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Eagle’s Pride Golf Course unveils golf simulator

Col. Phil Lamb, Joint Base Lewis-McChord commander, takes the inaugural shot at the new golf simulator unveiled at Eagle’s Pride Golf Course Feb. 2. Photo credit: Pamela Sleezer

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JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD - The serene image of Pebble Beach, complete with blue skies and light breeze sets the stage as Col. Phil Lamb, Joint Base Lewis-McChord commander, steps up to the golf tee and sets his shot. With a moment of thoughtful consideration, he pulls back his club and swings with a satisfying THWACK as his golf ball sails off into the distance.

But there is no need for Lamb to hop into his golfcart to follow his ball. The screen before him follows his ball seamlessly as it plops nicely on the green and offers him a moment to admire the detailed scenery before considering his next plan of attack. He gazes at an arsenal of clubs and plucks one.

"Let's give this one a try," Lamb said as he decides to go with a putter.

Pebble Beach was one of more than 60 virtual course options from across the world available to players at the new golf simulator now open to the public at Eagle's Pride Golf Course, at 1529 Mounts Rd. SW in DuPont.

Situated in the Eagle's Pride Grill area, the simulator boasts cutting-edge technology that rivals those found at golf enthusiasm establishments across the nation. The game's virtual simulator uses swing analyzer technology to detect a player's body position and movements, whether they shoot right-handed or left, to accurately project the distance and trajectory their golf ball will travel after being struck.

Or won't travel, as was the experience of some players. Luckily, Lamb pointed out there is a mulligan option.

The simulator's creation is the product of collaboration between Lamb and JBLM Morale, Welfare and Recreation officials, as well as the Eagle's Pride management team.

Alex Demitras, chief of Business Operations at JBLM's MWR, said the effort to bring a golf simulator to JBLM took approximately two years from start to end, and was a project that Lamb expressed his interest in shortly after taking command.

"There has been a tremendous amount of work by many different people in many different departments to make this come to fruition," Demitras said.

Demitras said the cost for the simulator, a capital purchase, was $72,000, with another $8,000 invested for the electrical modifications needed for it to operate properly.

Lamb said the result exceeded his own expectations.

"Originally, I thought we would only have about half the space we have before us right now," Lamb said. "This is incredible to see and I'm very excited with what we have accomplished."

Not to be considered solely a golfer's toy, the golf simulator offers a new level of entertainment for all sports enthusiasts and their families.

"The golf simulator introduces golf in a way that, for someone like me who is not a pro at all, this is fun for me," Demitras said. "I will come here much faster than I would go out on a golf course."

Far more than just golf, the simulator offers a wide choice of game options to include football, basketball, cricket and even zombie dodgeball, just to name a few.

"This is more than just about ‘for the golfers,'" Lamb said. "This is a place for units to hold functions, and I think we are going to see future expansion of this area in the food and beverage side that will make this an even better place for our service members and their families to utilize for everything from a birthday party to a Super Bowl party, to being able to train folks on how to improve their game."

Already, plans are in place to renovate the Eagle's Pride Grill area with a new restaurant theme expected to be complete by early April, and eventually a second simulator to be installed.

The simulator is operated through an intuitive touchscreen base located nearby that players can use to choose their game and their golf course, which will soon also include the Eagle's Pride course as an option. Golf course team members are now being trained in the software to offer assistance to players.

Golf clubs are available for free to players, and a nearby cabinet holds all items needed for any of the other game options available.

The simulator can be booked over the phone by calling 253-967-6522 or in-person at the Eagle's Pride pro shop, located adjacent from the grill entrance.

Up to eight players at one time may use the golf simulator for just one fee. Weekday prices range from $50 per hour for the public to $40 per hour, depending on rank. Service members ranked E6 and above, along with DOD ID card holders and retirees can expect to pay $45 per hour. Weekend prices increase by $10. Large party reservations are available upon request by simply calling or visiting the Eagles Pride Pro Shop.

Already, the simulator is incredibly popular.

"I'm already trying to book this Sunday - and the Super Bowl," Lamb said. "Put me down for Super Bowl Sunday."

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