out of 4 GT Logos. Anything beyond that would be a reach.
Canton Indoor Golf, Revisited: March 2015
Thank you, Groupon. Ack. After we had pretty much sworn off returning to CIGC after our first visit in 2013, (literally sworn it off; at least one of us may have developed Tourette's) there was a promotional discount available and well, we'd be foolish to pass on that. Plus, it offered an opportunity to compare apples to apples with Bobby V's sim golf, which we thought was equally clusteriffic initially.
On our return, the pace of play at CIGC still sucked, but it was slightly easier to deal with the second time around. There were more putting options available, which helped. On the other hand, the simulator seemed to do some awkward things on "swing analysis." We're the first to admit that we take plenty of bad swings, but the number of snap hooks and banana slices that left us in the junk, lava rocks in this case, since we were playing in Hawaii, was somewhat puzzling, compared to our usual number of piss poor golf shots.
From what we can gather, three non-slobs should be able to finish 18 holes in 3 hours. We couldn't achieve that, but it sounds reasonable.
Group setup is still a strength at CIGC; anyone from the waitstaff can help you with any sim issues you may encounter, as long as they don't relate to your swing.
We're upgrading the initial GT rating of Canton Indoor Golf Center from 1 GT Logo as noted above, to:
out of 4 GT logo review, but we can't.
Ah…nothing could be more exhilarating in the dead of winter than to explore a new sim-golf facility…and Canton Indoor Golf Center (established Autumn, 2011) fit the bill.
Canton Indoor Golf Center is the “new sports bar” in town, located in the former Mencuccini’s/IGA Supermarket, a few paces from the old South Pacific/Rice Fields watering hole in the Canton Village shopping complex. We’ll use the “sports bar” term loosely because, frankly, CIGC threw us a curve; we didn’t expect to see the 2nd inaugural on every screen in an establishment touting itself as a sports bar. Patriotic as we are, there were hoops options to be had on MLK day, both college and pro; we shouldn’t have needed to ask to see one while indulging in the inauguration festivities on every other screen between shots.
Still, we were looking forward to hammering some majestic drives into what used to be the frozen food aisle of the grocery store.
Moving onto the Canton Indoor Golf Center review…
Layout: Pretty much the ideal configuration for setting up golf simulators around a sports bar. Easy access to food, wide screens, etc. High marks for “feng shui.”
Pegging up: Chris did a great job of setting us up in his sim-golf palace. He walked us through the ins and outs quickly, without needing to repeat instructions for the A.D.D.-affected member of our group, which was both surprising and impressive.
(Oversold) Realism: As pitched by the folks at CIGC, “Our setup is much more realistic than anything else you’ve ever played (indoors).” Let’s face it, if you’ve brought your clubs into a hollowed out warehouse or grocery store during the coldest stretch of winter to play something that vaguely resembles golf, you parted company with "realism" long ago; somewhere around the time that you realized your clubs were in the trunk and you weren’t making a trip to the airport on your way to Hawaii. After making that realization, a “realistic golf experience” may not be among your highest priorities.
Suspended Disbelief: Of course a “realistic” sim set-up wouldn’t have a waitress bringing your group food and grog; there would be a Beer Cart Chick ducking you for 2 hours (9holes) or 4+ hours (full loop). Sim golf at the CIGC “sports bar” fixes that problem, which is great, but it’s as realistic as the wine list on the table behind your sim booth.
Sim Putting: Based on our previous trip to Hoboken Golf, we were biased against sim-putting because it added nothing to the fake golf experience. We asked, before booking our tee time at CIGC, whether putting would really be necessary. Despite our pleadings, we were informed that it was unavoidable. So much for the customer always being right. That being said, the putting feature at CIGC isn’t horrible, relatively speaking, but as Sherpa JB noted, “It’s an improvement, but it’s still a giant time suck.”
Pace of Play: Based on our wealth of Tracking experience and/or mastery of the obvious, we’ve learned that: a) riding 18 should take less time than walking 18 and b) [extrapolating that thought] sim-18, where no one has to look for a ball in the woods or walk anywhere, should take less time than 18 with a cart. Surprisingly not so in this case. The quickest thing about the pace of play at CIGC was how quickly it degenerated from tedious to nearly excruciating. Maybe that was our fault (the tee box monologues from the Tracker known as 2Steps probably didn’t help on the pace of play front), but we all knew after the 2nd hole that it wasn’t going to end quickly, or at least not quickly enough. If it takes a group that prides itself on quick play 2 ½ hrs. to make the turn playing sim-golf, something has definitely gone awry.
In summary: We were thrilled to have the opportunity to play CIGC. No complaints about the staff or the set-up, whatsoever. The layout seems to work well enough for most people. Of course, we’re Goat Trackers, not “most people,” and we have slightly different standards. We pulled the plug after it took 2 ½ hrs. to pound out the front 9 at Pebble. The pace of play was a grind and we did not like that, despite all the advances in sim-golf technology, the “non-putting option” was not made available to us. The most truly “realistic” aspect of our round was having people walk through our backswings. As the reigning Sim Golf Champion said afterwards, “I know a guy who works with the guy who runs CIGC and I told him I’m not in a hurry to return.” That’s a pretty honest, unsolicited assessment. We’ve seen that CIGC works for a lot of folks and we’re glad it does, but this group of Goat Trackers may not be among them. We would like to give CIGC more than a...