By Mary Heyl
Golfers rejoice! Even though it may be cold and snowy outside, conditions are always perfect for a round at the Ellicottville Indoor Golf Studio. Whether golfers are interested in honing their skills with owner/golf pro Jake Northrup, experiencing one of 88 golf courses from around the world, or practicing that swing before spring arrives, the Ellicottville Indoor Golf Studio is the place to be this winter.
Even though Northrup’s studio is new to Ellicottville (the studio celebrates its one year anniversary next month), Northrup is far from new to the sport. Having just completed his third year as the PGA Head Golf Professional at the Pennhills Club in Bradford, PA, Northrup understands the importance of maintaining one’s golf skills throughout the year.
“I opened this facility first off to be able to keep my own game sharp and teach my two young children the sport in the winter months, while offering an opportunity to teach my students golf year ‘round,” explained Northrup.
While some golfers are fortunate enough to enjoy the sport outdoors all year long, others, especially golfers in the northeast, depend on a simulated golf experience to practice in the winter. Although Northrup had never played golf on a simulator before opening his business, he quickly realized what an important facility this is to the area, especially since there are very few indoor golf studios in the Twin Tiers, or even in the Buffalo area.
“Ellicottville and Holiday Valley bring in a lot of outdoor-minded, athletic visitors already. A lot of them are golfers in the summer months, and I felt this would be just another cool thing to do during their stay in the winter.”
In November 2014, Northrup began designing and building his studio, which occupies a former diesel garage. Northrup himself designed and built the hitting area and the 10 by 15 foot wide impact screen. Steve Beattie of Custom Turf installed the turf over 1,200 square feet of the studio.
According to Northrup, “The indoor golf studio is specifically designed to offer a space for golf in the winter months while utilizing PGA professional golf instruction using the latest Flightscope launch monitor, high speed video analysis and the best in high definition E6 1.6 golf course simulation for rounds of golf.”
The E6 software is the best golf software in the industry, and is even used by world champion golfer Jordan Spieth to practice his game during the off-season, Northrup added.
The facility includes a 20 by 15 foot practice putting green. And, golfers can choose from any of 88 golf courses around the world for a simulated golf experience for up to four players. Golfers should estimate approximately one hour per golfer playing 18 holes (2 players would spend approximately 2 hours for 18 holes).
Derek Nelson of Smethport, PA, has been golfing at Northrup’s studio since it opened. “It’s really the same experience as golfing outside, just without walking the course or using a golf cart. It’s about as close to the real thing as you can get, and if you keep playing, you’re going to get better.”
When asked about the transition from the indoor course to the outdoors this past summer, Nelson remarked on the smooth transition. “My game was definitely better…it wasn’t rusty, like it normally would be coming off the winter months.”
Northrup’s studio is open from November through April. Because the facility does not keep regular hours, reservations for instruction and rounds of golf must be made in advance. Reservations can be made by contacting Northrup at (516)712-5941 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For reviews, rates, and videos, visit Ellicottville Indoor Golf Studio on Facebook.