It is not every day local golfers get the chance to take on a leading European Tour star.
But Sheffield-born Danny Willett, who officially opened Doncaster Golf Range’s new £40,000 Golf simulator/launch monitor, was happy to take on all-comers during a three-hour plus visit last Thursday afternoon.
Dozens of regulars at the facility arrived to take on Danny and put themselves into the frame to win a signed Callaway bag and a putter in nearest-to-the-pin and longest drive competitions.
All the money raised was donated to the Aurora Centre.
It is not the first time that Danny, back in action this week in South Africa, had helped raise money for charity this year. He did a sky dive during a recent a Tour event in Dubai.
“I’m delighted that Danny, who I played alongside a couple of years ago, agreed to open the simulator,” said Range head professional, Lyall Jardine.
“We had it installed in late December and it is proving very popular.
“But I wanted to make a big thing of officially launching it and was prepared to wait until Danny was available.”
The simulator, which is the most accurate on the market today, is the only one of its type in Doncaster.
“It’s as good as hitting a ball outside. Whatever you hit it shows,” said Lyall.
“We can also set it up to play a set of clubs in succession so if a serious golfer wants to know how far he can hit a club we can show them.
“It also gives people the chance to test themselves on any one of 25 of the most famous courses in the world in virtual reality.
“They can also take part in the weekly nearest-the-pin competition (£3 for 5 shots), play nine holes or even a full round.
“We can set the courses for multiple players off various tees and adjust the level of difficulty. We can even make it wet and windy.”
He added: “The launch monitor is the Gc2 with added technology, which takes an image of the club face at impact to show the player and myself the line the golf club is on in to and through the ball.
“That, essentially, is what we need to explain the path of the ball flight.
“Using this technology in lessons has proven fantastic as it’s far simpler to understand .
“Having the simulator means that I am able to correctly fit the customer with the right equipment.
“The launch monitor helps to identify the club and shaft that performs the best for them.”