Schedule an indoor tee time at the Fieldhouse
November 30, 2012
This summer, Matt Strader walked into a room in a friend’s house and was shown something that would flood his brain with ideas. Inside the room was a golf simulator.
"We started talking and thought this would be really cool if it was on a big blow-up screen," said Strader, the recreation manager for the Basin Fieldhouse. "My mind started going crazy."
A few months later, Strader’s crazy idea came to fruition in the form of a 25-foot-tall projector screen hanging from the ceiling of the Basin Fieldhouse. Now, when the fairways are covered with three feet of snow this winter, golf enthusiasts can create a new kind of tee time for themselves on the new golf simulator at the Fieldhouse.
Register for one-hour tee times on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. to play on courses such as Bethpage Black, Torrey Pines, Golf Club Scottsdale and others. The cost is $12 per person per hour. Strader said the max per group is three people. After testing for the first couple of weeks, a trio realistically can play nine holes in 60 minutes, he said.
"You hit right into the screen with a hard-foam ball. It’s not a real ball, but it’s pretty realistic," he said. "It’s not a top-of-the-line simulator, but it’s good enough for what we’re going to do."
Strader said one of the original issues with the simulator was finding a time for it. With the Fieldhouse becoming prime recreational and workout real estate in the winter, Strader had to figure out an opportune time each week for golf enthusiasts to get in some holes.
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Strader said the screen used for the simulator is the giant screen used for the movies in the park that Basin Rec puts on in the summer months.
"We were just messing around in the Fieldhouse with (the screen) and it worked," he said. "We had an open time in the mornings on Tuesdays and Thursdays and thought it would be a good time to get additional revenue. We messed around with it for about three weeks, tweaking it, testing it, getting feedback, and it’s turned out to be pretty successful."
The process involves a sensor mat hooked up to a computer as well as the screen. Golfers tee off directly into the screen where the distance, strength of shot and angles are read by the sensor.
Strader said the Fieldhouse also has an indoor driving range made up of converted batting cages. He said there is also a chipping area that can be utilized.
"We’ve got some people in here already, but with it being so nice outside, it hasn’t been too crazy yet," he said. "We’ve had people tell us, ‘We’re going to come do this all winter so we don’t have to drive to Salt Lake now.’ I’m guessing in December, January, February, it’s going to be pretty popular."
Visit http://www.basinrecreation.org for more information or call (435) 655-0999 to make reservations.