Joe’s Indoor Golf Simulator is a personal game improvement center.
There are many reasons to visit Joe’s Indoor Golf Simulator in Southport. Some want to improve their golf game. Others want to enjoy the challenge of playing the famous Belfry Course in Warwickshire, England, if only virtually. And then there are the golfing diehards who like having a place to play when it is raining or too hot or too cold to play outside.
Here’s how and why this business began.
Retired Verizon Wireless executive Joe Biernat moved to Southport four years ago with the goal of playing much more golf than he had time for during his career days. Realizing that there were no doubt others like him who would enjoy having access to an indoor facility, he started a business to provide one. First, he bought a house on River Road and turned the downstairs into an oversized man cave, and then he bought the equipment. He opened Joe’s Golf Simulator three years ago, suspended it during the height of the
pandemic and then reopened it in April of 2021. And it is off to a very good second start.
Biernat thinks of his place as the “instructional game improvement center.” His simulation technology is Foresight Sports launch monitor, which is equipped to provide you, the golfer, with a set of detailed statistics to analyze your game and help you correct your swing. You simply swing each club about 10 feet from the 10×12-foot screen, and Foresight’s camera system will record the details. If you have ever wanted to know your club head speed, ball speed, launch angle, spin, carry distance, total distance, peak height and deviation from center, Foresight will tell you. It will record all of this information for every ball you hit from the driving range, and Biernat will email these stats to you in a CSV file, which is readable as an Excel spreadsheet.
Scott Newell, PGA professional and golf director of instruction at St. James, is very impressed with Foresight.
“Foresight is more similar to TrackMan and FlightScope, which provide a wealth of data points including swing metrics as well,” Newell says. “Foresight uses cameras to track the golf club through impact and has become in my opinion, the gold standard for launch monitors. The other manufacturers are great as well, but Foresight seems to be leading the way.”
The Foresight package offers two choices. You can either hit balls on the simulated golf range or play all 18 holes of the Belfry Golf Course and watch the tracker trace your ball’s flight, just like the PGA tours on TV. Stats provided are the same for both, however only the ones from the range are recorded and will be sent to you. If you play the course, you have to look at your stats on the monitor after each hole.
As a tool to help you hone your game, the range option is best because you can hit the same club several times and get a good read on how you hit it repeatedly.
But for sheer entertainment, playing the course is very popular. Even the best golfers can find themselves in a bunker or in the water. But it is a little less painful on a screen than when that happens on your home course.
In talking with several of Biernat’s customers, the statistic they find most helpful is distance for each club, both carry and total distance. Some of the teaching pros I spoke with said they use the detailed information for two purposes. First, it is helpful in diagnosing their student’s swing pattern and consequently helping them improve their technique. And secondly, it is a useful tool for designing individualized clubs.
But Biernat’s golf business doesn’t stop there. He also regrips clubs and sells used equipment. He has several nearly new golf bags for sale and a large selection of used clubs. He even has a pull cart for sale.
Several spouses have found that a gift certificate to Joe Indoor Golf Swing Simulator for an hour’s worth of swing analysis makes a nice birthday or Christmas present.
And if your spouse doesn’t play the game but wants to come along and watch you, there is a lovely sitting area with a couple of comfortable sofas and chairs and even a small putting strip. I found that an hour or two at Joe’s was also a great way to entertain our out-of-town guests. You will find Biernat to be a very gracious and accommodating host as well as ever so knowledgeable about all things golf.
Want to go?
Joe’s Indoor Golf Simulator
8073 River Road SE, Southport (directly across from Brunswick Little Theatre)
All appointments are scheduled online by going to: https://joesgolfsimulator.com/
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