Playing Golf Indoors?

Who says you can’t play a round of golf while it is snowing? This past winter, our golf team was fortunate to begin using the new indoor golf facility that is part of several upcoming renovations to one of Swarthmore’s athletic buildings. The first of the completed renovations to the space was the golf room that is nothing short of the best set up that we could have asked for as a team.

Personally, playing golf in college was one of the central things I looked for while narrowing down my list of schools. The team, atmosphere, and environment surrounding this experience were all at the core of things I was looking at when I had the chance to visit schools. And though many are not familiar with what an indoor golf facility offers or even includes, this space is an outstanding, nearly unmatched, area for practicing our game on campus (compared to other spaces that I have seen first hand). 

One of my teammates wrote a piece about the indoor golf facility for the college newspaper, the Phoenix, and his excitement for the room echoes my shared enthusiasm for the new equipment. In fact, I would be hard pressed to find a space this new and updated at our peer D3 schools, and, even several Division 1 schools.

The golf facility features lockers, an indoor simulator, and short game area to work on putting and chipping.

Why does this space mean so much to myself and my teammates? Though it is difficult to appreciate the technology without a familiarity with the sport, the Trackman launch monitor, indoor short game area, and locker facilitates all are top of the line additions right at the heart of campus. As such, when the space opened in 2019, the new year brought us not just a new semester and pre-season to prepare for the spring, but, a new facility in which to prepare.

As an avid golfer and player on the team at Swarthmore, I am excited to highlight this new addition to Swarthmore’s athletic facilities.

The Trackman launch monitor (pictured in the last image above, in front of the tripod) is about the size of a laptop. The small device provides us the ability to hit into the net only several feet in front of us and predict with just about perfect accuracy (within only several yards) just about every valuable data point we could ask for from a golf shot.

How far did that shot go? Did it spin 6400 RPM or 6800 RPM?

Was my clubface two degrees open when I hit the ball? Or was my clubface two degrees closed when I made impact?

The ability to store all of this data and come back to it days, weeks, or even months later is an incredible resource to have when practicing.

Here’s a typical example of the data that the launch monitor provides after hitting several shots.

Though I could go on about the technology (and, as a side note I would love to), the overall impact on our practice and preparation for the season is immeasurable considering the possibilities opened up by this new facility.