Johnny Bittner could hear waves crashing near the plush greens of Pebble Beach Golf Course on Wednesday as he used his 7-iron, but he couldn’t smell the Pacific Ocean.
Bittner, owner of Spokane’s new Elite Sports Suite inside Lilac Lanes & Casino, couldn’t feel the California sun, either.
But with a 24-foot-by-24-foot, state-of-the-art simulation screen, system and sound, Bittner sure felt like he played a few holes at one of America’s most idyllic courses.
His $80,000 system gives golfers a realistic simulation of 36 of the world’s top courses, one of Elite Sports Suite’s several features.
Endorsed by PGA figures such as Bubba Watson, Rory McIlroy, Bryson Dechambeau, Zach Johnson and others, the HD Golf Simulator brings a high-tech approach to golf for competitive and recreational use.
“These are big-time courses many golfers will never get to experience,” Bittner said. “But you can play them here.”
Bittner used the system Wednesday to help a student improve his swing. It filmed the student, did a side-by-side comparison with top PGA golfers, used diagnostic and offered tips in real time.
The sizable simulation also offers various skills challenges, including a fun game in which golfers can aim at a simulated house with big windows and nice cars in the driveway. The more damage, the more points.
“I wanted to teach golf lessons and use it for summer camps,” said Bittner, a multisport athlete at East Valley High School in the 1980s. “I’ve always loved working with kids.”
Golf is just part of the action at Elite Sports Suite.
Footballs, soccer balls, baseballs, bats, hockey sticks and lacrosse sticks can also be used on the simulator for their respective sport.
Users can fire footballs at digital wide receivers running routes, soccer balls can be kicked past a digital goalie and various baseball skills can be played on the simulator.
Bittner hopes to have a wide spectrum of clientele, from youth athletes ages 6-16 looking to sharpen up their craft to adults hosting work parties.
Elite Sports Suite, which has a food and drink menu, charges $50 an hour for groups of four or less.
Individual lessons are available for all sports.
For more information visit EliteSportsSuite.com or call (509) 216-1718.
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