Abu Dhabi World‘s Colin Armstrong gives golf a go… Kind of
Okay, I have a confession to make: I’ve never really played golf before – at least not the kind that didn’t involve putting a ball through elaborate obstacles with a pirate theme.
I’m Scottish and my homeland invented the game but I’ve never really been that interested in the sport if I tell the truth.
So, I went along to Performance Golf to see what their golf simulator is like, with an aim of learning how to get started in the sport and find out if I’m a natural. Spoiler alert: I’m not.
What is it?
Performance Golf is home to the UAE’s first purpose-built indoor golf simulator, complete with a wall-sized HD screen, cameras, sensors and data analysis.
Ideal for beginners, like me, and golf fanatics who can’t keep off the course, the intricate system helps you assess your posture, swing and technique so you can improve your all-round game.
Players can also simulate a full round of golf on some of the world’s most famous courses like Scotland’s St Andrews and California’s Pebble Beach, or improve their accuracy in a range of skill games, like golf darts, too.
For me, it was all about learning the basics. Using the on-screen cameras, the first thing we did was correct my posture and practise holding the club before we even got around to striking a ball. It’s not easy.
To be honest, it felt a little awkward at first, but after a short time I got into the swing of things (pardon the pun) and was ready to start hitting some balls.
Okay, so I missed the ball a few times, but when I did connect with a shot, the ball would strike the screen and the cameras would calculate the distance the ball would reach, the speed, lie, carry and distance to run from the hole to the millimetre.
It’s impressive technology and a lot of fun to use, plus, getting to see the shores of St Andrews without having to board a flight home definitely put a smile on my face.
What are the benefits?
For beginners, you can learn the sport and start to see improvements quickly as you develop, plus you can take camera footage of your session home to study, helping you to visually understand where you need to make changes.
Even from my short session I saw improvements and enjoyed getting to grips with golf from scratch.
For seasoned pros, you can play a full round of golf on some of the world’s greatest courses for a fraction of the price, and you won’t have to worry about rushing with a horde of impatient golfers behind you. Plus, during the summer when the sun is beating down, you can enjoy a game of golf without enduring the heat on the course.
So if you’ve ever been interested in trying golf or want to take your game to the next level, Performance Golf could be the ideal way to do it.
AED 250 for one-hour session, AED 6,000 for annual membership. Ground floor, International Tennis Centre, Zayed Sports City, Saif Ghubash Street. Sun-Thu 3pm-11pm, Fri-Sat 10.30am-10.30pm. Visit: performancegolfuae.com