonymity isn’t going to happen here. You get walked through the process by Kyle, who helps run things. Basically you just input what clubs you have in your bag.
The Sim Environment: Tee It Up offers three simulators: two using the Pro-Tee (sensor-based) technology and one using GSA (camera-based) technology. We played Big Sur on the GSA sim. Two of the simulators are back-to-back (one Pro-Tee, one GSA) in the same room with a countertop separating them (you have to put your beverages somewhere) and bar stools on either side of it. If you want sim-privacy and/or have Golf Course Tourette’s, you may not enjoy this setup, but we didn’t have a problem with it.
What we refer to as the “Luxury Suite” is the Pro-Tee simulator on the other side of the hallway, complete with comfy chairs, a couch, etc.; the only thing missing is a fireplace. The tradeoff here is that it’s the sim suite closest to the restrooms.
The Sim Experience: Tee It Up offers a diverse range of course choices, with plenty of layouts in warm climates if you’re trying to up the level of golf escapism while otherwise freezing your ass off. One of the things we like about the TeeItUpBristol website is that it gives you a description of the courses offered, as well as a difficulty rating. Great idea.
Similar to Fore Seasons in Bethany, if you’re using the GSA setup at Tee It Up, someone in your group needs to handle the control board while others are hitting. The screen suggests your club selection, which occasionally needs to be adjusted at the control panel.
Down to Brass Tacks: For us, it all starts with putting. As anyone who’s played sim before knows, sim putting is a ginormous time suck. You can program it out completely here, but we found a happy medium with the one-putt option. Putt once to see if you can hole out or get within the 10-foot gimmie distance, then let the auto-putt function take over.
Other on-course minutiae
Forgiving Tree Lines: In our round at Big Sur, one thing we noticed was that we could send drives screaming into tree lines that would’ve normally had us yelling, “Oh, shit!” only to see most of them come out unscathed, despite how they looked on the screen. Maybe the trees were really short or the software was really forgiving. The point is that based on the way it’s set up, the tree lines won’t do you much harm, so feel free to hammer away. Of course, the water hazards don't offer the same wiggle room.
On Course Commentary: We’ve almost never enjoyed it this much, but the syrupy, cheesy DJ voice that pops out of the speakers to say, “good shot” or “birdie opportunity” is just perfect for sim.
In summary: We weren’t sure what to expect from Tee It Up, but we liked it enough to want to return. The only “sim issue” we had was that we needed to re-tee a bunch of shots, but Kyle said he’d take a look at the sim settings to see if it was fixable (or user error; impossible). Despite having to re-tee a bunch of shots, our pace of play was a marginally respectable 1 hour per person to play 18. We really like the set up and everyone who helped us get set up. Tee It Up also scores pretty well on the GT Value Proposition scale; the fees are very reasonable.
As we’ve noted in other GT reviews, “It’s good to combine things.” If you’d like to combine sim golf, pizza, and tattoos/body art without moving your car, you can do it here. One-stop shopping convenience aside, we’re giving Tee It Up a...
...out of 4 GT logo rating. If we can sort through/resolve the pace of play killer known as "shots not registered," we may be able to upgrade the review to 3 1/2 out of 4, which is uncharted territory on the Sim front.