Golf the world 

Daniel Bilodeau Golf Academy at Golf Le Diable. ©Gary Yee (garyphoto.ca)

Breaking news! Mont-Tremblant now has over 137 new golf courses!

While the Diable, Le Géant and Le Maître rank in the top 100 golf courses in Canada, they are now joined by The Old Course, Pinehurst, and Pebble Beach. All you have to do is visit the Golf Academy at the Diable. There you will find the most amazing virtual golf centre.

The owner and head teaching professional, Dan Bilodeau, recently took me on a world tour of golf courses. This is made possible by two installations of cutting-edge virtual technology from Trackman, a leading provider of simulators.

Before I get into how impressive and fun it is, I must make a confession. I am a 15 handicap. In other words, I’m a recreational golfer who looks forward to a hamburger after the 9th hole and a drink at the 19th. This virtual golf experience will appeal to golfers of all levels. You can play a fun round on the course of your choice or you can use the robust analysis of your swing to improve your game. Dan started me on the virtual practice range. At first, I was hesitant to hit a golf ball into the screen but once past that, you hit hard. And in my case, extremely badly.

Trackman indoor golf at Academie Dan Bilodeau. ©Gary Yee (garyphoto.ca)

The screen is brilliant in its size and detail. There I stood, 80 yards out with a water hazard in front of me. Feeling confident and relaxed, I hit five consecutive balls into the water. That is what I call virtual reality. I would have done the same on a real course. And that’s what is fantastic about the technology: it feels very real.

Dan then had me hit five drives. The shot analysis that appears onscreen is robust. There are over 16 measurements including club speed, spin rate, and launch direction. Incredibly, it displayed where the ball connected on my driver.

Following my experience, I received an email report detailing my performance… which I instantly deleted. All joking aside, it will appeal to those who want to improve.

Next, Dan took me to the Albany Golf Club in the Bahamas. Virtually, that is. This was both challenging and entertaining. The technology provides a truly immersive experience. It is satisfying to follow the path of the drive, the arc of the pitch, and the roll of the putt.

You can play for fun or monitor statistics and feedback. There is an app that holds all of your golf rounds so you can visually see your shots and have a record of statistics. If you want to have fun in a foursome, there are games including capture the flag, closest to the pin, and bullseye.

The cost is $45 per hour whether there are one or four golfers. Residents receive a 15 per cent discount. Two people playing a course should book for three hours. Dan offers instruction and I benefitted from his expertise. In the new year, he has plans to schedule fun monthly tournaments and club fittings.

You can bring your own clubs – just make sure they are clean – or there are rentals. You will need a new, white ball and should wear sneakers, as cleated golf shoes are not allowed.

Playing our local courses is a great pleasure, and now I can travel to the best courses around the world, as well. I plan to visit Royal Troon, Spyglass Hill and Wörthsee. With three new courses added every month, it will be hard to play them all.

I have saved the best for last, when it comes to virtual golf there is one big benefit. You never lose a ball.

 

More from this author by clicking on his photo below.

Jeff Swystun

 

Jeff Swystun34 Posts

Conférencier prolifique et écrivain, Jeff a donné plus de 115 conférences dans 25 pays. L'expertise de Jeff en matière de stratégie d'entreprise, de stratégie de marque et de marketing a mené à l'ouverture de Swystun Communications en 2012. / A prolific speaker and writer, Jeff has appeared at over 115 conferences in over 25 countries. Jeff’s expertise in business strategy, branding and marketing led to the opening of Swystun Communications in 2012. SC is a boutique agency focused on the intersection of business and brand strategy.

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