The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

December 28, 2012

Indoor golf can cure winter blues

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The Daily Star

---- — This afternoon I entered my yard as my son was getting out of his car. I said to him, “So, how do like my sun tan?”

Ric flashed a puzzled look as if saying, “What in heck are you talking about?”

“Pat and I just got back from playing a round of golf in Florida. It was sunny and warm and I actually shot quite well.”

After that statement he knew I was crazy. That is, until I told him about the computer golf game we played at Colonial Ridge Golf Course outside of Laurens.

Pat and I are very familiar with computerized inter-active sports games. After all, we had a Techno-hunt archery system in our former business for many years before deciding to change our lives.

A few months ago I wrote about technology and the outdoors in a column. I tried to explain how a GPS, a Global Positioning Satellite system, has virtually replaced the map and compass. But it’s much more complex than that.

My wife and I joined an indoor golf league this winter. We thought it would give us something to do and maybe even help when we play golf next spring.

This week we played a spectacular course in Florida. There were plenty of water and sand hazards, making the course quite difficult. Each week we will play a different course.

With any of these computerized systems you use your own clubs and pretty much play as if you were on the real course.

The par-4 first hole measured 398 yards. Using my new driver, I hit one about 230 yards. In reality, the ball traveled 8 feet, striking a heavy screen on which the course is projected.

Pat hit from the women’s tee and put one down the right side of the fairway.

The league uses a captain & crew format, which means your team hits from the best position following the tee shot. We struck our second shots 136 yards from the hole. Once on the green, anything within 6 feet of the cup is considered a gimme. We required five shots to complete the first hole and finished the round with a 4-over-par 40.

Alright, it’s not the real thing, but it’s as close as you’re going to get in Otsego County, especially with 6 inches of snow on the ground.

For those who would rather shoot animals all over the world with your bow and arrow, and not leave the area, you can find a computerized archery system at the West End Archery behind Dunkin Donuts on Chestnut Street. You use your own bow and arrows with special rounded tips to shoot animals that appear on the screen. The computer will mark where your arrow hits and give you a score.

This is a great way to practice. Like the golf simulator, it keeps you using your equipment as well as give you something to do when your regular season is over.

I’ve always said that if you don’t like winter sports you really don’t like winter, but finding something like these computerized systems lets you tolerate the snow and cold a little easier. You might just want to stop in these local businesses and check them out. You really will be amazed.

Rick Brockway writes a weekly outdoors column for The Daily Star. Email him at robrockway@hotmail.com.