The concept of virtual golf first caught Charlie Leduc’s attention more than seven years ago while he was on a cruise.
And although it had always stayed in the back of his mind, Leduc didn’t turn it into a business venture until this January, when he and business partner Chris Poulos opened CaddyShanks, a virtual sports facility and bar.
The venue off Tourist Center Drive offers the use of three PGA-endorsed interactive video simulators — the largest of which has a screen 36 feet across — to allow participants to golf inside no matter the weather conditions.
“Anything you can do in an outdoor golf course, you can do here, except it’s air-conditioned,” Leduc said. “According to the pros, it’s as accurate as it can be.”
Guests can play upwards of 36 golf courses, including the famed Pebble Beach and St. Andrews courses. A golf professional also is available for those who wish to take private lessons. Customers can rent golf clubs or bring their own to play.
“We want to make this a golf watering hole where they can come talk about golf and tournaments,” Leduc said. “That’s our focus. It’s a great place to work on your game.”
The facility also offers virtual auto racing as well as Wii games for play. Rooms or the entire facility can be reserved for birthday parties, leagues, corporate events or tournaments.
“We’re not here to replace outdoor golf,” Leduc said. “We’re here as an alternative.”
For more information, visit www.caddyshanks.com.
Location: 8207 Tourist Center Drive, University Park
Hours: 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday through Wednesday; 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., Thursday; and 9 a.m. to 1 a.m., Friday and Saturday
Line of business: Virtual golf, auto racing and wii games
Year established: Opened Jan. 2, 2010
What makes the business unique: “We play 36 courses (of golf) inside, and the race car simulator.”