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Golf simulator opens at AUAB

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. James Hodgman
  • 379th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

Golfers at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, can play the game they love at Pebble Beach, California, Kiawah Island, South Carolina and Torrey Pines in San Diego; thanks to technology.

A high definition golf simulator opened at the Blatchford Preston Complex Community Activity Center Jan. 18. The simulator, which cost nearly $60,000, allows people to play on more than 25 courses, hone their skills at the driving range and receive instruction from a virtual golf coach.

The simulator also allows people to challenge other golfers in competition mode, a program within the game that features a variety of contests including golf versions of tic-tac-toe and poker.

“The competition games are pretty fun,” said Carlton Gore, a Dyncorp recreation clerk. “The games force golfers to work on their aim. With the poker game you have three cards on top and three on the bottom, so if you want to win, you have to hit specific cards in a certain sequence.”

The system offers something for everyone, Gore added.

“People can simply play for fun or work on improving their game,” Gore said. “In practice mode you can work on your drive, putting and chipping; the game is very realistic and I’m sure serious golfers will enjoy it.”

The simulator uses four cameras and 12 sensors to provide a variety of information to golfers such as swing speed, the amount of top-spin or back-spin on the ball, distance the ball will travel and the point where the ball was struck.

Col. Stuart Newberry, 379th Air Expeditionary Wing vice commander, is an avid golfer and said the simulator is one of the best he’s ever seen.

“The graphics are absolutely amazing,” Newberry said. “Down to the locations of buildings, how things look when you’re on the green, it’s a perfect representation of the golf course.”

The colonel also said it’s important to improve the quality of life for everyone at AUAB and the golf simulator is one way to do that.

“Leadership and deployed service members should make the place where they’re deployed to as nice as they possibly can,” Newberry said.  “We have the ability to take a room in the CAC and provide a little piece of home, maybe something that people miss, whether it’s people who regularly play golf and now they can continue to hone their skills, or it’s people who’ve never played golf before but want to see what it’s like; why not do it if you have the resources?”

The simulator is part of an ongoing effort to improve the quality of life for service members and civilian employees who live and work at AUAB, said Maj. Darryl Hebert, 379th Expeditionary Force Support Squadron deputy commander.

“The 379 EFSS is charged with taking care of everyone on this base,” Hebert said. “We account for them, honor them and sustain them so they can accomplish their individual missions while supporting our mission priorities of delivering airpower, defending the region and developing relationships. There is no greater sense of purpose than serving our airmen, soldiers, sailors, civilians and Marines and the HD golf simulator is another tool to help us do that.”

Simulator reservations can be made in person or by calling the BPC CAC at DSN: 437-0064. Reservations are available for one hour for up to two players and up to two hours with four players. The CAC has golf clubs and balls available for use, however, players are permitted to use their own clubs and balls. Soft soled shoes are also required. For a complete list of simulator rules, click here.