“So it’s kind of a cool, cool thing,” said Jen Vornbrock, co-owner of the Monkey Tree Pub, who was excited to share the news about a new professional golf simulator that was coming into the pub.

Reasoning for acquisition of a new simulator was eventually directed towards the business side, but initially was going to be used for family time.

“To be honest, my son started playing golf this year,” said Vornbrock. “I started playing golf this year, my husband’s always played golf.”

“Now the golf course is closed down,” continued Vornbrock. “So we started looking at (putting) them in my parents shop, just for us, (but then) we’re like; “If we’re gonna do this, maybe we should just put it in the pub, get some revenue off of it.”

Revenue wasn’t the only thought on Vornbrock’s mind as she also took into account Yellowknife’s golfing community.

“There’s a really good golfing community here that I think would be really kind of happy to have an option to kind of practice up for the winter,” said Vornbrock.

That’s certainly the case for Jenni Bruce, a member of the Mediocre Golf Association, who says she’s 100 percent going to use it.

“It’s always a challenge keeping our game up over the winter,” said Bruce. “So this will be a great option.”

Bruce hopes she can get to the simulator at least once a week, “just to keep the muscles working.”

As for what residents (and golfers) can expect from the simulator, on top of different playing options like the driving range or a full 18 holes, the simulator can also measure club speed and the impact of your shot.

“And where you’ve hit the ball,” said Vornbrock. “(It) actually gives you some pretty good information on maybe what you’re doing wrong, or what you could do better.”

The simulator is “a bit of an investment” for the Pub, but for Vornbrock, it’s work putting the money in.

“Pricing is in U.S. dollars, but the unit that we’ve gone with and the extra balls and stuff like that, we’re right around $20,000,” said Vornbrock.

“With the closure of – 40 below golf and, you know, we run the golf course clubhouse for the summer, so we interact with a lot of the golfers and it just seemed like a really good idea that people seem to have a lot of interest in,” continued Vornbrock. “So we’re gonna give it a go.”

Installation for the simulator won’t slow down pub operations for those concerned, as things have already been mapped out and are ready to go once things arrive.

“We do have to have (Wilf’s Renovations) come in and make some adjustments to the roof and the floor, just to get a little more space,” said Vornbrock “We’ve done that before. At another part of the pub when we put in the dance floors and stuff.”

“So it’s just a drop ceiling that just needs to be kind of brought up,” continued Vornbrock. “So then we’ll have all the clearance and tuck it away in the corner. “You need to have clearance of at least 10 feet for swinging and all of that, so we’re adjusting our space so that we’ve got 12 feet clearance from floor to ceiling, and the actual unit itself is about 14 feet wide.”

As far as bookings go, Vornbrock says the Pub will most likely use an app that golfers can use to “book-in their tee times”. This, in-turn, could lead to some “simulated” golfing leagues.

“Maybe after the initial launch, we’ll kind of get a men’s and ladies league going and, you know, that’ll give some more reason to stop by the Pub,” said Vornbrock.

Jenni Bruce seconded that idea.

If you’re excited for the opportunity to try out the simulator, you won’t have to wait (to) long as the arrival of the unit could be in the next three weeks.

“This unit ships out of Idaho,” said Vornbrock. “Once payment is received, they ship between five and seven days after they get all the product together. Depending on how it comes across the border, I think that could be the only hang up, but I would anticipate three weeks if we’re looking good for travel times.”

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