If you are looking to get yourself a better golf game, or to find your missing midseason form, it might behoove you to check in with our local pros, of which Sterling Farms has several, like Keith Handler, who just shot a 4-under-par 68 at Tashua Knolls on July 8, 2019, to qualify for the 85th Connecticut Open Championship at Torrington C.C. on July 19-21, 2019. Or, you could check in with the sharp-as-a-tack Chris LaPolice. One of my favorites is always on the move: Kent Smith. Kent gets around, and will have you getting around the golf course in a lot fewer strokes. But at the top o’ the leaderboard is none other than Connecticut State Golf Association Hall of Famer Angela Aulenti, who is Sterling Farms’ PGA Director of Golf, and a consummate professional who always has her eye on the prize… you!
Angela, I will assert—and with great confidence, mind you—is all about tunnel-vision-like focus. She zeroes in on what she is doing, and there are no compromises, no matter what!
I try to analogize this quality about her with golf, which is much like when we are standing over our putts, or address our golf ball….
There we are, focused… silent… thinking to ourselves—usually about the dude next to us—don’t you move… not one inch!
We are peering under our visors at that little orb, and the heat and humidity is sweltering, but we are like a steel vice… teeth gnashed… knuckles white… that pellet is going to go exactly where we want it to… or else.
We are zeroed in on the target, or on our ball, in much the same way (I think) Angela focuses on whatever she is doing.
I’ve seen her in action. She gives you her undivided attention. There’s zero compromise in there, no room for negotiation. Done right, or not at all. I think that is why her students feel as if they are the only ones in the circle of orbit around them, when a lesson, or a fitting, is being conducted.
This philosophy is a simple yet often overlooked quality in today’s hurried world, where everyone wants to be an instant billionaire. Nope…not for Angela. For her, it’s one person, one backswing, one subject at a time. She’s very old school Stamford, and she’s worth her salts.
I can see this sort of vibe permeating everywhere on the professional golf side of Planet Sterling Farms. It pervades the inside of the pro shop, where I often find my new best friend, Dave Yoder, or my new Scottish best friends, Helen and Myra, ruling that roost.
It’s clean, it’s direct… it’s all business, and that spirit unfurls itself neatly inside her Aulenti Fitting Studio, which to me, is nothing other than industrial-strength golf! (Talk about an operating room… Holy Cow!)
I first bumped into Angela—literally—when she was attempting to protect me from myself! Someone was inside her Fitting Studio, being…well…fitted. I was curious, but unaware balls were flying around, and at high speed, too!
Well, Angela spared me my life, or at least my well-being, when she helped me back to my sorry little bucket of balls, where I had been flailing away aimlessly, and prevented an errant smack to the side of my noggin in the process. Life really is so easy to misunderstand sometimes. She is a gem.
Now, I’m not going to debate the merits of professional golf instruction. If you don’t believe a golf lesson can help you are completely wrong. It can. End of debate.
Think about it: There’s a reason why every good golfer, from the PGA Tour’s best right on down to the smallest little junior golfers (many of whom will overtake those Tour pros some day), all seek and benefit from the attention and care of a golf professional. Put plainly: It helps!
Each of the teaching pros at Sterling Farms has their own personality, temperament, and way of doing things. And there is no wrong or right, or “better” way. They are not robots, but instead golfers who devote all of their time to the unified goal of helping us. Sure, they sometimes seem like they are murmuring tips to their students under their breath—confidentially. Maybe it’s because they don’t want to intrude on the concentration of others nearby. But I’ve also seen them running kids around on that green to the left of Nos. 15 and 16, barking commands on the right-hand side of the range like drill sergeants. And in either mode, what’s not to appreciate when their focus is on us!?
The price for such lavish attention is pretty reasonable, and you need to check in with the Pro Shop for exact numbers, but as an example: the luxury of a club-fitting is a pretty reasonable $150.
That gets your into that luxe bay, where a custom fitting is done, utilizing that snazzy $25,000 Trackman 4 Doppler radar ball flight launch monitor… among other things.
I’ve been in there… up close and personal. The Aulenti Fitting Studio is in a class all its own. I have seen a few of these places, and if you’ve ever been to one where you are hitting into a white screen, then you know what the value of what is going on at Sterling Farms is, and even Game On up by White Plains doesn’t quite cut it. The Aulenti Fitting Studio really does rock!
Now, a lot of us might be skeptical about club-fitting in general. We also know the coin we need to spend on even a driver can run into big bucks.
Well, then… isn’t it worth trying a whole lot of them? And shafts too? I mean, seriously, think how fickle our games are! Our swings change by the minute. We know there is some form of club and shaft combination out there waiting for us, but what are we doing? Looking in the clearance barrel?
C’mon! Give yourself a fighting chance. Have a look at a new set of irons, woods, wedges, whatever… you only go ’round once… make it count.
Angela Aulenti’s Fitting Studio is cram-packed full of shafts and club heads. She’s got drawers full of them, and they look like diamonds on those shelves, each one of them costing hundreds of
And there’s always new stuff coming in—because her customers, who know quality in product like they know quality in fitting, keep moving the merchandise off the shelves… and that translates into better pricing.
But, quality notwithstanding, her Studio is busy because it is affordable. Her prices are in line with everywhere else, and here’s a kicker: The cost of a fitting drops when you find your Dr. Feel-good optimum combination of club head and shaft, and snag it there, applying that fitting cost to your purchase at the same time. Not bad.
A proper fitting is better than test driving a car, because you get a mind-boggling amount of real-time data while launching one shot after another out onto the range.
That Trackman 4 idly sits there quietly recording your very existence… tallying swing speed, ball speed, smash factor, distance, trajectory, and more…. It’s a lot of feedback, and you are able correlate your feel with the actual visual flight itself, to compare it with your stats… as they accumulate over the course of the hour you are in there getting fitted.
So, if you haven’t treated your game so well, then cut yourself a little slack, and let your hair down and let a pair of trained eyes, and the best that modern-day tech has to offer, help guide you in the right direction.
It’s the height of summer, and there are many months of golf ahead. It’s never too late to turn a new leaf, and give that bag a fresh new lease on golf.
You might even find that midseason form a little sooner, like by September, if you get right to it!
From the desk of Paul grillo, executive director, Stamford Golf Authority
Welcome to Sterling Farms Golfer. Over the past five decades, Sterling Farms has evolved into one of the premiere golf destinations anywhere in the region. We continually strive to maintain, if not exceed, that distinction, and know we owe it all to our Stamford families, friends and neighbors, as well as our patrons like you. Now is the best time of the year to play our spectacular 18 hole championship golf course. Our Golf Course Superintendent, Mike Golden, and his whole team, are leaders in the world of greenkeeping, and we are very proud of the quality of their hard work. I think you'll find our putting greens, fairways, tees, roughs—and every landscape feature here—reflects their devotion and hard work. It is spectacular. Sterling Farms is home to the area's top driving range facility. You won't find a better value, or level of quality, anywhere! We take great pride and joy serving you, and our local community. On behalf of all of us here at Sterling Farms, welcome and thank you!