Discover the Great Indoors at Pasadena Hills Driving Range

The weather, typical heat and occassional drenching storm, can ruin a round of golf in Florida. But, there is a way to play despite what a meteorologist said the previous night.

In fact, it's air conditioned and faster than a typical round. That's because Fred Bender and Tim Polce, owners and operators of Pasadena Hills Driving Range, have installed a $45,000 indoor golf simulator.

"It's pretty high tech," Polce says with a smile.

Pasadena Hills, located at Handcart Road and Jesse Daniel Drive in Wesley Chapel, is already a top-of-the-line driving range, equipped with a synthetic putting area, chipping range and soon-to-be-open restaurant, which will include a full kitchen.

However, Bender and Polce have a new toy, adding it's been quite a moneymaker since its installation this summer.

"It has a tee sheet," Bender says.

The indoor golf simulator at Pasadena Hills

That's because the simulator has two purposes. First, it allows Pasadena Hills to host scramble leagues, where players rent time, play their round and submit their score. Other times, golfers can jump on the simulator and it can show them ball speed, launch and spin, plus clubhead speed and path.

"You can only hit so many balls (on the range) and they go the same way," Bender says. "They can come in here and see exactly what they are doing wrong with their swing."

Rates to use the simulator start at $20 an hour, and Bender says it has been used by everyone, from those looking to play, no matter the weather, to others who rented it out to have a birthday party.

Bender and Polce have other plans for the simulator, including adding more courses since there are only European courses available to play, plus hooking up the TV to watch golf tournaments on the big screen.

"We want people hanging out and spending time with golf," Bender says. "That's the whole reason we opened the place."

The simulator is from a company in the Czech Republic, and now, Bender and Polce are licensed to distribute these machines. That's proved useful, as they have interest in installing three at the Shops at Wiregrass Mall once space opens after January 2011.

While those plans are tentative, Bender and Polce's doors are open, even for those who stay late looking to get in a round

"Not many people know about it," Bender says, "But for the few people who do know about it, it's doing really well. Everyone who comes to the range uses it and it's just a great element to have at this facility - something most places don't have.

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Reporter Mike Camunas can be reached at


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