Are Golf Simulators the way of the future?

By Anthony Barkley
NZPGA Professional

It’s been a crazy month for us here at 100% Golf ltd as not only are we preparing for the Lions Rugby Tour invasion but also finishing our new golf studio here at the shop. Golf studio’s (or more Golf Simulators) are a bit of a growth industry currently as many are setting up in garages for home use. My wife refers to ours as my man cave but of course I look at it as an asset. They do come at an expense once you add the software, radar technology and general build that could add up to around $20000 (thankfully I managed a sponsor “Insurance Towers”) but I have become a fan.
Why my wife thinks it’s a man cave is that I love playing the simulator courses. Funny enough it’s actually motivated me to play again as I had a small lay off from playing. I now get why people want to have one at their home and starting to realise why it’s such an important asset for our business.
With the studio initial thought was to create an area indoors we can use to club fit and coach. The simulator play was supposed to be added later but it was so good we added it at the start.
I can just imagine people coming down here in their lunch break, ordering a coffee and some lunch and playing a few holes then head back to work knowing they got their golf fix. With regular golfers playing 18 holes takes around 1 hour with the computer working out the amount of putts for each person. It’s quite fun when they give you a 10 foot birdie but not so good when you 3 putt from 30 feet from time to time. Chipping is a challenge to judge the distance but isn’t it like that normally anyway?
So I am hooked but it’s not only the play that has increased my motivation. The club fitting element is very practical now where we can establish correct specs for players indoors then if we need to can move outdoors to test more. I guess an advantage of having it here at a club.
Coaching is an area that I will also use the studio to establish patterns, record improvement data, track player progress and get more accurate feedback as to swing and ball elements. Video can also used and no more cancelled lessons because of rain will be a bonus.

So you can likely tell I am over the moon with the studio we have created. It also means I can do some more testing of equipment and create more online videos. I never like hearing my own voice but it’s a chance to help golfers out there if I can.

So if you are looking at setting up a Simulator yourself look seriously at using a known supplier. Golf Technologies have been awesome with me and are also the ones I purchased my FlightScope from. Blakies Agencies also builds these using a different system. A tip to save money is to do most of the work yourself in regards to setting up screen, safety, painting and set up. You may need these guys for the technical issuesand advice as there are lots of aspects that pop up along the journey.
Pop in to have a look or book in for a play here in Rotorua or look for our videos online.

Sarah HeadComment