Last week we attended the 2021 PGA Merchandise show; the golfing industry’s flagship annual event. It was online this year because of the COVID pandemic. I’ve attended the event twice before in-person, once with my wife Christine prior to opening our indoor golf venue in 2018, and once again solo in January 2019. The latter was one of my longer travel days; the first flight out of Pearson and the last flight out of Orlando to return home. It was a shorter schedule this time round seated at home, and a taste of the daily online meeting routine so many people are experiencing.
The show is normally a complete sensory feast for hungry golfing appetites, especially at that time of year when you’re getting fired up for the outdoor season ahead in northern climates. This year was certainly no disappointment, particularly in relation to the offering from our indoor golf simulation technology partner, TrackMan. As we’d expect from the world’s leading golf technology company, their series of presentations and Q&A sessions was absolutely first class both in content and delivery. While business for us has unfortunately been shut down for the past ten months because of COVID, it’s clear they have been thinking creatively and working hard in Copenhagen to further develop both the iconic TrackMan 4 radar and the Virtual Golf simulator software. In combination, it’s the indoor golfing world’s premiere technology product.
The list of enhancements and developments is extensive, and we’re excited to present them at our venue when we re-open, and as they roll-out further in later months. TrackMan routinely engages with owners; there’s a two-way flow of ideas driving the evolution of the golf simulator experience. It’s continuously becoming ever more engaging and realistic. In the background, they’ve made huge strides with the radar itself since 2018, even though you can’t see that directly; that’s all about new firmware inside the orange box. The continuously growing course library, built upon the new 4k graphics platform, is stunning. By the end of 2021 we’re expecting 150 courses to be available, and a third of the new courses appearing will be the PGA tour venues that you see on TV. Beyond the spectacular course play and unrivalled practice capabilities, there’s lots of new games and fun indoor golf features to enjoy. Also very exciting, is the prospect of the new TrackMan smartphone app. This will give players access to their history of practice and simulator play. There are so many possibilities with that as it unfolds further. The inter-venue tournament capability is another exciting near-term prospect that will take competitive indoor golf to another level! We also mustn’t forget that AI (called ‘Tracy’!) is now incorporated into TrackMan. There’s a lot to talk about – we’ll present more detail with future blogs and social media posts.
We’re not connected with our customers in-person at the venue right now, so if you have thoughts on the TrackMan golf simulator features you’d like to see, please let us know by email! Send to us at email@example.com
Keith & Christine