Counting down to tee time

Co-directors of Invercargill’s soon-to-open golf simulator Prime Golf  Hayden Sprout (left) and...
Co-directors of Invercargill’s soon-to-open golf simulator Prime Golf Hayden Sprout (left) and Tony Mennell at their Dee St location. PHOTO: BEN TOMSETT
A new business is providing the opportunity for local golfers to play through some of the world’s best golf courses with the comfort of not leaving Southland.

Located on Dee St, Prime Golf is a new venture by local businessmen and golf enthusiasts Hayden Sprout, Steve Jo and Tony Mennell that will feature four state-of-the-art golf simulator bays — as well as food and, if the chips fall into place, potentially a licensed bar.

The simulator bays will feature a screen projection of a course, with the golfer monitored by TrackMan — a device that uses Doppler radar to monitor the launch of a golf ball.

Mr Jo said the group decided to use the TrackMan system as it was known for delivering incredibly accurate data for distance and speed, and had been used by golf pros to analyse their swings.

"It definitely provides those very professional elements to any golfer playing at any level — on top of that, it does have very interactive levels of games that young kids, 5 or 6 years old, can play," he said.

Another element was TrackMan also ran international tournaments within the network.

"For example, there is another club in Queenstown that’s TrackMan-powered, and we will be able to actually run a Queenstown/Invercargill league."

The trio said they were very aware of Invercargill’s rising tourism potential, and hoped to integrate Prime Golf into the city’s changing landscape.

"We have been working very closely with [local hotels] to offer a collaborative package — one example is that we will be providing a Stay and Play package with The Langlands, and will be collaborating with other local restaurants that are within walking distance.

"So while they’re waiting for food, they can come and quickly hit three to five balls for 3 bucks," he said.

Mr Mennell said while they were unable to promise an alcohol license just yet, they were in the process of applying in order for golfers to enjoy a post-match beer.

He said events would be another large facet of the business, with workplaces being able to hire the venue with catering provided.

With much of the equipment yet to be delivered, the co-directors said they were aiming for an early November opening.

"It’s pretty exciting for the city to have another activity for people to go and do," Mr Mennell said.

Updates on Prime Golf’s opening day can be found on social media channels.