New golf simulators help prepare team for upcoming season

Max Beard, Staff Writer

Senior Christine Wang practices in the batting cages. (Adam Nelson)

As an outdoor sport, golf can subject its competitors to hours of extreme heat, freezing cold weather and torrential downpours. Especially during the winter, golfers battle stiffness, reduced mobility and even frostbite. This year, the golf program has instituted a technological solution.

This winter off-season, two batting cages in the Ligums practice facility have been converted for golf use. Designed for off-season practice, these areas are equipped with an advanced golf simulator and video swing analysis.

“For several years, I’ve been wondering if there was a place indoors where we could practice hitting golf balls in the winter,” coach Jack Soliman said. “I plan to organize indoor golf practices on certain days in the winter when I do not have middle school basketball after school.”

The team also uses a TrackMan launch monitor that records statistics such as swing and ball speed, launch angle and face angle. 

“Earlier this year, I met with a potential donor and made the case for the TrackMan’s tremendous value to our golf program.  We received our TrackMan earlier this fall,” Soliman said.

Both girls’ captain Christine Wang and boys’ captain Adam Nelson have personal coaches who use TrackMan simulators. 

“A TrackMan will significantly help each and every player on the team, regardless of where they are in skill level,” Wang said. “The team realizes how lucky we are to have access to a Trackman, so a lot of us will use it to its fullest potential.

Soliman can also display the projected flight of the ball on a program, which allows the team to virtually play courses and even play video game-style competitions.

The golf team uses a TrackMan launch monitor to records statistics such as swing and ball speed. (Max Beard)

“There are skill tests you can play on the TrackMan that are almost like a video game,” Wang said. “These games actually really fun and I can definitely see my teammates really getting into them. A little extra fun, friendly competition will bring our team even closer together.”

The practice area can record video of golfers’ swings, allowing them to focus on improvement. 

“When we are going through swing changes, it is really helpful to be able to see our movement,” Wang said. “Sometimes, it can feel like we are doing one thing when we’re actually not, so video will be able to help us make sure we are on the right track.”