Birmingham-Southern gets into the swing of things with new golf simulator
If you love video games and golf, then you're in for a treat. Birmingham-Southern's new AboutGolf indoor simulator will allow you to take your video arcade experience up a few notches and play on some of the swankiest courses in the world.
The 10-foot high, 20-foot wide simulator is located in the former racquetball court at the right of the main entrance to the Striplin Fitness Center. Inside, you can play an 18-hole golf course with awesome graphics and hear the sounds of the golf course—from swaying leaves to croaking frogs to water. With the touch of a few buttons, you can choose from more than 100 golf courses around the world.
You might want to play at California's Pebble Beach Golf Course, stand on the 9th tee at St. Andrews in Scotland, or try your hand at a driving range setting. Or if you're feeling really adventurous, you can try hitting from a sand trap on a golf course situated near a lush jungle with a volcano.
“The golf simulator has three cameras that track specially-marked golf balls when hit into a screen at the front,” says Mike Robinson, BSC's director of physical fitness and recreation. “The flight of the ball is then projected on the screen.”
The simulator features several neat touches, including a synthetic tee box and three screens that create a noticeable 3-D effect inside the room. If you're experiencing any frustration with hitting the little white ball while playing, the simulator analyzes and records data from every swing and gives you feedback to help you improve.
With virtual technology becoming so extremely popular, it's no wonder the simulator has already become the hottest new activity on the campus. Still, Robinson says he had no idea the simulator would cause so much excitement among the student body. He's been receiving great feedback from users.
“The simulator has too many cool features to mention; however, my favorite is most definitely the ‘videotrac' playback," says Mark Messenger, a junior accounting major from Sarasota, Fla. “It allows you to review your previous shot from three camera angles. The best part about the simulator is that all skill levels—from veteran player to beginner—will be able to enjoy it. It's simple, yet advanced technology.”
The simulator was installed in December and has been operational since Jan. 11. It was funded by a generous gift from Billy and Nancy McDonald, who are the parents of BSC Director of Donor Relations Maggie McDonald.
Students, faculty, and staff can make reservations for use of the golf simulator by contacting the Striplin Center facility supervisor at x4937 or Robinson at x4936 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The simulator will be available year-round during the hours that the center is open:
Monday through Friday—8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Saturday—10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sunday—2 p.m. to 10 p.m.