Cheney Free Press -

Staff Reporter 

Fairways unveils new golf simulator

Players can hone skills, or enjoy virtual play on notable courses


January 4, 2018

The Fairways

The Fairways Golf Course has recently installed a simulator that can help golfers keep themselves on top of their game when not able to get outside to play.

The Fairways Golf Course is open for business despite the snow and cold outside.

They are instead urging golfers to step inside to play with their new "toy," a golfing simulator.

"People are pretty jazzed about it, they like the concept," Kris Kallem, general manager and head professional said. The device opened for business a few days before Christmas.

Among the options is the ability to play 15 different courses, notable among them are championship courses golfers will recognize, Pinehurst No. 2 in North Carolina, California's Torrey Pines in La Jolla and Firestone Country Club near Akron, Ohio.

"It's an alternative to driving to Tri Cities or Lewiston during the wintertime," Kallem said. People who are golf-starved will do whatever it takes to get a club in their hands, he added.

The simulator hours are currently Monday–Friday 1 – 8 p.m.

"After the first of the year we're looking to expanding the hours to weekends," Kallem said. "We're still getting a feel for what demand is going to be."

There is also the option of lessons by appointment outside of those hours.

"Everybody that has come and played it is going to come back again," Kallem said. A league is scheduled to begin play soon.

Among the elements it tracks are club head and ball speed as well as back and side spin. "It's a great tool to use as far as teaching golf and understanding the swing," Kallem said.

The Fairways has been fortunate to be able to have live play in low snow and warmer winters, but not this year so far, or last where snow blanketed the ground across the West Plains for over 70 days.

Outside golf would need a solid week of warm temperatures and wind to make the course at all playable. "We need a Chinook type of situation and temperatures to get up into the mid and upper 30s," Kallem said.

The alternative to scratch the bored golfers itch was the simulator.

"We've got the space, let's get a quality launch monitor in there," Kallem said. The simulator runs through a 55-inch screen television.

Not only does the user get the data with each swing, they can watch the ball flight, Kallem explained.

It will be able to detect the more minute idiosyncrasies in one's game.

"It's really accurate, if you put a hook-swing on it you're going to see to ball move right to left and fly at the target," Kallem said.

The simulator will detect the mis-hit ball that is not going to fly as far, too, Kallem said.

With a swing behind the ball and a "de-loft" of the club face, the resulting shot will be in a lower trajectory.

"We put a nice, comfy couch right behind it," Kallem said, encouraging people to watch, just relax, or put pressure on friends with that extra set of eyes watching.

"We really want people to come out and take some lessons, work on their game and get a leg up on spring," Kallem said.

Once the course opens, those who have used the simulator will already be in good golfing shape. "Their swings will be improved and they can try it out on the golf course," Kallem said.

Those using the device should bring their own clubs, but the Fairways has clubs available.

"It takes one person about an hour to play 18 holes, playing by themselves," Kallem said. "You can move a foursome around in a little over two hours."

Paul Delaney can be reached at


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