I have always been a multi sport kinda guy, golf and hockey in the summers, hockey and squash in the winters. Having grown up in a county where there is snow on the ground 5 – 6 months out of the year I never really considered golf as a sport with year round opportunities. Sure, I have gone and hit some balls indoor during the winter and even purchased my own net last year and set it up in the my garage, but it was never the same as actually going out and playing a round of golf.
Through my work at Metcalfe Golf I was put in touch with the owner of an indoor facility in Ottawa’s west end called GolfOMax who was looking for some help getting set up in Social Media. Where GolfOMax differs from other winter golf opportunities is that there are no nets at GolfOMax, rather they have 11 simulators, each loaded with dozens of the worlds greatest golf courses.
The only issue with me coming in to help with their Social Media management was perspective, I had never played golf on a simulator before (although I have hit balls into simulators before, mainly at Golf Town).
Wanting to get an idea of what the company and its clientele was all about I headed over to GolfOMax this past weekend to see the set up and get in a game on the simulator.
After getting the rundown on the establishment by head pro JR Watson it was time to see how my game stood up on the simulator. I started with some practice and a few holes at Cog Hill, before feeling comfortable enough to play an actual round at Banff Springs. I must say I was impressed with the technology, even though I suspect it is not overly true to what you would find on the course. For example you hit the ball about 15 yards further on the simulator and it has a tendency to pick up some weird ball spins (left hand turns in my case). The only part of the experience that is right out of left field is putting. Even after practice and 20 holes or so I couldn’t get the hang of it (luckily the default system setting is 10 foot gimmies). Overall I found it a fun experience and definitely see the appeal. Although not a true round of golf, it does seem like a great way to spend 4 hours with some friends when it is -20 outside.
The GolfOMax facility is pretty great. 11 simulators, multiple big screen tvs, a bar, a lounge area where one could hang out before or after a round. I was trying to explain to someone what it was like and the closest I could get I think was 1/4 bowling alley, 1/4 arcade, 1/4 pub and 1/4 clubhouse.
I am likely to spend a fair amount of time there this winter, so I am hoping to get in some rounds on all the big courses.
See you at the turn,