ESTEVAN — Those who are looking forward to playing golf and baseball throughout the year, or just looking to have a good time, have been eagerly awaiting the opening of Estevan’s newest business.
Global Golf Plus, located in the Estevan Market Mall, officially opened to the public on Monday. Before that, there was a soft launch that started Friday and allowed many people from the community to try out the golf and baseball simulators, or to enjoy food and drinks in the lounge.
Owners Pete Sereggela and Rob Peloquin are pleased with the response thus far.
“Everyone’s excited and they’re having fun,” Sereggela said, while customers were busy hitting balls in the golf simulator.
Many of those who attended the soft launch were invitees, but others were mall shoppers eager to check out the business.
Global Golf Plus has four Golfzon simulator screens and two Strikezon baseball simulators. Sereggela emphasized the baseball areas are not batting cages. Participants play a virtual game of baseball.
“Within all of those games, there are other games as well. So for baseball, you can play a virtual game, or you can just do a home run derby or practise your pitching,” he said.
Estevan is the first location in Canada to commercially offer the baseball simulators, Sereggela said.
On the golf simulators, there are also arcade games available on any of the machines, and there are some adult hunting games that will be available on two of the screens and are expected to arrive shortly.
The golf units feature a wide selection of golf courses from around the world, and allow players to try their skills against some of the most famous golf courses. A handful of them, such as Pebble Beach in California, are in the U.S., but most of them are from Europe. Among them is the famed Old Course at St. Andrew’s in Scotland.
“These systems offer you the full game of real golf,” said Peloquin. “They give you sand … matts and rough matts. We have a thing called a sling plate, which means your floor moves to the lie of the fairway or the rough.”
Sereggela said Winnipeg and Red Deer are the closest communities to offer this kind of golf simulator technology.
There was once a golf simulator in Estevan years ago, but the technology has come a long way since that time, Sereggela said.
“This technology is leaps and bounds over any other golf simulator technology that is out there,” said Sereggela. “It works off of cameras. All the simulators, you [used to] have to contact the screen to record a shot, so if you don’t hit the screen, your shot doesn’t get recorded.
“This has an automatic ball feed, so it saves you having to go up to the screen and grab your ball and use a plastic tee. It has an auto feed for golfing, so the next ball gets fed right up through the ground, so you don’t have to go up and back.”
When you’re putting on a traditional simulator, Sereggela and Peloquin said you would have to hit the ball hard enough to not only hit the screen, but simulate the distance. With this system, if you have a five or six-foot putt, Peloquin said you only have to putt it five or six feet. You don’t have to putt the distance to the screen.
Sereggela said if a baseball team is encountering bad weather, they can come in and use the simulator for practice. And now golfers won’t need to travel to warmer markets to get a round of golf in.
Cornhole and other games are also available for people to play.
The business came about after Peloquin saw and tried out a similar simulator in Winnipeg. He returned to Estevan and asked Sereggela about partnering to open up a golf simulator lounge in the Energy City.
“My immediate response was ‘No, I don’t like indoor golf simulators,’” said Sereggela. “Then we went on a trip, and when I experienced the simulator myself, I was so impressed with what the technology was at, that I said ‘Yeah, I can see myself doing this.’”
The next step was finding the right location – a high-traffic area with enough space and adequate parking. The mall proved to be a perfect spot, and the mall representatives have been great to work with, Sereggela said.
The business has food and is fully licensed for alcoholic drinks. It’s a limited menu, Sereggela said, with snacks, appetizers, sandwiches and flat-bread pizzas among the offerings.
Even though the business is licensed, people of all ages can visit. A private room in the back area can be booked for various functions and it will comfortably seat up to 15 people, Sereggela said.
Customers can also order in food from preferred restaurant clients of Global Golf Plus.
More than a dozen people currently work at the business.
Global Golf Plus is open from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday-Wednesday, and 10 a.m.-midnight from Thursday-Saturday. The simulators are $50 per hour, and that’s a flat rate for an individual or a group of up to six people.
The business is accepting reservations, but people can walk in and use the simulators if they are not in use.
A grand opening is expected to occur early in 2023.