By Glori Gayster
Two’s a company. Three’s a crowd. More is merrier. That’s truly the case at the newly opened Golf & Social in Marlton. The self-descriptive name speaks for itself but once inside it’s clearly a great deal more than a putting strip and a few tables. It is a world of its own.
“Most might think I’ve been a golfer my whole life. Not so,” says owner and creator, Rick Troost. “I played socially but it wasn’t until a few years ago when I joined a local country club that I fell in love with the game.” Combine this love of game with years living in the fast-paced havens of New York City and Miami, this entrepreneur at heart quickly realized pairing the two – golf and social – in a unique way would be a perfect fit for South Jersey. He seems to be right.
According to Troost, Golf & Social is an indoor golf facility for individuals of every age and skill level to learn and have fun golfing in an upscale, judgment-free, social environment. “We have 2 year olds to seniors in their 80s. There are men and women, seasoned professionals and first timers. It’s an amazing mix.”
Troost goes on to explain the new 12,000 square foot is state of- the-art from its 10 widescreen golf simulators and TrackMan Pro technology to the 65′ putting green and SAM Putt Lab. The high-tech features are balanced with advanced personalized training offered by experienced PGA professional instructors. Golf & Social boasts a VIP room for private gatherings and guests can also shop for the latest equipment, fashionable clothing and accessories or just relax in the cafe.
Rainy day – go ahead and play
At Golf & Social player choice is above par ~ a good thing in this case. Guests can choose from more than 80 of the world’s top golf courses, including Bandon Dunes, Pebble Beach, PGA National and St. Andrews ~ each depicted in a virtual environment that looks and plays like the real courses.
Golfers can also set their own conditions. Says Troost, “One of the best parts of golf is its inherent challenges and the creativity needed to meet and overcome them.” Weather, ground condition, green speed, time of day, and pin positions all play a factor. This has all been into consideration and each can be set for the players in the group. Options also include various pre-set game modes. “You have complete control over your game. Drive, chip and putt your way through our world championship golf courses.”
Individuals can play 18 holes in about 45 minutes, while a foursome may need up to 3 hours. With so many top golf courses available, even the avid golfer will always find something new. In addition, simulators track all related statistics such as fairways hit, greens in regulation, longest drive and average driving distance.
Practice makes perfect
That’s what they tell us from a very young age. On any given day golfers at every level are looking to hone their swing, practice their putt and improve their game using the optimum technology available. Says Troost, “TrackMan Pro is the choice of the PGA Tour, USGA and R&A, providing the industry’s most accurate swing and ball flight analysis solutions, and the TrackMan Combine is a shot making benchmark tool and test.”
TrackMan Pro measures and displays the full trajectory of any shot, from 6-foot pitches to 400- yard drives, pinpointing the landing position with an accuracy of 1 foot at 100 yards. It measures club data including speed, path and attack angle as well as swing plane and direction. Ball data is also captured. From spin axis and rate to hang time and smash factor, TrackMan delivers the industry leading swing and shot data.
Behind each simulator is a 65-foot undulating putting green that can be used as an alternative to simulator putting during a round or with instruction.
But you don’t need to be a professional or someone who plays regularly. Golf & Social provides the perfect learning and practice venue for those holding a golf club for the first time. The teaching staff provides highly skilled instruction based on extensive research and hands-on experience. This combined with the use of TrackMan technology makes for a comfortable and flexible space where students at any age can learn, improve and thrive in this challenging sport. “We offer private instruction, group lessons and clinics in a setting that isn’t intimidating,” says Troost.
Save time for fun
Like work golf should be (and is) fun. At Golf & Social there is no stuffy dress code or grand fees. Instead this BYOB is a place to enjoy time with friends and meet new ones; spend family time or break free on your own.
“From the outset I was sure of one thing – Golf & Social would be fun for anyone and everyone,” Troost says. “I wanted to dismiss the notion that golf is only for the elite and create a place that would be a change of pace from dinner and a movie.”
To that end Golf & Social has something special virtually every day of the week. Tuesdays feature “Golf Fore Women!” and Thursday evening is Ladies’ Night. The Wednesday Night Men’s League features teams of two playing best overall score over a course of four weeks and on Friday and Saturday nights a friendly “Closest to the Pin” contest. Single Saturdays and Sunday Funday for families round out the week.
Golf & Social is also an ideal venue for birthday and holiday parties, corporate meetings and team building events. The Main Room contains seven simulator bays – each stylishly furnished with leather sofas and high-top tables and chairs. There’s large cafe, 20’ TV and plenty of room for a DJ. In addition to golf, simulators can be used for presentations, video, TV or Xbox, Playstation and Wii gaming.
The VIP Room is well suited for a corporate party, business meeting or casual luncheon with a large 16-seat conference table and a full range of audio/visual equipment. The room contains three widescreen TrackMan simulator bays and can accommodate up to 40 guests.
“When it comes down to it, I believe Golf & Social is a true reflection of what I’d envisioned,” says Troost. “I invite people of all ages to come out just once. Why once? Because you will be back.”