Golf Simulator and Virtual Golf Centers in Florida

    By Tim McDonald

    It's been a little rainy in my neck of the Florida woods, and thus I haven't been able to get in my golf fix as much as usual. And of course, holiday commitments keep getting in the way.

    No worries, at least for those of you who near a virtual golf simulator.

    These things are starting to pop up more and more. No need to worry about the weather.

    The newest one is CaddyShanks Virtual Golf and More at University Park. It offers more than 60 courses, from St. Andrews to Pebble Beach to Sawgrass.

    The idea is: You stand in front of giant-screen, 150-degree TVs, which are actually three state-of-the-art virtual simulators, the only simulators endorsed by the PGA. You're nearly surrounded by the course. You swing away, and sensors track the ball flight, speed and spin, recording your shots as if you were actually playing.

    Simulators can be used by individuals or by multiple players and tournaments. Green fees are in the $30-$40 range.

    These virtual golf simulators are popping up all over Florida, like Linque in Jacksonville, the World Golf Center in Orlando, Home Center in Viera and, of course the Virtual Reality Golf Center in St. Augustine at the Renaissance Resort at World Golf Village.

    It ain't real golf, but it's as close to it as you can get when it's raining outside. Oh, by the way, you can plug in rain and wind in the simulator if you really want to.