Which Way Do You Swing? (Your Golf Club That Is)
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, golf has experienced a huge boom in popularity. Social distancing guidelines and being outdoors aligned perfectly with the sport increasing the number of players, rounds played and apparel/club sales. With that comes a younger crowd putting their own spin on the game and how it’s played.
Traditionally, golf has been a sport with a lot of rules on game play, etiquette and apparel. It’s an expensive activity in which to partake, and historically has largely been considered to be a man’s game. Many think of old, retired CEO’s smoking cigars in their pricey slacks and polo shirts at the country club when they picture golf in their minds, but beyond expanded club memberships, new ways to enjoy the game have opened the world of golf to more than the wealthy men of the world.
The ‘gamification’ of golf has given non-players a way to enjoy the sport without having to play a traditional 18-hole round. One such example, Topgolf, is a driving range game with chip-tracking golf balls and automatically scored drives which has exploded in recent years with 74 locations currently (10 of those openings in 2021) and at least 9 more under construction. The goal of Topgolf is to bring new people to the game and make sure guests are having a blast. Personally, we have always enjoyed ourselves whether we bring clients, out of town guests like our German exchange student or a fun family night with the kiddos.
In recent years, however, there have been new players to emerge in the Nashville area that offer a completely different experience than the multi-tiered, outdoor, bar scene that Topgolf has to offer. Enter… The Golf Sanctuary in Brentwood, TN. Upon hearing the news, we had to check it out!
The Golf Sanctuary combines a state-of-the-art practice facility with fine dining and a memorable social experience. The building is unexpectedly unmarked and non-descript which we learned helps protect the anonymity of their celebrity clientele. When you arrive at this members-only club, you are greeted by welcoming staff (during normal operating hours), but if you want to hang with your fellow players after hours, your phone allows you to enter and play 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
There are 6 bays, all indoor, powered by Trackman with golf pros available for all your golf needs/questions. You can play the world’s best courses from Pebble Beach in California to St. Andrews in the UK and even Middle Tennessee’s own premiere course, The Grove (which just so happens to my favorite community in all of TN). You can also fine tune your golf game by receiving real-time feedback on a long list of data points. You can play games with golfers of any age, 5 to 105.
The club offers a culinary experience provided by a seasoned executive chef with dishes changing seasonally. There are events in which to participate weekly for every person’s interest from date nights, happy hours and training classes. You can even host work meetings and trainings at the facility as well as in one of the lounge areas or dining room. One cool thing scheduled to come next year is an interactive, indoor putting green to perfect your every putt, not just your swing!
Don’t just drop in though, this is a private club with a limited number of memberships. As of our personal tour last week, only a limited number of spots remain. The environment was welcoming yet had a sophisticated vibe. We loved the thought of bringing our clients, friends and kids to come play.
If the private club scene is not your style, you can enjoy indoor simulators at TN Golf Station in Murfreesboro. You’ll pay a reasonable hourly rate there and can still order drinks and pub-style food (don’t forget to ask about their secret menu!); there you can play 40 of the top courses or just have fun playing games with friends. While the venue is not as high-end, you’re still certain to have a blast!
The Nashville golf scene is teeming with choices for traditional outdoor golf, private clubs, indoor and outdoor simulators, and many communities where you can live and play (download our list of golf course communities here). There’s even some good ole mini golf options around town. So, tell us, what do you think of golf ‘gamified’? Do you dig it? Are you more of a traditional golfer? Or can you get down with both? We would love to hear from you!