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Hi-Tech golf at Haystack


December 25, 2016

Snow on the ground got you down, golfers? Well, Becky Clark at Haystack Mountain Golf Course just might have the cure for your wintertime blues.

Clark is the golf pro at Haystack Mountain, and she runs a “virtual golf” operation in a small, cozy building just north of the main clubhouse. Inside there’s a tee-box in the center of the room, from which you take your swings; with real clubs, with which you strike a real ball. After that, the “virtual” part takes over.

The set-up includes video cameras, motion-capture machinery beneath the tee-box, two large video monitors off to the side, and two separate pieces of software. One of these, called V1, offers video-analysis of your golf swing, measuring along ten different parameters, such as club path, launch angle and spin. The other program, TruGolf, is a golf-simulator. It allows you to choose from 30 different courses, including famous courses from around the world, such as Spyglass, St. Andrews, and Torrey Pines. You can play a round at Pebble Beach, without ever leaving Boulder County.

Clark is originally from Iowa, and has been teaching golf for about 20 years. She moved to Gunbarrel eight years ago, and it was love at first sight when she discovered the course at Haystack Mountain. “I love the laid-back atmosphere and the beauty of the place,” she said. She’s been with Haystack for the last four years and has built up the virtual-golf program over that time, adding elements and working to get the set-up just right, so as to create a wide range of opportunities.

Visitors run the gamut. There are serious golfers who come to work on improving minute aspects of their swing, and Clark has held clinics for high-school golfers (she’s also an assistant coach for the girls’ golf team at Boulder High). Then there are those just looking for a fun time. Clark said there was a married couple who came in recently on a weekend afternoon with some beers. “They ended up tied after playing a full round, and just kept going,” she said, laughing.

If you want to check it out, give her a call. She’ll let you in, familiarize you with the system, and leave you to your own devices (while remaining nearby to troubleshoot, if need be.) She might even fix you up with drinks and snacks, although she says that her one caveat is that “asking me to start up the hot-dog machine might be a bit much.”

Haystack Mountain Golf Course is located at 5877 Niwot Rd, Longmont. 303-530-1400.


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