GREENFIELD — Imagine shanking a golf ball out of bounds 15 yards or so — possibly into the water or woods — without having to chase it. Or picture clipping a dribbler just past the beginner tees without having that embarrassing walk of shame.
With two state-of-the art simulators at Hawk’s Tail Golf Course, players of all ages and skills level can do just that.
The simulator, which allows the course to offer instructional golf without worry of the weather, was installed in October 2014 and has been a welcomed addition to the business course owner Mike Farrer said. Like other sports, those involved in the game of golf have had to keep up with trending technology.
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“It is one of the better simulators out there,” Farrer said. “We have had a lot of newcomers come out who have enjoyed it. Eventually they turn into full-time members year round on the outside course.
“I thought there was a need for them in our area.”
The video-game like simulator is just one way golf course owners like Farrer are attempting to trump the cold, slow business days of winter.
Before the simulator, Farrer said he might find a handful of faithful regulars playing cards during the harsh winter months.
“Now we will have a group of eight to 10 guys back there playing throughout the day on the simulators,” he said.
A projector screen covered by a net displays one of the several holes or courses players can select. Once the ball is rifled towards the screen, the computer program will digest the respective player’s swing mechanics and offers points of advice.
For example, according to Farrer, the program will tell a player’s exact swing speed, whether their club was open or closed and the path of the club head — inside or out.
“It shows the customer right there (what they are doing wrong) and has many different modes, even a driving range,” Farrer said.
It even recognizes a golfer’s handicap and will adjust for such.
The cost is set by the hour — regardless of the amount of players — at 25 dollars before noon, Monday through Thursday, and 30 dollar per hour Monday through Friday after 12 p.m. The cost is 35 dollars on Saturday and Sunday.
Typically, two players can golf nine holes in an hour or less and four players can shoot 18 holes in approximately three hours, Farrer said. The rate is practically the same as the normal course.
Farrer said some have even had birthday parties or other similar gatherings at the course with the simulators, as well. The course also offers in-house and private leagues — all in addition to its standard golf.
On a nice day, players can choose to ride the 18-hole course or sharpen their game on the putting and chipping greens, as well as the outdoor driving range.
Farrer has owned Hawk’s Tail for seven years and has recent experience at Royal Hylands in Knightstown, as well. He has been in the golf business for a total of 22 years he said.
He’s done well in Greenfield thus far, too, as 91 participants have signed up for the Men’s League this summer. The fall simulator league will begin in October with the winter league (second week of January) to follow.
Hawk’s Tail is a par-72 golf course spread over 6,760 yards. Its slope is 122 and its rating is 73.0.