The simulator at Mastodon Golf Club brings “realism” to winter.
HEATH — Annetta Macedonia got just a taste of the golf course last autumn after returning from a long eight-month layoff after spinal surgery.
Another long wait in the off-season to collect the racquets was frustrating, but Macedonia now has an outlet. She plays in the Monday Night Ladies League at Mastodon Golf Club and takes advantage of the course’s new virtual technology.
“I might see it a little differently as someone, but I’m hoping to keep my flexibility and get through to golf season. I don’t feel like I’m trying to regain my strength, rhythm and pace,” said Macedonia. “For someone recovering over the winter, this is a good alternative.”
Mastodon, newly owned from the former Burning Tree Golf Course on Ridgely Tract Road, installed three GSPro simulators at the end of the fall season. The clubhouse space has been completely redesigned with a wall and door that can be closed from the bar area.
The Ladies League was a Monday winter get-together for a dozen women who play at Thornville’s Whitetail Ridge in the summer. It’s also an opportunity to knock off the rust.
“We all enjoy it. We just love it,” said Julia Ellis, a player in the league. “Definitely, this is a way to keep in touch. When I started it was kind of claustrophobic for me because you’re used to being on the pitch. … It helps my swing at my age and trying to keep a rhythm going.”
The technology allows the ladies to split up into groups and compete on the same course with the same conditions. It can also be modified in a variety of locations and conditions on the course to hold driving, chipping or putting practice or competitions.
“The realism is definitely a hit. It’s really similar to playing outside and as close to today’s world as you can get,” said Austin Phillips, Mastodon Clubhouse Manager. “It really does look like you’re standing on a professional course on the tee. The exercise possibilities are really limitless. It really depends on how deep you want to get in.”
Phillips, a 2014 Lakewood grad, particularly enjoyed hosting the Lakewood girls team twice a week. Phillips played for the Lancers when girls coach Rob Englert then took charge of the boys and it was a natural fit for the Lancers, reigning Licking County League champions, to keep improving their game.
Mastodon has men’s leagues on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, but there are plenty of tee times on Thursday and Friday nights and all day at the weekend. An ideal number is four in each bay and the area has been used for a variety of birthday, bachelorette or staff parties.
“I definitely recommend a tee time,” said Phillips. “Playing at the weekend is really good. We usually open from 11am to 8pm. There are many opportunities. We run pool tournaments on Thursdays and Fridays so we tend to stay open a little later. Definitely available these nights.”
While the Monday ladies have already made plans to meet for lunch and join a bowling league this winter, Ellis noted the excitement of being able to get back together on the “course” over the winter months.
Macedonia admitted their frustration as the shot from the racquet felt good but didn’t go quite as far according to technology. Still, it’s better to sit inside and just wait for the temperatures to rise.
“We wanted to improve our skills over the winter and this is a great option,” said Macedonia. “This is a good outlet. We can see some of our friends in winter that we wouldn’t normally see. As far as the facility goes, you couldn’t ask for a better team. They are friendly and accommodating. The device is easy to use.”
To schedule a tee time with a simulator, call the club at 740-522-3464 or visit www.mastodongolfclub.com.