AHEAD of arguably the biggest tournament in professional golf, The Masters, I had a go at playing the famous Augusta National Golf Course myself.

Only I didn’t need to spend hundreds of pounds on flights, hotels, and green fees to make it to Georgia, USA – I just drove over to Swindon Indoor Golf Centre in Westlea for a full 18 before magically transporting myself to Florida to try my luck at the iconic 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass moments later.

I began six-over on the front nine, a fact I was delighted about given my handicap is around 20. The back nine was less good, and I won’t be disclosing what happened during my Jordan Spieth-like meltdown around Amen Corner.

At the end, I joked that maybe I’d have a chance at slipping into that green jacket before being reminded I was playing off white tees which shorten the course by about 1,500 yards, I didn’t have to walk around the undulating magnolia-surrounded fairways that tire even the fittest athlete out, and I was also not forced to putt on the glass-like greens due to that particular setting being turned off.

It took me all of 90 minutes, mainly due to chatting and my innate ability to find the high-resolution trees off the tee, but even still it was the most fun I’ve had with a golf club for some time.

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Owner Sam Mendoza took out the lease on SIGC a week before the first lockdown happened, and after properly opening in June 2020 before shutting for a handful of months thereafter due to the subsequent lockdown, he is finally ready to show his wonderful business off to the world.

With over 100,000 different courses to choose from – including the Old Course at St Andrews, Wentworth, and Pebble Beach – individuals or parties can hire out one of two bays for £30 an hour before swinging to your heart’s content.

The technology that makes this extremely accurate golf experience possible is from Foresight Products, and it’s the same kit that the large majority of professional players use to dial up their yardages and when trying new clubs without taking chunks out of carefully-managed courses.

Regarding the accuracy of the equipment, I know I hit my seven iron around 140 yards (carry) with a slight fade (the booming slice comes with the driver).

This incredibly accurate technology showed exactly what I regularly see out on the golf course – I was as impressed as I was slightly miffed that the tech didn’t help me out in that regard.

Should you want to take lessons at SIGC, Sam can help you out there too. They offer ‘gapping analysis sessions’ whereby golfers are helped to understand how far each club should travel, and that therefore makes decisions on the course an awful lot easier.

If you don’t want to take it as seriously, SIGC hold an alcohol license too so large group bookings can have a relaxed evening on the Links while kicking back and enjoying the sports-bar like vibe.

They also have a selection of short courses so families can make the most of an afternoon with the kids.

Whether you aspire to follow the 2022 Masters Champion onto the 18th at Augusta, or you just fancy smashing your driver as far as you can muster, Swindon Indoor Golf Centre is a brilliant place to fulfil those dreams – they are The Masters of indoor golf.

Swindon Indoor Golf Centre website.

Address: Unit 111 Rivermead Estate, Swindon SN5 7EX.

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