Nicklaus North offering indoor instruction 

Golfers can keep fresh during winter season

click to enlarge PHOTO BY JOERN ROHDE FOR NICKLAUS NORTH GOLF COURSE - KEEP FRESH Nicklaus North Golf Course director of instruction Graham Kehoe and director of golf Andrew Smart are shown in front of the course's indoor hitting bay, where the FlightScope X2 radar detects ball flight to help golfers improve.
  • PHOTO By Joern Rohde for nicklaus north golf course
  • KEEP FRESH Nicklaus North Golf Course director of instruction Graham Kehoe and director of golf Andrew Smart are shown in front of the course's indoor hitting bay, where the FlightScope X2 radar detects ball flight to help golfers improve.

There's no need to have icy hands when you first hit the links next summer.

Armed with the latest technology with the stamp of approval from some of North America's top instructors, Nicklaus North Golf Course is offering indoor lessons for golfers who are looking to stay warm and be ready to go on opening day.

The course hosts the lessons in its pro shop, using FlightScope X2, a program that uses Doppler radar technology that registers when a user strikes the ball and calculates the spin to project a ball flight on a video screen.

Director of instruction Graham Kehoe explained the current technology outpaces what used to be available when not practicing on a lush green course. When teaching outside, Kehoe instructs based on how the ball flies, something that he's now able to transfer to the winter indoor instruction, now available in Whistler for the first time. The course used video as part of its summer instruction curriculum for the last decade.

"The challenges in teaching indoors in the past was we (instructors) would only use video," he said. "The only feedback you could have was contact with the golf ball.

"You'd hit a ball into a net and then you'd go look at the video. You don't really get a sense of what's happening."

Kehoe said the program still does use video, but it is an aid to help provide a golfer a visual of his or her swing, as opposed to being the lone way to improve the swing.

"The person hitting the golf balls is able to see numbers like distance, direction that the ball spins, there's a wealth of information in here," he said. "We can diagnose what they doing in their golf swing — correctly or incorrectly — based on these numbers."

Kehoe added golfers are encouraged to work on their putting — one of the areas of the game that gets most rusty in winter — on the indoor green to keep it up to par. That'll allow golfers to play to their abilities for those precious summer months.

"We've got, basically, a five-month golf season. Maybe six if we're lucky," he said. "In May, when we open, it takes you basically a month to get back to where you were. August rolls around and you're feeling really good. September, you're in your prime, and it's over."

Kehoe added the program is also ideal for beginners looking to hit the ground running, as all sessions are private in the pro shop. He even locks the doors so no straggling customers interrupt the session.

One-time use and package deals are available. Private instruction is offered, but use of the hitting range is also an option.

For more information, visit www.golfbc.com/courses/nicklaus_north/golf_academy/lesson_indoor_winter.

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