One More Indoor Golf Opportunity Arises – Door County Pulse
Stephen Homan stands in front of an OptiShot golf simulator. Photo by Rachel Lukas.
A self-proclaimed “bogey golfer” has opened an indoor golf-simulator bay to enhance the entertainment at a new Sturgeon Bay restaurant and to provide one more public indoor golf opportunity in Door County.
This winter, Stephen Homan and his wife, Danielle Hall, opened A’Boat Time for breakfast and lunch in the former Hot Tamales building on Oak Street, and they plan to stay open for the dinner hour this spring after finding staffing.
Near the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Homan and Hall left Florida to help friends with restaurant and construction work and then sold their Florida home and decided to go into business. The past two summers, Homan played three or four rounds of golf per week, mostly at Idlewild and Cherry Hills, but he also sampled the rest of Door County’s courses. This winter he shopped around for the most affordable simulator he could receive in a timely fashion, and he set up an OptiShot model in the garage of the restaurant building.
Through January and early February, Homan and his buddies tested out the machine and worked on various configurations if they experienced glitches. Many simulators occasionally fail to read a shot if it’s too low, or if the golfer casts a shadow at the wrong moment or tees up in slightly the wrong location. Homan said the main thing he noticed was the machine sporadically not detecting a black-headed driver. However, he said it’s good that the machine doesn’t need to be reset for left-handed or right-handed golfers.
Homan said some Idlewild customers who enjoy playing the Golden Tee video game have expressed interest in visiting the restaurant for a tournament format.
He charges an hourly rate, regardless of the number of players. The simulator is currently open 7 am – 4 pm, but Homan could open it by reservation during the evenings for groups or individuals who want a half hour on the range setting.