Photos Andy Calvert
Whether you are looking to fine-tune your golf swing or are searching for a fun new activity to try with a group of friends, the newly opened Launchbox at Stonebridge Golf Club is the answer.
Located along the sweeping vistas of Stonebridge’s driving range, the Launchbox offers virtual and statistical golf that makes playing fun for anyone, regardless of skill level. The different varieties of point-based games available allow for healthy competition among a group looking for a fun new activity, and the virtual courses will transport a player to some of the most popular locations around the world.
Stonebridge Golf Club’s General Manager, Patrick Kirn says the new addition is “an opportunity to introduce new people to golf, while using technology to make golf so much more fun.”
Launchbox is powered by top tracer technology, the same technology used on professional PGA tours. This allows players to track their shots and view the trajectory of the ball in real time. “If you’re watching the US Open and you see the shots tracked, that’s the top tracer technology,” explains Kirn. “As you hit your shot, Launchbox tells you your distance, your flight, and how much the ball carries. It’s really an awesome feature that the pros get that you wouldn’t normally have access to when hitting balls on the range,” he continues.
While the technology may sound similar to another popular golf game, TopGolf, Kirn points out some of the key advantages of Launchbox. “The biggest difference is that all of the statistics from the game are being tracked and can be sent directly to your phone,” he says. “Games like Top Golf will use chipped balls, where Launchbox tracks your entire shot, giving you more information on how to improve your game. You can also virtually play famous courses like Pebble Beach and St. Andrews, all without leaving town.”
A Launchbox bay holds 5 people comfortably, although there are no restrictions to how many people play per booth. “It’s guaranteed to be fun for most everyone, not just avid golfers,” says Kirn. “You get to play a game in a social, fun atmosphere, and you don’t have to be a golfer to enjoy yourself and your group. Now if you need to turn the atmosphere up a little bit, you can have competitive events. Your co-players can see the number achieved and of course, try to achieve or exceed it.”
The Launchbox’s affordability and ease of use can be appealing to a seasoned player who wants to supplement their time on the golf course, or to inexperienced players, with rental fees running $24 an hour per bay.
This low risk, low pressure environment allows players to hone their skills or enjoy a fun outing with friends without the same expectations as playing a traditional golf course. “If you’re a new golfer playing the course and people are watching you, it can become intimidating, or if people are having to wait on you, that can lower your comfort level,” Kirn says.
Stonebridge Golf Club is currently gearing up for the Fall Celebration at Launchbox, which will run from September 27th to October 31st. Each of the five weeks will be sponsored by a different local company and will feature themed play on each night. League play will be on Monday and Sunday nights, Scrambles on Tuesday nights, Charity events on Wednesdays and Saturdays with 25% of revenue from Launchbox going towards select charities.
Family Fun nights will be on Thursdays where kids 15 under eat and play for free after 5pm, and Friday nights will be Member Match Play Championships. Each week, Stonebridge will be giving out prizes including club memberships, gift cards to local restaurants, and gift cards to Stonebridge.
Launchbox can be both a chance to try your hand at a new activity and a learning opportunity to strengthen your golf game. From either end of the golf skills spectrum, a fun time is guaranteed.
For more information on the Launchbox or the Fall Celebration, please visit: www.romestonebridge.com/launchbox-fall-celebration