From the moment you first walk in, you are impressed by the sheer size of the facility. You immediately see the huge putting green in the center of the room. You then notice the gym and the simulators, the practice bays and meetings rooms. Basically, there are an endless number of things to do here at Golf 365. So, what better way than to introduce you to the facility than talk about all the great features they have to offer.
If you are not sure where Golf 365 is, it’s located within the Hamilton County Sports Complex on Indy’s north side. The easiest way to get here is head up north on State Road 37, turn right onto 146th street, and then an immediate left onto North Point Boulevard. You will notice the complex there on your right hand side. (It’s behind Index Traub and Innovative Cabinets & Closets. You can click here for map and directions.)
Nike Pro Shop
When you first walk in, to your left you will find the Nike Pro Shop. Here you can browse through tons of golf clubs, apparel, golf bags, golf shoes, and much more. All of the equipment back here is Nike, but that’s okay, Tiger Woods uses Nike equipment. The space isn’t that big, but they have a handful of things to pick through and are always running specials on merchandise.
You can also buy gear with the Golf 365 logo on it. For instance, I was looking at a Nike hat the other day that had the Golf 365 logo on it, and if you have not seen the logo, it’s sick. I love the logo. (If you meet Sam or Scott while you are in, chances are their shirt will have the logo on it as well.)
The benefit of having a Nike pro shop on-site is the demo days. The Nike representative is already starting to plan demo days where he will showcase new products, let folks hit the new clubs, perhaps even give away some goodies. The first demo day is actually coming up here before too long, shortly after their grand opening. Make sure to check their website for additional information and upcoming events.
Custom Club & Putter Fitting
If you are really starting to get into the game of golf and want to take your game to the next level, perhaps it’s time to get your clubs custom fit. You can get the shafts cut down, get the lie angle adjusted, and more here on-site. They have a club maker on staff to handle all of those requests, and you can get crazy with launch angle, loft, and more. Hence the simulators, which I will introduce to you here in a little bit.
You can also get your putter custom fit. I have never had my putter custom fit before, but perhaps I should look into that. Especially considering how many putts I miss on a regular basis.
They have some extremely sophisticated software on hand to help fit your clubs to perfection. And, the joy of having this on-site is that if you get your clubs fit and hit them in the simulator and need some minor (or even major) adjustments, it’s not far to go for a solution.
Do you like to work out? Lift weights and do cardio? Well, here at Golf 365 members have the luxury of an on-site gym. There are treadmills, weight machines, exercise balls, and more. Considering how much it costs to get a membership at any given gym, this is a value. This is great for guys who want to work on their entire game, too. I think this will be crucial in the winter months, when you are down and out because of the weather. Come in, run a few miles, pump some iron, hit some balls… it’s all here. They are also working on hiring a fitness trainer so you can have the true one-on-one experience with your goals in the gym.
The putting green is huge! It takes up a ton of space and is conveniently located in the center of the building. It’s pretty accurate too, and rolls like a nice green would on the outside. There are a handful of holes already in place, and it gives you the feeling of short three-foot putts to longer, more challenging breaking putts. You can even set this up as a putting course, where you play nine or eighteen holes going from one hole to the next.
The next time you want to work on your putting stroke, this is a great place to get it done. The green is large enough to entertain five or more folks, and there are plenty of holes to encourage a challenge. There used to be an area where you could chip, even hit out of a man-made sand trap, but that has since been replaced. (Apparently there used to be a huge black net that hung around the green keeping the balls in control of the end user.)
You won’t get a ton of work done on moving greens, as the breaks are somewhat weak, but that’s not the point in my opinion. It gets a putter in your hand, and gives you the chance to work on your short stroke. It’s also a great place to kill some time.
When you first walk in, you see a couple of offices and meeting rooms on the right. You also see a huge boardroom at the very back of the facility. There you will also see a U-shaped table with comfy chairs, and a large projector screen showing, well, usually golf. If not golf, you can bet there will be some sort of sporting event on display.
The meeting rooms are available for members to use for off-site meetings or events that will showcase the facility. Seeing the meeting room at the back of the facility reminds me of the meeting rooms at Scotty’s Brewhouse here in Indianapolis. I have had several events at these locations and have entertained groups as small as five to as larger as thirty-five. The conference room at the back of Golf 365 holds about twenty-five people the way it is currently set up. (Please note that they can change the setup to accommodate more, but the seating arrangements will be more classroom-style) than in the typical U-shape that is currently set up.
Practice Hitting Bays
There is only one, but it’s got a lot of stuff going on. First off, there are targets hanging on the wall. You hit balls (actual golf balls mind you) into the net, and can use the targets as a way to aim at something. This is a good way to just work on your extension or your hip rotating. If you want a little more detailed training, grab one of the many training aids that are lying on the floor in here. You can hit balls all day long if you want, and the net actually encourages a roll back. So imagine hitting balls and never having to pick them up!
