Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Uptown golf offers easy escape for quick work on your game

If you’re working uptown and want to spend a few minutes working on your golf game without leaving the center city, now you can.

There’s an indoor golf facility at the Charlotte Athletic Club located on the second floor of the indoor shops near the corner of Trade and Tryon streets.

“There are hundreds of people working uptown who have trouble getting out of the office long enough to work on their golf games. It’s just not feasible,” said Jim Donnelly, developer of the 1,500-member club.

“Here, you can walk over and spend 30 minutes on your golf game and go back to work.”

Memberships are available, but it’s also open to walk-in visitors who want to stop in for the occasional session when the golf course is too far away.

The golf facility is built around the high-tech Swing Box simulator. It isn’t some high-end video game. It’s a multi-purpose bit of software that can serve as a practice range, a teaching aid or allow you to play Pebble Beach with your friends in about an hour.

Meaghan Trainor, the club’s golf instructor, played four years of college golf at Elon before playing the Duramed Futures Tour. A former assistant pro at the Quail Hollow Club, Trainor is certified by the Titleist Performance Institute.

For members, a 30-minute session on the Swing Box setup is $13. It’s $18 for nonmembers. Unlimited monthly sessions are $50 for members, $60 for nonmembers.

For more information, visit charlotteathleticclub.com

Chip Shots

-- Charlotte’s Dana Rader has been voted third-best women’s teacher in the United States by Golf Digest magazine while Peggy Kirk Bell at Pine Needles Resort in Southern Pines is ranked fourth. Julie Cole, who works at the Dana Rader Golf School, is ranked 17th and Karen Palacios-Jansen, who runs swingbladegolf.com, is ranked 27th.

The rankings were based on the votes of more than 1,100 members of the LPGA’s teaching and club professional organization, as well as PGA of America members.

-- Jack Nicklaus has added wine to his portfolio. The new Jack Nicklaus Wine collection is debuting this week in St. Andrews, Scotland and next week at the Memorial Tournament. The collection features cabernet sauvignon and will be available at wine stores and selected golf clubs.