Golf enthusiasts visiting London can now play on some of the world's most famous courses, without having to scrabble around in the rough, looking for lost balls.
Last week, golf legend Sam Torrence launched London's first hotel golf simulator at the five-star Jumeirah Carlton Tower in Knightsbridge.
Guests can "play" Peak Golf at the property's Peak Health Club, on 62 of the world's most famous courses. The simulator consists of a huge screen (3.85m by 2.85m) with an image of the chosen course. The screen is made of a special material, which can take the high impact of the ball hitting it, with little noise and no ripples, keeping the view of the course perfectly flat. There are also synthetic "rough" and "sand bunker" surfaces to give a realistic feeling of a golf course as you take your shot.
A computer provides feedback on every shot including: launch angle, ball speed, total distance, swing speed and club head angle. Golf clubs and balls are provided, so all you have to do is select the right club, stand in front of the screen and take your best swing.
Players can also take part in "Closest to the pin" and "Longest drive" competitions, with names and positions flashing up on the screen.
"Indoor golf" is not a new phenomenon. For example, Urban Golf has been around since 2004 and has 52 courses to play on at its two branches in Smithfield's and Soho. There are various packages and prices, but for those wanting to let off steam after work it costs £50 per hour (for six people) after 6pm.
Peak Golf is open from Monday to Friday 8am to 10pm and from 8am – 9pm at the weekend and costs £40 per hour (for four people). Corporate packages can also be arranged with snacks and drinks. First time players must have a free one-hour training session before playing.
Call +44 (0)20 7858 7300 to book a session of Peak Golf or to find out more see jumeriahcarltontower.com.
Report by Felicity Cousins