Many schools have great sports facilities. But how many have a year-round indoor golf simulator? See one school's custom golf simulator build start to finish
Oaklawn Academy, an international Catholic boarding school located on Lake Koshkonong in Edgerton, Wis., hosts male students from all over the world.
The school strives to provide high quality facilities, programming and personnel to help their boys transform into Christian leaders. A portion of its programming includes sports such as basketball, soccer, football, swimming and even an archery program. But Fr. Luis Rivero knew there was one area in which the school was lacking.
“We needed a little more space and different activities for the boys to do,” Rivero said. “We have two gyms, we have a swimming pool … We had space for floor hockey, but the boys didn’t quite like it.”
“We were thinking of what we could do that the kids would like and I was having a lot of push from some of the kids that they wanted golf.”
Rivero said the boys, when mentioning golf, were thinking mostly about outdoor golf. Since Wisconsin’s golf season is limited to about 6 months, Rivero thought an indoor hitting room and practice area might be a great idea for the winter.
GOLF SIMULATOR SPACE AND DESIGN
Assistant Director Tom Ryan said the floor hockey space was a perfect area to transform into an indoor golf practice area.
“The ceiling height was perfect. The room size was perfect,” Ryan said. “There are many students here at the academy who love to golf. Some of them are very talented.”
So the academy reached out to Carl’s Place for ideas, and Carl’s Custom Sim Design Service team was happy to put together an initial plan, and a couple revised plans, before sending over a final plan. The final setup for Oaklawn’s school golf simulator included:
Below is one of the renderings before a couple last minute changes.
BENEFITS OF A SCHOOL GOLF SIMULATOR
“This sort of setup is great for teaching students how to play golf,” Ryan said. “It is great for the coach to watch them, how they swing and how they putt. When they do go out to play golf, he can’t watch them all the time because there are (a couple of different foursomes). Here he can bring each one through the simulator and watch how they swing and hit the ball, and then from there he can coach them and they can fine tune and become better golfers.”
Just days in, several students were already enjoying the golf simulators.
CARL’S PLACE EXPERIENCE
Rivero added that he had a pleasant experience with Carl’s Place.
“The follow up with Zach as a main vendor was very good,” Rivero said. “He accommodated all the changes along the way … (Carl’s Place) gave me a timeline that they would be working on the project for 6 weeks, and they called me in the second week and said everything was ready.
“I said, ‘I’m not ready. I don’t have the space ready!’ … I was very surprised and happy. No pieces were missing and everything was very professional.”
Both Rivero and Ryan agreed that this setup will not only provide a unique opportunity for their students, but also improve their abilities.
“It gives you one thing you usually don’t have: the ability to check your swing with a good system and tell the student what they’re doing wrong,” Rivero said.
“We have students who are not used to the cold of Wisconsin, so we have to find activities for them within the building,” Ryan said. “This is a great area for them to see if this is something they would love, and then go on to play golf for the rest of their life.
Ryan added that he would recommend this type of facility or setup to any school or university, especially in climates similar to Wisconsin.
“If a school could offer their students a place to practice and fine tune, I think it would be beneficial,” Ryan said. “Carl’s Place was a great company to work with … very friendly and personable. They gave us a lot of confidence in the product and explanations after the fact. They went above and beyond to make sure we knew how to use the system.”
Check out what Carl’s Place has to offer, and let us know in the comments below about your ideal school setup!