Staring down the rugged California coastline, Dustin Wilson paid little attention to the Pacific Ocean on his left and drove the ball dead centre down the Pebble Beach fairway.
It’s one of the most famous shots in golf, recognizable by just about anyone who’s ever picked up a club. And Wilson didn’t have to leave the snowy confines of Thunder Bay to make it.
Taking a $25,000 young entrepreneur grant from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation, Wilson launched NWO Golf, introducing FlightScope technology to the city, along with a simulator recreational golfers can rent out to play 80 of the world’s greatest courses, including the most famous of them all, St. Andrew’s.
Wilson, who teaches golf at Whitewater during the summer, said Thunder Bay golfers just weren’t being serviced properly after local courses pull up their flags each fall.
Simulators are all the rage on the pro golf scene.
Tiger Woods, Wilson said, keeps one in his house to use as a training tool, helping him perfect his well-documented swing changes in the comfort of his own home.
While that’s not practical for the average golfer, having access to the technology can make a big difference.
“It tells you spin rates, launch angles, club paths and face angles, anything you need to know about your golf swing,” Wilson said.
He’s already started to notice a difference in his own teaching abilities.
“I’ve learned more about what is reality versus what is feel,” he said.
“A lot of people feel they might be doing something, and then when they go in the system they’re really not. It’s kind of a wake-up call to not only teaching, but to the person, where sometimes the change could be simpler than they think.”
Wilson said sometimes golfers are trying to take in too much information at once, and it doesn’t always benefit their game.
“A lot of guys are reading Golf Digest and listening to the Golf Fix on the Golf Channel, trying to change their swing every week and trying something new. That’s not really helping them because this is a very complex thing,” he said.
“Now you can come out here for an hour, hit balls and see reality-based to feel, so that if you know you’re flipping your hands and curving it too much, you might want to turn your hands a little bit and point your club face down. And you can see the change happen really fast.”
Chris Leitch dreams of playing on the PGA Tour one day. For now the Lakehead University student is content to try his luck as an amateur on the Great Lakes Tour.
FlightScope has become a regular part of his winter training regimen.
“It just gives you information numbers-wise you can’t just get from someone just looking at you. On the range you can’t get ball speed, face angle, your attack angle, or anything like that. It just helps you refine your game, take it to the next level,” Leitch said.
NWO Golf is located in the Lowery’s Sports Dome. For more information contact Wilson at 630-4653 or email@example.com.
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