The ‘Don’ Thing – Simulator Series

Lyall Jardine, of the Doncaster Golf Range, invested in the Foresight GC2 after he had read about the simulator in the September issue of GOLF RETAILING

When Lyall Jardine took on the tenancy of the 25-bay Doncaster Golf Range in May, one of his first concerns was to ensure he could maintain his revenue throughout the winter months.

He believes he has achieved that by investing in a Foresight Sports GC2 simulator, which is being installed in his pro shop and which he is hoping to have fully operational before the proverbial partridge sits in the pear tree.

“I’m now renting the range from the owners, who ran it previously, and my initial concern was the winter,” starts Jardine, 40, who qualified as a PGA pro in 1998 and has been at the Yorkshire venue for the last 13 years. “When the white stuff’s on the ground you pretty much can’t play at all. In the Doncaster area there are a couple of big retailers but nobody had the full simulator, so I was keen to be the first in the area. Pretty much my first thought when I took over was to get a simulator in to combat the bad weather.

“We will be setting four levels of membership – and the gold and platinum memberships will have time on the simulator built in each month for a free lesson. But it will be used in three ways: my coaching during the winter months; fitting will be a massive thing to take a jump on the competition; and having people playing on the simulator in competition. To have the facility to offer play on 25 of the world’s best courses when it’s snowing outside is quite an attractive proposition.

“The idea is obviously to create extra income, particularly at quiet times like the winter when you need to know you have monthly income.”

An easy decision

Lyall Jardine - Doncaster Driving Range

Jardine wasted no time in settling on a Foresight Sports GC2-driven simulator and the installation team are about to start work.

“I’d seen the GC2 in action previously and been impressed with it,” adds Jardine. “I went with a tour player who was having a fitting session on a GC2 when it first came out. I was very happy with that and it seemed the best on the market. You could waste a lot of time looking at other things, but the bottom line is that, with all the recommendations Foresight and GC2 has had, it seems it’s the best – and I wanted to go for the best.

“It’s going to be in our shop, which is a reasonable size. We used to have an office-type area on the left-hand side which is where the simulator will be installed. The room – as it will be – will measure 3.8m x 5.5m and, because we couldn’t get the end wall any higher than it is, Foresight Sports is making a bespoke screen for me, which is a massive selling point for the product, in that it doesn’t have to be a specific height for it to work – it can be altered to suit the premises.”

Although no official opening date has been set, the affable Jardine is making plans for the style of launch he wants.

“I’m trying to coincide the launch of the simulator with the new website and the new membership scheme,” he says. “But I don’t want to open it up if it’s not fully operational or if there’s still some making good to be done. I’m hoping to organise a launch night with a member of the European Tour and, maybe, have a longest-drive or nearest-the-pin competition to highlight it to visitors. We’re hopeful it will be open before Christmas, but obviously it depends on the installation.”

The scheduled swift turnaround and installation by the Foresight Sports team is additionally impressive given that Jardine finally made the big decision to spend the money only after reading about the product again in the first edition of GOLF RETAILING, in which the GR Simulator Series was launched.

“Installing a simulator was already on my mind,” explains Jardine, “but I saw GOLF RETAILING magazine and one of my business colleagues said he felt we should get on board straight away before somebody else does. So, while I would probably have been making enquiries, the magazine was the catalyst for the purchase.”

Which just goes to show, it’s still not too late to guarantee your winter revenue for 2014.

For further information call 0845 644 3870 or email info@foresightsports.eu