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Golf Gym Driving For Success – Here And Abroad

Golf Gym Driving For Success – Here And Abroad

An Auckland company has developed a unique, and highly-effective, golf practice and fitness facility – and is now taking the concept to the world with success already in China.

Called The Golf Gym, it offers highly-advanced and accurate technology, including “golf pods” where members can access computer versions of 40 different golf courses around the world and, after each virtual practice, analyse their individual performance.

The Golf Gym also has a 3D Doppler radar system (as used by the military for targeting sidewinder missiles) which provides statistics such as launch angle, back and side spin, club and ball speeds, smash factor, and shot distance.

Managing director David Jenkinson says golf is the highest participation sport in New Zealand, with 482,000 people over the age of 18 (about one in eight) playing it.

“It is number one sport for men and number two for women. On average, about seven million rounds of golf are played in New Zealand every year and, with 419 golf courses, we have the second highest number per capita in the world, after Scotland.

“Despite its huge popularity, however, there has never been a training facility dedicated solely to golf and that’s why we’ve developed The Golf Gym with personalised programmes designed to improve every golfer’s game.

“Our unique facility makes the world’s most sophisticated and advanced golfing technologies accessible to all golfers. Our equipment incorporates all aspects of the golf game from tee to green, including the full swing, short game, chipping and putting.”

Jenkinson says the company’s aim is to franchise Golf Gyms throughout New Zealand and the world. They’ve already made good headway on their goal as, via 55%-owned subsidiary NZ/China Golf Academy, they’ve secured a deal to manage the Nanshan International Golf School in Shandong, China.

“Nanshan is one of China’s top 500 companies and its many assets include 15 golf courses and the world’s largest golf club, which our Golf Academy is part of. We’ve head-hunted NZPGA coach Reon Sayer to head up the Academy and the first course will be a holiday programme in July followed by a new intake of students in August.

“We’ve invested a significant amount of money in the venture and, to give you an idea of how popular golf is over there, China has 1.4 million golfers and that number is expected to grow 40% a year over the next six years. Getting into that market now means we’re well-positioned for growth,” says Jenkinson.
The Golf Gym is also in final negotiations with an Australian regional head franchisor and expects to conclude that deal shortly, while talks are underway with several potential New Zealand franchisees as well.

The North Shore Golf Gym, which includes AA qualified NZ PGA golf pro Phil Rust (ex-Gulf Harbour) on the staff, is open seven days a week, with 12 month membership available from $16 per week. Members, which include local schools, are also offered nine free training clinics a week and, for an additional $3 per week, can access a 30-minute coaching session with Rust once a month.

Other equipment available includes a highly accurate putting area which, via ultrasound, provides data such as putter face at aim and impact, impact spot, and timing - all compared with top European PGA Players. A real sand bunker is available for the short game and there’s a device which allows members to correct their swing plane while developing stronger golfing muscles in the body.


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