What do we mean by an indoor golf facility?
Here in New Orleans, that means an Interactive Sports Bar and Lounge.
There are two such types of places we know of in the New Orleans area, both located in Metairie. Loft 18 located on Metairie Road at Causeway and The Flagstick located at Clearview Mall on Veterans Boulevard. In other areas such as Baton Rouge, this could mean Top Golf. Any place with golf simulators or that allows hitting golf balls while out of the elements of cold or rain.
We know what you're thinking, how can this be good practice?
There are three main reasons -
Repetition - The most effective tool for playing golf consistently is muscle memory. Repetition, regardless of your technique allows you to strike the golf ball the same way for maximum effectiveness. An indoor facility with a golf simulator is a great, and fun way, to keep your golf muscles working when outdoor facilities are not available or it is too cold. Many professionals from northern areas where golf is not year-round like it is for us here in south Louisiana use simulators during the winter. The number one reason they use them? Repetition.
Improvement - This is not a joke. Just about all simulators have the ability to give you feedback on your swing. They can show you your path, clubface, and more. That is great feedback for becoming a better golfer. Additionally, there are many p[ractice settings that allow you to change targets to specific yardages. Something that can not be done on a real grass driving range. Say you have trouble with a 50-yard shot, set up a target at that distance, and work on controlling it.
Availability - Indoor facilities are more available than golf courses are. At least in the sense, they can be open day or night, rain or shine, when it is too hot or too cold. With the exception that these places usually do not open until 10 am or later they stay open well after dark and you can still play golf. If you have a bad afternoon round at a golf course but the range is closed due to darkness you can head on over to one of these places to work on things on the simulator.
Other benefits of these places are weekly leagues and the ability to play famous golf courses. Loft 18 at one point did advertise lessons but not sure if they do that anymore. You can also play with up to 8 or 10 people on one simulator. That may sound like a lot but on a simulator, it is much faster than you may think. Another benefit is you can hit your own golf balls and not those hard, ugly, yellow, beat-up range balls.
There are only a few downsides to these places. One is you are hitting off a mat and even though the technology is great and similar to hitting off real turf it is still not real and does not give you feedback like when you hit a shot fat on the grass. The other downside and only in the sense of golf practice is they can get loud like a sports bar if you go in the evening or the weekend. It makes it very fun, but if you try to work on your game and be in your own little world then you would have to be choosey about the times you go.
We will do a review video of Loft 18 or The Flagstick soon.