Golf: New way for golfers to escape the Winter blues | RecordCourier.com

Golf: New way for golfers to escape the Winter blues

by Joey Crandall

Even with the temperatures rising outside, any seasoned Nevadan knows that the odds of winter being over this soon are pretty slim.

Tucked away off Johnson Lane, the Valley Golf Shop is offering a way for area golfers to get out of the cold.

Gary Louie, who bought the business with his wife Renea a little over a year ago, has added new virtual golf techonolgy to his indoor hitting bays that will eventually allow golfers to play courses from around the world right from the back of the shop.

“It’s pretty high-tech,” Louie said. “It’s a lot of fun, and it’s something that you can still do in the winter to keep your swing going.

“Like anything else, it’s a game so it’s not fool proof or anything.”

Basically, Louie has converted one of his three hitting bays to house a large projection screen. A pad with laser sensors imbedded in it takes the place of a tee and drivers are marked with reflective tape so that the sensors can read them.

“The sensors track the face angle and speed of the club,” Louie said. “Really, you wouldn’t even need a ball, but ball makes it real. It gives you something to aim at. It’s the only technology that the PGA Tour will use, so that’s pretty impressive.”

Once a ball is hit, the computer takes over while the canvas catches the ball.

The P3 Pro system projects the path of the ball onto the screen, which displays the surroundings one would see at an actual course.

“Right now, we just have one course – The Highlands Country Club on the East Coast – but the company is working on setting up more courses to play,” Louie said. “You can play EA Sports Tiger Woods on it too. We played 18 holes of that on Saturday and it was pretty fun.”

Right now, Louie is just gauging the interest in the technology around the area but would like to add more fully-outfitted bays in the future.

“It’s going to get better and better,” Louie, who is a PGA professional and licensed USGTF instructor, said. “People are starting to know we’re here. We get a lot of people coming down from Edgewood.

“It’s an improvement tool more than a game. People can come in and hit range balls and really work on refining their swing.”

Louie is hoping to start up a league with the simulator where participants can schedule tee times and their scores would be ranked at the end of the week.

Among the other technologies Valley Golf Shop offers is the Golf Acheive swing analyzer, which is used primarily for club fittings, but is also a swing-refinement tool.

“This is a different technology than the simulator in that it creates a whole laser field that the club travels through,” Louie said. “It tracks the face impact, the speed, the angle and the spin. It’s really pretty in-depth.”

Louie also offers a full-service golf shop with custom club making, apparel, and video analysis.

“We can tape your swing and show it to you compared with the swing of a PGA professional,” Louie said, pulling up footage of tour standout Ernie Els. “People are very visual. I can talk to you all day long, but sometimes you learn best by seeing.”

Valley Golf Shop is located on Angela Court off Nowlin Road behind Line Drive University off Johnson Lane.

For more information, or for tee times, call 267-6940.

— Joey Crandall can be reached at jcrandall@recordcourier.com or at (775) 782-5121, ext. 212.