The National Golf Foundation recently released the 2018 Golf Industry Report, which included a hike in off-course participation (range, Topgolf and simulator usage). In 2017, 8.3 million people experienced golf exclusively off-course – which indicates an increased importance to venues such as practice ranges and Topgolf. Of these participants, Young Adults, Women and Non-Caucasian golfers made up the largest percentages. A total of 21.2 million golfers participated in off-course golf experiences.
In April, six-time Major Champion Sir Nick Faldo presided over a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the International Junior Golf Academy’s Performance Training Center at the IJGA headquarters in Bluffton, South Carolina. IJGA recently underwent a $2 million building renovation turning a 20,000 square foot horse barn into a state-of-the-art indoor training facility for junior golfers. Under the direction of British PGA Master Professional and IJGA Director of Golf, Jonathan Yarwood, the new facility includes indoor hitting bays, short game area and a Performance Studio, which houses the Swing Catalyst Force Plate equipment. Golf-centric technical equipment such as TrackMan, BodiTrak, K-Vest and SAM PuttLab provide players with immediate feedback on swing analytics. Outdoors, construction has recently begun on an 18-hole, 9-green, par-3 “Challenge Course” and St. Andrews Links style “Himalayas” putting green located on the grounds of IJGA’s Old Carolina campus.
Casa de Campo Resort & Villas – home to the Caribbean’s premier, luxury golf experiences, including the iconic Teeth of the Dog course – has opened its new world-class Golf Learning Center. The state-of-the-art facility is led by Charlie Epps, renowned instructor and long time coach to two-time major champion Angel Cabrera. Highlighted by Trackman and BODITRAK technology, it features two indoor hitting bays for rapid game improvement, year-round training, individual and group golf lessons and schools, and expert clubfitting and repair. Residing on 21 acres of “pure grass,” the PGA Tour-quality facility also showcases practice greens for honing putting, chipping and pitching games as well as unlimited use of the pristine outdoor range for full shots. On-course instruction is available on the resort’s three PeteDye-designed layouts including celebrated Teeth of the Dog.
B illy Casper Golf, one of the largest privately-owned golf course management companies in the U.S., announces an alliance with Topgolf wherein it will install the company’s Toptracer Range platform, branded as Launchbox Golf, at select BCG facilities nationwide. 1757 Golf Club Dulles, Virginia, is the first BCG course to offer Launchbox Golf powered by Toptracer Range, allowing players to track and analyze every shot hit during practice sessions. Already one of the most popular public courses and practice areas in the Washington, D.C. metro area, 10 hitting bays at 1757 now feature Launchbox Golf powered by Toptracer Range. This premium addition to 1757 pairs with first class food, bar service and a lively vibe.