Much like confronting a former bully at a high-school reunion, playing golf requires an efficient swing and at least three friends to cheer you on. Take a stand against a shank-producing stroke with today's Groupon: for $49, you get three hours of play in a golf simulator for up to six people at The OnGolf Club in Richmond Hill (a $145 value).
The OnGolf Club's 5,000-square-foot facility transports putters to 80 famous golf courses within the virtual stalls of its five distinct golf simulators. Players pulverize real-life orbs into immense screens that exhibit a high threshold for pain as they vividly replicate the lush landscapes and calculated topography at Angus Glen or the displaced sunbathers at Pebble Beach. The simulators channel the latest technology to precisely track ball flight and even detect backspin, so putters can watch as their signature power-draws or chronic slices pierce the virtual atmosphere and roll over emerald fairways. Each simulator features its own unique, verisimilitude-enhancing refinement, such as a hydraulic swing plate that emulates the lie of the ball's virtual position and a 3-D room that engulfs players in three conjoined screens to add to the course's sense of depth and realism. Throughout the session, a Swing Motion Analysis System captures the pendulous progression of each swing, playing it back to golfers so they can correct any technical flaws and see how they would look if they were made of molten silver. As players wait their turn, OnGolf keeps them engaged
Whether golfers are coming in from the snow, the rain, or a downpour of golf-club-sized hail, the sun is always shining on the virtual courses of OnGolf Club. While making their way to one of five course simulators, guests hear the healthy swoosh of a finely swung club. Each station boasts a selection of 80 world-renowned courses brought to vivid life with high-definition projection screens and effects like elevation, different lengths of grass, and trees swaying in a virtual breeze. Simulators also churn out analytics on each swing while onsite pros offer golfing tips for beginning or advanced students. Additionally, guests waiting for their tee time can watch the world of outdoor sports on one of the numerous TVs in the lounge.