GOLF: Play all the world's top courses at North Oxford

North Oxford professional Lee Jackson uses the golf simulator which in this instance is portraying the seventh hole at the famous Pebble Beach course in the United States

North Oxford professional Lee Jackson uses the golf simulator which in this instance is portraying the seventh hole at the famous Pebble Beach course in the United States

First published in Sport

GOLF clubs and cutting edge technology do not always go together, but a compiuter innovation is proving a big hit at one of Oxfordshire’s leading clubs.

Last November, North Oxford took the plunge and teamed up with Chalgrove-based Golf Tech Systems to install an indoor golf simulator.

It may have taken a few members by surprise, but the club’s professional Lee Jackson has been delighted with the impact.

“We are a very established club and it’s a big leap,” he said.

“Some of the older school members walk in and think ‘what’s that in the corner?’ “But once they have a go they enjoy it.”

The machine has a variety of uses, from players having a brief warm-up before their round to a course of lessons, where the detailed analysis of shots can be very useful.

But arguably its most valuable asset is ensuring golf can be played whatever the weather.

Jackson said: “We installed the simulator pretty much in time for the bad weather this winter.

“The previous winter we lost lots of days with the snow and ice, when the course was shut for probably close to 30 days in total.

“The club decided they had to do something to keep people playing and an indoor simulator was a good way forward.

“What we have found is when the course was closed, the people that would normally play would come in and play a course in the desert.”

Jackson, whose favourite course on the simulator is Pebble Beach in California, also believes guaranteeing golf year-round helps with member retention.

Golf Tech Systems has designated the club as their first centre of excellence.

The aim is to have one in every county in the UK and interested parties from across the country have come for demonstrations, with the North Oxford club receiving a commission for each simulator sold.

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