A new way to golf

Ondrea Machin, Staff Reporter

COVID-19 hasn’t made it easy for students to participate in recreational sports, but the new Opti2shot golf simulator at the Recreation Center has provided a new way for students to golf.

This new program is fully simulated and allows students to create an account and login to the simulator and choose the course they wish to play.

Sport Clubs Coordinator Samantha Wary said students have the option to choose from 15 different courses, as well as the option to take lessons or just practice. The simulator is open to beginners and experienced golfers.

“One of the reasons that we did choose the Opti2Shot simulator [is] it does help beginners to learn how to golf, so it is open to everyone … and gives you the option for lessons or just practice,” Wary said.

A senior this year and President of the Golf Club Caleb Bryant said the golf simulator runs through a computer program called Opti2Shot and looks like a video game on screen. The mat has built in sensors that track the club and ball to give accurate data as if students were on a real golf course.

“Personally, it helped me to mature a lot, being able to realize you can connect to a completely different group of people that you’re not usually seeing on a day-to-day basis, while also being able to just, you know, do something fun outside,” Bryant said.

Bryant also said that the new simulator gives the Golf Club the opportunity to practice in the winter and gets more students interested in joining the club.

Wary said the new simulator gives students more inclusive access. 

“It gives students the opportunity, who may not be able to afford going to Suncadia or the Ellensburg Golf Course, to continue golfing. It also opens up the possibility to help students learn to golf,” Wary said.

There is limited equipment due to COVID-19 restrictions. Students need to bring their own golf clubs for safety and sanitation reasons and will need to follow mask requirements and social distancing.

For students to be able to play the new simulator, they will need to reserve a 45 minute time slot through the Recreation Center’s online portal. The simulator is available Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 3-5 p.m., and Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to noon.