365 days of golf: A Steamboat golf course is introducing a new simulator in January

Steamboat Springs senior golfer Travis Seitz nails a putt at the Steamboat Sailor Invitational at Haymaker Golf Course. With interest in golf on the rise, Haymaker Golf Course will introduce a new state of the art golf simulator in January to offer off-season golfing options for residents of the Yampa Valley.
Shelby Reardon/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Imagine waking up to play a round of golf with some buddies at Pebble Beach and following up with a quick 18 at a course in Germany. This can all be achieved in one afternoon with Haymaker Golf Course’s new golf simulator.

To keep up with the growing interest in the sport, Haymaker will be unveiling a state-of-the-art golf simulator in early January where guests will have a chance to sharpen their skills in the off-season using a virtual screen and simulator. 

Haymaker’s head golf professional Cody Hasten is excited to make the simulator available and sees it as an entertaining new winter season option for the people of the Yampa Valley to enjoy. 

“Especially since the pandemic, golf has exploded,” Hasten said. “Some of the northern states are looking for ways to retain some of the new customers that we have seen in the off-season. This is a great way for golfers to continue playing through the winter.”

The incoming simulator will be a TrackMan 4 launch monitor system that utilizes both radar and camera technology along with a high-definition projector to offer accurate club and ball flight data. 

The graphics on the software are picture-based, meaning TrackMan sent out teams of photographers to take pictures at each golf course and digitally remaster the photos for the video shown on the simulator. 

Over 200 courses are offered through TrackMan, with some of the world’s most famous courses being made available. Hasten says once inside the dark room, it truly feels like an actual round of golf. 

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“TrackMan is really kind of the premiere launch monitor simulator system in the industry,” Hasten said. “All the other simulators compare themselves to TrackMan’s numbers. As far as accuracy goes, it’s the best of the best for launch monitors.”

Above all else, Hasten is excited to make this a social experience where anyone can come with their friends and do anything from hitting balls on the simulated driving range to playing a full round of 18 or taking a golf lesson. 

Haymaker has three PGA certified instructors on staff throughout the winter and will have two days per week dedicated to just instruction as well as several instructing hours in the evenings on weekdays. 

Once launched, reservations for the simulator can be made online, through Haymaker’s website. Rental times are on an hourly basis with prices varying based on experience type.

With a capacity of four to five guests, light snacks and drinks will be available. Guests are welcome to bring their own bag and clubs, but there will be clubs available through Haymaker for those who wish to use some provided by the facility. 

Golf simulators have only grown in popularity over recent years and Hasten says a town like Steamboat really needs it to keep the excitement for the sport alive in the off-season. 

“It’s a fun aspect of the game that really hasn’t been seen up in the valley at least in a social way for playing purposes,” Hasten said. “We’re just really looking forward to extending the season out here at Haymaker and keep people coming out.”

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