Indoor Golf, to me, used to mean placing a mug on its side and trying to hole out with a putter from 3 meters. If you were lucky, you might have invited a friend round to the house as a challenger.
These days, Indoor Golf has a completely new meaning entirely.
I first came across Indoor Golf when I visited the NEC Golf exhibition many years ago. It seemed a little surreal back then but also something that was a little exciting.
I have since seen many Golf simulators in lots of different locations like in some high street golf shops, The Old Course Hotel in St Andrews or even London Heathrow Airport. Many modern clubhouses now have indoor golf facilities.
Some facilities have been made up of a few old range mats and a huge net to hit into. These have usually been old tennis halls that were no longer in use.
A true Indoor Golf facility has 1 or 2 simulators, a few mats to hit balls into some netting, a putting green and they usually have somewhere to sit down to relax and have a drink.
One of the largest Indoor Golf facilities that I have ever used was in Vienna. The Golf Halle was a great place for golfers to practice and had over 13,000 members. I have, sadly, heard that this facility has now closed after 14 successful years.
It had a putting green, chipping area, a driving range with 12 mats, a teaching area, several simulators and a cafe.
I would go several days a week throughout the winter months to teach my pupils and to practice my own game. It became my second home in Winter.
What are the advantages of Indoor Golf?
The advantages of taking your game inside is that:
- The weather makes no difference.
- A round of 18 holes takes approx. 2 hours.
- Evening golf in winter is still possible as you are not reliant on daylight.
- The conditions are consistent.
Don’t knock it if you haven’t tried it. The reality is that it can get quite addictive.
What is the future of Indoor Golf?
The world of Indoor Golf is still growing. Every day a new facility appears, somewhere in the world. The technology is improving rapidly too.
I believe that it won’t be long before every country has a new national facility. Somewhere, not just for the elite, but for families and friends to gather for a weekend, or longer and stay in the facilities purpose-built, luxury hotel.
If you haven’t done so already, check out the new vision for the “Indoor Golf Arena” in the Netherlands. It is arenas like these that I can see all over the world.
Another popular version of this new trend is from Topgolf. They are really making an effort in promoting their facilities as a family or friends night out. I guess, like 10 pin bowing used to be in the 80s & 90s.
At least, I think that most clubhouses or pro-shops will have a simulator or something similar set up for the winter months.
Some of the facilities here in Scotland include:
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