• August 31, 2021
An Auckland golf experience company’s live streams have been proving a hit with those missing the fairways during the country’s level-four lockdown.
Armed with a state-of-the-art simulator often used by PGA pros, Michael JH Batty is bringing the greens of Augusta and other famous courses to living rooms around the world for those deprived of the game.
“I come from technology background, so me and [my business partner] decided to mix golf and technology and open up a simulator," Mr Batty said.
The idea for the live streams coincidentally came a week before the lockdown, as a way to peak interest in the sport and the use of technology.
Usually, a paired match is showcased, but Mr Batty still wanted to get some use out of the setup while still complying with Covid restrictions.
“With the lockdown [the simulator’s] not getting any use, and because I am only two to three minutes' walk down the road, I use my daily exercise to come in and provide a little bit of light entertainment.”
During his streams, Mr Batty gives insight into the way the Foresight FSX 2020 software works, with customisable gimmes, hazard plays and conditions. He also has frank discussions about golfing strategy and play.
“A lot of people aren’t aware about what it’s like to hit inside a golf simulator.
“They aren’t aware that the cameras take around six hundred photos a second that register the golf ball before it even hits the screen.”
He believes YouTube and other streaming services are a great way to keep involved in the sport while in lockdown, and that Kiwi ingenuity won’t stop you from having your own practices.
“If you’ve got a big enough backyard and some foam balls you could get some action going. My first golf simulator was fishing net strapped to a clothes line.
“[After lockdown] we’re more than happy to greet people through the door and give them their own opportunity to have a hit.”
Kalino Latu • September 14, 2021