Virtual golf in the wonderful warmth

Clover Links Golf Simulation opens to eager enthusiasts amid frigid temperatures


It might be minus 30 outside, but you can still go golfing in Killarney.

Not only that, but you can play on 150,000 different premium golf courses all across the world. It’s a golfer’s dream, and it all started with the need for extra office space.

“The plan was to buy a building so we could move our offices to the front,” said Andrew Lochhead, who currently runs his IG Wealth Management office, along with Darren Zarn, in the Killarney Place mall. “We found a spot here with a little extra playroom in the back. And we had the ability to put in some dream-fulfilling golf simulators, which I’ve been looking forward to for the last couple of years.” 

Lochhead, who purchased the Celtic Training Centre building from Dean and Val Kachur, started renovating the backroom workout space into a golfer’s wintertime oasis last month. It’s located behind the mall, at 517 Williams Avenue, and it’s just what the golf doctor ordered.

“The main area used to be a gym, so it’s a nice big open area with lots of tall ceilings, which is exactly what you need to swing a golf club,” said Lochhead, who had never used a golf simulator until he set his up a few days ago. “I had a little spot in my garage that I was eventually going to put a personal simulator in, and I decided if I could do something a little bigger, and do commercial, then it would be much easier, and I don’t have to keep moving my vehicles out of the garage all the time.” 

There are two golf simulators set up on different ends of the building, so two different groups can play at the same time, on whatever course their hearts desire.

“We put in two 12’ x 9’ premium impact screens that you can hit into, that have 4K projectors, so you get amazing graphics,” said Lochhead. “There are two simulators with 3,000 per second cameras that are monitoring the ball and the club. The simulator actually monitors the club head hitting the ball, and then the spin of the ball. It’s literally all about the contact of the ball.” 

Golfers use their own clubs and they analyze their shots, just like on the golf course. The only difference is you can’t lose your balls.

“There’s a big screen for each simulator that has your swing analytics, so you can watch it live,” he said. “Then there’s also a screen in the middle that will have TV for sports, and then there’s another TV on the side in the lounge area that will also have sports and other things.” 

There are a few more games in the lounge too, like foosball, darts and cribbage. Plus some couches and chairs, and a vending machine with snacks and drinks.

Back on the adjacent course is 1,150 square feet of gorgeous green turf. 

“It’s a giant putting green, and chipping green, and it looks like a golf course,” said Lochhead. “With the putting, you just put the ball down in the same spot, and it’ll show you on the screen the break of the green and how far to the hole. If you have a 20-foot putt, you just have to gauge it so you’re hitting it 20 feet. It’s a game. So you need to figure out how the game works. But you get so addicted and drawn into the game because it’s a giant 4K screen. You’re live in golf, in the winter.”

From St. Andrews to Augusta to Pebble Beach, you can golf almost anywhere in the world. 

“You can watch live golf on TV, and you can actually be golfing that same course on the PGA,” he added. “The whole thing could be rented out as one, for bachelor parties, birthday parties, whatever you want. You can bring in your own food, and you can basically have your own little party.” 

Lochhead is ecstatic that his original plan to find more office space for their growing financial planning business has become another great little venture, which just happens to be a lot of fun too.

“We’re starting on the renovations for the offices up front in the spring,” said Lochhead, who added that this building project has taken on a 1980s’ hairstyle themed nickname in the process. “So the nickname that we’ve kind of given this project is ‘The Mullet.’ Because it’s business in the front and party in the back.”

A SWINGING SIMULATION – Andrew Lochhead, owner of Clover Links Golf Simulation, takes a swing in his recently renovated golfer’s paradise at 517 Williams Avenue in Killarney. 

BUSINESS IN THE FRONT…PARTY IN THE BACK – Andrew Lochhead (left) sets up one of his golf simulators on opening morning, Wednesday, February 2, with golfers (right) already lacing up to hit the links. His business offices will be located in the front of the building facing Williams Avenue, where Stein Fabrics and Things is currently located and will remain until the spring. Meanwhile, it’s “party in the back” with dozens of rounds already booked by winter weary golfers.

READY FOR SWING – Andrew Lochhead gets out on the course with one of his new golf simulators, in the “dream” backroom of his newly purchased building. Front office renovations will start in the spring, he said, and there will be professional office space for rent too. Check the ad below for more information and to book a tee time.