Taking the game indoors

Photo Courtesy of Darcy Myers The Aviara Golf Club in Carlsbad, Calif., which was designed by Arnold Palmer, is among the courses that can be selected for use on the new golf simulator at Cooke Municipal Golf Course.

Newly installed simulator proving to be a popular addition at Cooke Municipal Golf Course

In normal times, golfers in Prince Albert and the surrounding area who needed to hit the links would have to cross the border to enjoy one of the courses in the United States.

However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing restrictions that come with cross the border, those who enjoy the sport have found new avenues to keep busy.

One way that golfers have kept playing this year is through simulators, such as the Golf In simulator that the Cooke Municipal Golf Course opened up earlier this month.

“This was actually something that we had been looking at doing for a couple of years now, but with the way that things have gone over the last years, we decided to go ahead with it,” Cooke Municipal Golf Course head professional Darcy Myers said. “We had actually ordered back in August, but with such a high demand for the product, it took until just before Christmas for it to arrive.

“With the travel restrictions and everything else that’s been happening, people are sticking close to home this year and they are trying to find things to do. I know a course in Regina got some simulators and Saskatoon has some as well, so they are starting to pop up all over the province and I think golfers are finding the medicine that they are looking for.”

While Myers expected the simulator to be busy once it opened for operation, it’s proven to be more popular than expected as tee sheets are currently filled up a week ahead.

“We’ve seen a lot of people that we don’t normally see here, which I think is a good thing for us,” Myers said. “We’ve had a real mix of people try the simulator so far as well, whether it be friends, families or couples wanting to try it out.

“Prince Albert hasn’t had something like this for awhile and we’re happy to be involved with it. It has proven to be a big hit so far and we’re hoping to expand on that in the future.”

The simulator, which is located below Darcy’s Golf Shop, features 99 different courses to choose from, such as Pebble Beach Golf Links (home of the 2019 US Open) and Bethpage Black (home of the 2019 PGA Championship).

“A lot of these courses are very challenging and the simulator gives you a real perspective of what the courses are like and just how good the players are that get to play on them in real life,” Myers said.

The current plan is for the simulator to remain open until the course opens up for business this spring, though there is a chance that it could still be operational during the rest of the year.

“It really depends on the demand for it and what restrictions are going to be in place this spring once we get back going,” Myers said.

In addition to calling the course to set up a tee time, indoor shoes and masks are required for each group, which consists of four people for or less.

For more information on the simulator, call Darcy’s Pro Shop at 306-763-2502.