Are you dreaming of sun-soaked tee-offs and perfectly manicured fairways? Has old man winter taken the wind out of your golf swing?
I must admit, I’m not an avid golfer and could even count the number of times I’ve hit the links on both hands. But in the name of researching local options for winter getaways, I thought indoor golf was something to consider. Golf getaways are one of the most popular vacation choices out there, and avid players rave about indoor simulators as a perfect option to cure your winter golf itch. So, I asked around and hands down, word on the street in the Halton Region, is that The Golfer’s Academy is the place to be.
A short drive from downtown Burlington lead me to Serenity Valley, nestled on 50 acres of the beautiful Niagara Escarpment and home to an intimate fitness and wellness studio as well as The Golfer’s Academy.
Making my way to the back building, I was immediately greeted by Jason Faubert, owner of the Academy (his wife Gina runs the fitness and wellness studio), and two of his golf professionals, Nate Robinson and Alex Fortey. One look around and it was clear, this was a far cry from playing golf in a noisy bar on an unrealistic video game.
The Academy has the charm of an old Scottish clubhouse with pine and stone accents throughout. Adjacent to the cozy lounge area are four private indoor golf rooms featuring extra large bays each equipped with a state-of-the art PGA approved golf simulator. The simulators offer realistic course details and accurate shot reading, and the comprehensive swing analysis provides shot data and ball flight patterns to help you understand your swing and improve your game. (For more information about the Golf Academy’s exclusive ‘SwingScope’ technology click here)
In one of the rooms I meet Tom, Perry and Dan, retired golf pals who are in the midst of virtually playing the TPC Scottsdale in Arizona, one of the stops on the PGA Tour. “We are getting our golf fix at one of the best indoor golf facilities in the country,” says Dan, who came in from Toronto.
The Golfer’s Academy was born out of Faubert’s passion for golf and the influence of a simulator on his game. He originally took up golf to entertain clients and invested in a simulator to help improve his game. On the golf course, his friends took notice of his significant improvement and he knew he was on to something. Now in its third year of business, the Academy offers the perfect indoor facilities to train, practice and play golf all year long.
“I wanted to create an authentic golf experience for golfers at all levels, with a strong focus on providing the tools to really improve your game,” says Faubert. “We want everyone to feel at home here. From novice golfers who can appreciate the privacy of our oversized rooms, to junior players whose parents need not to worry about dropping off their kids at a bar-type setting, and of course our experienced golfers who are looking to perfect their swing in the off season.”
The golf experience goes beyond the simulators. “Our industry-leading simulators are just the beginning”, says Faubert. “Our certified golf professionals offer custom lessons and the onsite golf-specific fitness trainers can assess a golfer’s fitness level and assist on flexibility, posture and balance point.”
All that said, I had to give it a shot. After a swing and a miss, I cracked the ball and waited for some advice from Nate Robinson, the Academy’s Director of Instruction. We watched the video replay and broke down my swing. It was actually pretty cool and the analytics were very helpful. It was a great learning experience and I’m eager to go back and play a full game.