What do you get when you combine a high-tech driving range, a sophisticated short-game facility, golf simulators and expert-level instruction?
And then put it all indoors into a music- filled, all-in-one, ultra-cool, ultimate-practice facility? You can wonder no longer. golfstudio, in the Melbourne suburb of Mordialloc has recently opened, and it provides all of that and more.
In truth, it is unlike anything you’ve seen in Australian Golf.
The massive, 1800 square-metre facility is the largest indoor practice facility in Australia, and it offers everything a golfer could want when it comes down to practising and improving their game, or simply having a hit for fun. Over the last decade, golf driving ranges and practice facilities have enjoyed a bit of a high-tech transformation. The once worn-out mats, beaten-up balls and near-grassless ranges have begun to give way to ultra- realistic synthetic grass mats and teeboxes, premium-quality balls, high-tech tracking systems and interactive game-play. And this is no more evident than at golfstudio.
golfstudio offers eight indoor, high-quality tech-enabled “bays”, with a massive 10 metres of space between the mat and the net. This is a significant distance, as, when paired with their brand-new, 3-piece high-quality balls, allows you to get a much better feel for your projected ball flight than you would hitting into a standard practice net or even hitting older golf balls at an outdoor range. You are also hitting off high-quality mats—the Augusta model, which is provided by David Golf. To simulate the feel and performance of actual grass on soil, The Golf Studio has layered the installation of these mats – a rubber base, followed by synthetic grass and the mat on top. This is far more realistic than simply placing the mats on concrete, as is the case at many outdoor driving ranges.
Currently, five of the indoor bays are also equipped with Trackman, the ultra-high-tech ball tracking system that measures every aspect of your swing path, as well as the ball flight, to give you heaps of real-world data. This system is invaluable to golfers and their professionals/instructors to analyse potential swing faults, and implement data-driven solutions. From impact angle, to swing path, to ball and swing speed, the data you can gather about your swing is incredibly useful.
One of the big additions to practice facilities (as well as many clubs throughout the world) in recent times is the super-advanced world of golf simulators – fully-automated computerised systems that allow you to not only hit balls in an indoor “arena” (and even play Virtual Golf on courses across the globe), but also collect Trackman data while viewing projected ball flights and shot grouping. By practising via an indoor simulator, you (and your teaching professional) can identify swing faults, compare your swing with that of your favourite PGA Pro, and even get fit for a better set of clubs. golfstudio currently offers two golf simulators, as well as a secondary coaching unit (a private simulator room, with extensive computers, cameras, coaching tools, etc), giving you plenty of options to get your golf-tech fix.
Of course, the short game is the most important part of any golfer’s game, and golfstudio offers a complete short-game facility to help hone your skills around the green. The huge floor of the facility offers three different types of synthetic grasses to chip from (fairway, first cut and second cut), and a variety of holes that act as targets. There is also, amazingly, an indoor bunker complex, complete with Melbourne Sandbelt sand. The bunker and green took six months to build, and are modelled after the 17th green at neighbouring Woodlands Golf Club (the club is no more than a 3-wood away from Woodlands’ 6th green, and actually has a reciprocal-type of arrangement with Woodlands members, allowing member-guest rates at each facility.)
When it comes to putting, golfstudio offers a solution there as well, with the world’s largest installation of a WellPutt Putting range (The leading brand of indoor putting surfaces) that mimic the feel of actual grass. The range is also equipped with a host of alignment/target aids and tech systems—including the CAPTO system (essentially like a Trackman for putting, offering real-time putting analysis, and measurement of 30 different aspects of your putting) to help you improve your play with the flatstick.
golfstudio Indoor Golf Centre is a membership-based practice facility. Membership rates start at just $20 per week (Bronze Level) which gives you access 5 days a week, 6am -10pm, to the driving range (with unlimited balls), putting and bunkers, Monday-Friday. You can then access the Simulators by paying a member rate.
When you consider that you could spend $10 or more on a single bucket of balls at most ranges, the value at golfstudio is incredible.
Silver ($30/week), Gold ($40/week) and Platinum ($50/week) Memberships are also available, with each offering a variety of benefits. There are also Junior ($8/week), Senior ($30/week), Family (Two adults and two children for $100/week) and Corporate Memberships ($150 /week); offering plenty of options to golfers of all abilities to enjoy the facility.
golfstudio is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to its members. Members get a swipe key-card that allows entry whenever they like. (And don’t worry, there are plenty of security cameras around to ensure safety). So if you’re a late-night or early morning golfer, you can get your practice in whenever it suits your schedule.
And this is but the beginning for golfstudio; there are currently plans to expand the facility with more simulators, a second teaching studio, and other top-secret additions that may come down the track. Lessons are also available, with PGA Pro JD Coulon (formerly of Sandringham Driving range, who, along with David Coulon, and Matt Daly, founded the facility). Unlike many driving ranges, members can book a range or Simulator and bring their own coach, which is a welcome relief from many of the restrictive aspects of some practice facilities. Best of all, the high-tech cameras can capture your swing, save it online, and allow you (and your pro) to analyse video of your swing, and compare swing videos from the past (to check progress or regression).
As a whole, golfstudio simply blew me away. It is truly unique in Australia (and potentially the world), and it is most definitely worth a visit to check it out. And check it out soon, as it will surely become one of Victoria’s most popular golf practice facilities.
It is a real (practice) game changer in the Australian Golf Industry.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
The Golf Studio
14-16 Bond Street, Mordialloc