Toptracer Technology Comes to Cultus Lake Golf Club
- Category: Inside Golf
- Published: 2019-06-06
By BRAD ZIEMER, British Columbia Golf
He played much of his junior golf there as a kid, so Brad Clapp clearly has an emotional attachment to Cultus Lake Golf Club. Clapp, the new Director Of Golf at the gorgeous, tree-lined par-63 executive course, is delighted to be back at the place where his love affair with golf got started.
And the former winner on the PGA Tour Canada-Mackenzie Tour circuit is more than a little excited about the changes he and his staff are making that Clapp thinks will help Cultus Lake thrive in the years to come.
Clapp hit the ground running when he began his new job in early February. With the blessing of owner Jeff Bahnman, a deal was struck with Toptracer to bring its technology to the driving range at Cultus Lake Golf Club.
Clapp seemed as excited as a new dad when he introduced the new range to invited guests on a recent Friday night. The range now includes a fully licensed VIP lounge where several stalls have been outfitted with comfortable lounge-style seating and tables.
The response has been overwhelmingly positive since their official launch in late May. “We have had nothing but good feedback,” Clapp says. “We are seeing repeat business already. We are seeing people come in for two hours and book the next day for three hours.
BC Golf's Brad Ziemer (L) Asks Director Of Golf Brad Clapp (R) About The Excitement And Energy The New Toptracer Lounge Has Brought To Cultus Lake GC. (BC Golf/Bryan Outram)
People that are renting a bay for an hour see the 15-minute time limit come up and automatically chase down our server and say, no, we need to stay longer. It’s all about getting people out here to see what it is and then wowing them with what the product is. It should be a good recipe for success.”
Cultus Lake is just the third course in Canada to have Toptracer technology. The new Campbell River Golf & Country Club on Vancouver Island introduced it last fall and another facility in Ontario also has it.
You may have seen examples of the Toptracer technology when watching PGA TOUR golf on TV. Its driving range technology uses cameras and monitors to track shots, while offering a number of games that are suited for all skill levels.
Each bay has its own monitor that allows you to track your shots or play long drive or closest to the pin contests against your friends. There are six different game modes, with one of the most popular being virtual golf, where you can play top courses like Pebble Beach Golf Links. Each of the lounge bays has a large TV so you can also watch sports while hitting balls.
The Toptracer technology has proven to be a particular hit with young people, which the golf industry is certainly trying to attract.n“My main goal was to get a new (younger) demographic of player here,” Clapp says.
“We introduced an intermediate membership right away at our course and we got some traction with that and realized, 'okay, what’s our competition, not just in golf, but in recreation?'
“Right now, there’s nothing to do in Chilliwack. What do you do? You go to a bar and sit have some drinks on a patio and you leave. This gives someone an option, whether you are a golfer or a non-golfer, to come out in a non-threatening atmosphere, try it and have that same social gathering experience.”
Musicians Jordan Pritchett, an experienced golfer, and his partner, Danielle Marie, who is relatively new to the game, were among those trying out the Toptracer technology at Cultus Lake. Both loved it.
“I think it’s really cool being able to see your distances and stuff,” she said. “You get feedback and I think it’s an awesome place to learn. It makes it more fun and less intimidating.”
Musicians Jordan Pritchett (L) And Danielle Marie Were On Hand To Enjoy The New Toptracer Experience At Cultus Lake GC. (BC Golf/Bryan Outram)
“I have never been to something like this,” added Pritchett. “I feel like it's real good time with friends at night. You can put hockey games or whatever on this TV back here and it is so cool. It is a good time. I’ll definitely be back.”
This is music, no pun intended, to Clapp’s ears. He knows how important it is for the golf industry to find ways to attract new business. The hope is that some of the people who come and enjoy the Toptracer experience will eventually try the golf course. “We are seeing a new generation of golfer come in and they are repeat customers,” Clapp says.
The lounge bays will accommodate up to six people and on weekends rent for $60 an hour which includes unlimited balls. The standard driving range bays, which are also outfitted with the Toptracer technology, rent for $15 an hour with a maximum two people. There is an additional charge for range balls
Along With The Toptracer Range Cultus Lake GC Also Boasts A Terrific 4,000-Yard Layout. (BC Golf/Bryan Outram)
With the new range technology and Cultus Lake’s 4,000-yard course, Clapp feels like the facility is set up well for the future. “It is all about time and money,” he says. “That is always what we are fighting. This place has probably had some tough years when everyone thought they wanted an 8,000-yard golf course and a country club lifestyle.
But we are now in a very good position because golf is shifting back to being more social, fun, less time commitment, less expensive. Our absolute max green fee here is $37 on weekends. We are set up for success. We just have to pour some fuel on the fire.”
Click here to learn more about Toptracer range at Cultus Lake GC.