By Oliver Lazenby
Golfers can now play year-round in calm, 70-degree weather at world class courses without leaving Whatcom County. Semiahmoo Resort’s new indoor golf simulator opened on February 1, allowing golfers to fine tune their swings and play with friends in a low-pressure environment.
The roughly $40,000 simulator, designed by aboutGolf, features 40 courses that are all modeled after famed courses, including Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill, the Old Course at St. Andrews, Harbour Town and Kiawah Island.
Brett Eaton, director of golf at Semiahmoo, said the simulator is ideal for both a relaxing time with friends, and for a consummate golfer working to improve.
“It’s a relaxing thing to do with friends, family or business associates. It’s great for team building,” he said.
The simulator accommodates a wider range of skill levels than a traditional game of golf, since if you hit a wild shot you don’t have to go marching into the woods or bushes to find your ball.
“There’s no pressure because you’re not continually hitting in front of your friends,” Eaton said. “They don’t have to wait for you, they can be standing around drinking beer, eating snacks and socializing.”
For golfers looking to improve, the simulator offers a controlled environment that delivers a variety of feedback to help take apart your swing.
After Eaton hit a shot with an 8-iron into a sunny island landscape, the simulator reported a variety of information about his shot, including the launch angle, speed and backspin in RPMs – of his ball, the angle of his club when it hit the ball and more.
“You can work with information that you’d otherwise never know,” Eaton said. “It’s just so much to digest.”
The simulator is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week. It costs $40 per hour to rent.
Eaton said it takes a group of four about three hours to play 18 holes.