Also in this room is a large uneven hitting mat. This allows you to work on your uneven lies. You can again hit balls from this, but depending on the angle you are trying to work on, it’s tough to get the ball to stay on the mat with you. But with a little creativity, you can figure it out.
Automatic Tee Hitting Bays
There are two of these guys, and I am beyond impressed with them. Imagine being able to hit balls without having to bend over and tee it up. That’s where the automatic bays come into play. You walk in, turn on the timer, and the balls will automatically tee up for you every time you hit. So hit a ball… wait a few seconds… and hit again. They literally tee up faster than you can hit them. This is a great way for you to work on muscle memory and to lock something in you have figured out on the range or through other training aids.
But the ball is on a tee, right? Yes, it is. Let’s say you want to lower the tee. Or perhaps you want to raise the tee and hit a driver. It’s pretty simple, as right behind the ball are two censors that control the height of the tee. One censor moves the tee up; the other moves the ball down. It’s pretty sick, and the first time you see it, you might be more apt to play with that than actually hit balls. Again, it’s a great way to hit a lot of balls without much effort, while working on muscle memory and focusing on the swing rather than the logistics.
PGA Tour Simulators
It’s winter. It’s cold, snowing, and the wind is blowing like crazy. No golf today. But wait, I just played Pebble Beach and TPC Scottsdale. That’s because there are four PGA Tour simulators here at Golf 365. And these things are impressive. These are brand new, have the latest software and course packs, and utilize two high-speed cameras to capture all kinds of ball data. The camera will capture club head speed, ball speed, launch angle, spin, distance, trajectory, and much more.
Before I get to the actual golf courses, let’s focus on the driving range. You can literally hit a ton of balls and let the machine do the work for you. It shows you on a driving range (the graphics are pretty slick) and you can even choose different camera angles for the ball to follow once you hit. I like to use the ball camera so the camera goes with you.
If you are sick of the range, then let’s go play TPC Sawgrass. Or maybe Bay Harbor. All of these courses and more are already loaded in. There are actually fifty some courses loaded in for you to choose from. They are run from a touch screen monitor attached to your bay, and you can hit the course at your leisure. Let’s play Pebble Beach for the sake of argument.
You step to the tee, and sure enough there is a tee in the ground waiting for you. Tee it, move it up or down based on your preference, and let it fly. From there, the ball will hopefully land in the fairway. If not, you will know it. There are tons of great sound effects, even wildlife and the wind (depending on how hard you have the wind actually blowing on the round) in your eardrums. It’s really an overload of information as it tries to replicate what you would experience in real life.
Now you are 150 yards out. Grab the club that you think you would hit 150 yards, as the same cameras you were using on the driving range you are using here on the course. Hit your shot, and grab your putter. (Of course, you have to hit the green first!)
From where you place the ball to the screen that you are smoking balls into is about fifteen feet. From there, judge the speed and the break and make your putt. It does take a few putts to get used to it, but it’s pretty solid once you figure it out. If the putt is three feet, then it’s like the putt is going to go three feet. It’s very accurate. You get a sweet little sound once you make the putt, too.
Locker Rooms & Restrooms
If you come in, run a few miles, get all hot and sweaty, maybe you want to take a quick shower. At the very back of the facility, there are men and women’s locker rooms. Not only are there toilets in here, but also showers and… you guessed it, lockers. So if you are planning on spending the day here, throw your stuff in the locker and rest assured it’s safe.
I was impressed with the restrooms as well. They are very nice, seemingly newly remodeled, and don’t remind me of a gym or YMCA locker room. (Of course, that would mean I go to the gym enough to know what their locker rooms actually look like!)
Caddy Snax Café
Hungry? Walk over to Caddy Snax Café, where they are serving up hot and cold sandwiches, pretzels, burgers and more. They even have clever names for their food, like the Back Swing Burger and the Pretzel Club House. It just fits the mentality of the establishment.
They also have a wide range of beverages, such as a Pepsi machine as well as coffee, and a wide range of bottled beers and sports drinks. I am sipping on a Two Hearted Ale while I type this blog post. They also have Corona, Blue Moon, Miller MGD 64, and even Fat Tire. Their prices are pretty reasonable as well. Look for them to begin offering daily drink and food specials soon as well. I was chatting with Scott Diehl and he said they wanted to do Mulligan Mondays, Tee Off Tuesdays… you get the idea.
Whether you want to work on your game, or just have fun with your friends, Golf 365 is the place for you. Sure, it’s a great place to get in shape and work on the game that brought you here. But it’s not meant to be just that. It’s intended to be an entertainment center. You can come here, have lunch, and watch some of the NCAA tournament and never put a club in your hands.
Just so you know, Sam Foley works with Chad Collins, a PGA Tour player. A couple of weeks ago Chad came in and spent a few hours on the simulators learning more about his game and helping him lock some stuff in for the next week on tour.
What are you waiting for? Golf 365 is now open and is ready to show you what the greatest game of all time is all about. Rain or shine, Golf 365.