Golf is a seasonal sport in Maine, but Sim City Westbrook is looking to make it a year-round sport in Bangor.
The company is opening a facility that will have four or five golf simulators. It will be located in a strip mall near the Bangor Mall that includes Day’s Jewelers, Firehouse Subs and Super Shoes.
The Bangor opening is tentatively set for Nov. 1. Chad Curley, a managing partner for the facility, will also be the golf pro running it.
Golf has flourished in Maine since the COVID-19 pandemic struck as it provided housebound individuals a chance to safely indulge in some valuable outdoor activit
Brian Bickford, the executive director of the Maine State Golf Association and University of Southern Maine golf coach, Chad Allen and Ryan Wingard are the managing partners in Sim City Westbrook and the minority partners with Curley in Bangor.
“Sim City has been very successful and one of the things we want to do as golf pros is grow the game,” explained Curley. “There isn’t a facility with a lot of simulators in the area so with the amount of golf courses and golfers in the area, we felt it would be a perfect fit.”
Sim City Westbrook will also be adding a facility in Old Orchard Beach at the same time as Bangor.
Curley said there are a few golf courses in the area equipped with simulators, including Traditions Golf Club and Learning Center in Holden and Rocky Knoll Country Club in Orrington.
The Sim City facility will be equipped with top-of-the-line TrackMan simulators.
Golfers will be able to choose from hundreds of different golf courses to play, use the simulator as a virtual driving range, or work their putting and chipping, Curley said.
Golfers can rent a simulator by the half hour or hour.
“You can practice on any type of shots you want,” Curley said. “You can learn so much about your launch angle, spin and club angle. It will help people understand why the golf ball is doing what it’s doing. It will help them become better players.”
Curley said the Sim City location in Bangor will have leagues and tournaments, and it will host the Maine State Golf Association’s winter indoor series.
“With how good technology is now, we want to turn Maine into a 12-month golf state,” said Curley, who plans to teach lessons at the facility.
There will also be a pro shop, a small bar with food and beverages, and televisions.
“It will be a family-friendly golf facility,” he said. “And it will be very affordable.”
They haven’t established a price structure yet.
Curley likes the location because it has plenty of parking and is easy to find.
A former pro at the Northeast Harbor Golf Club and the Penobscot Valley Country Club in Orono, Curley is originally from New York but moved to Caribou and graduated from Caribou High School where he played soccer, basketball and baseball.
He went on to play golf at Husson University in Bangor, where he was a captain.
He said he is excited about the venture.
“Winters can get dreary, and one of the hardest things for Mainers to do is to put the golf clubs up for the winter,” he said.
“Now they won’t have to any more.”