Borrego Sun - Since 1949

Pebble Beach, Anyone?


Last updated 6/3/2019 at 12:35am

Michael Sadler

Joe Gamulin lines up his drive on the Rams Hill simulator.

I was told it was a great course, so naturally I've wanted to play it for years. So in between morning golf at the RoadRunner Men's Club and a late afternoon appointment here in town, I played the back-9 at Pebble Beach with two golf buddies – Joe Gamulin and John Peterson. The best part was we didn't need to fly or drive there, nor any of us fork out $500+ to play a round of golf. Rams Hill has a new golf simulator, and what a piece of work it is.

I understand basic electronics and the speed of light, even the squared part, but I will not even attempt to explain how this thing actually works.

Except to say it uses a sophisticated computer software program and a video projection system that contains 80 golf courses in detailed graphical form, and there are detectors on the floor that show stats on how hard you hit the ball, which way it's spinning (draw or fade), where it's heading and where it lands, how far to the pin, and virtually everything else you want to about your shot.

All of it apparently consistent with Einstein's seminal work on how fast light can travel – seemingly instantaneous.

Rams Hill Golf Pro Bob Gelesko set us up for the simulation, asking which course we'd like, whether we wanted practice or a game, match or stroke play, and "easy" or "difficult" with regard to pin placement, slope gradient, green speed, and even gimmes. Easy was the unanimous choice for our first time out, and within 10 feet of the pin was close enough.

It took several holes to get the hang of it, but pretty soon we were driving fairways, making approach- es, and putting. It requires a different visualization technique to play a simulated round of golf, especially on approach shots and on the green, but considering the alternative of not playing at all, it's surely the next best thing.

With summer just around the corner, corner, there will be days when you want to play a round of golf, but it's just too darned hot.

"What a great way to kill some time on a hot summer afternoon," Gamulin said. So why risk severe dehydration or God forbid, a heart attack?

Make an appointment, get a few golf buddies together, and have a competitive, but relaxing and very enjoyable game on the Rams Hill simulator.

It's $40/hr regardless of how many players, and if the restaurant is open, eat lunch while you con- template your strategy for the next hole. Or bring your own.

As for the overall experience, Gamulin added, "I really enjoyed the golf simulator and highly recommend this for all golfers."

Even if you're not a regular golfer, the simulator can tell you things about your swing you wouldn't otherwise know, like how accurately the face of your club-head is aligned with the ball. You can work on that for straighter shots.

And what did Peterson have to say about it?

On the 18th hole, a difficult par- 5, Gamulin and I tried three times each to shortcut the dogleg-left fair- way by going over the ocean, and we failed miserably. We both had to "pick up."

Peterson then stepped up, drove the fairway, hit a long and straight fairway shot to within 100 yards of the green, and he landed his approach shot eight feet from the pin.

"Birdie!" Peterson shouted. He was ecstatic, and that wasn't simulated.

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