Honey, we’re going to spend the evening at the driving range, OK? I can imagine some of my friends saying this but I can’t imagine many positive responses from their nearest and dearest.
I mention this because MGM have just opened an interesting new facility near the MGM Grand at Koval Lane. You may well have driven past when it was in the process of construction. Like other driving ranges worldwide you can go and practise your golf by hitting balls from one of 108 purpose built (and air-conditioned) bays. Obviously that won’t appeal to your other half (unless she’s a golf fanatic too) but before you dismiss the idea out of hand there are other goodies to be had from a visit to the range. Amongst other things you can eat, drink, swim and play!
If you’re driving to the facility all parking is by valet. It’s free at the time of writing (6/16) but, as this is an MGM property, expect a fee to be levied shortly. Once inside the surroundings are new, plush and young – like nothing you’ve ever seen at a conventional driving range in the UK. Three story neon chandeliers are just a taste. Then there’s the concert space which is used for other games like shuffleboard when there’s no act on the roster.
If you’re in to watching sport and having a beer or three ‘The Yard’ has massive screens and a retractable roof. Bars include the ‘Riv Bar’ – an homage to the now closed and shortly to be imploded Riviera Hotel and Casino. Big screens aren’t only inside there are a bank of them at the end of the range itself! I guess I won’t be the only one trying to hit them! There’s the ‘Runway Bar’ and loads of places to order food – burgers, flatbreads, wings, desserts, chips, wedges – perhaps the food offerings you’d expect but served up by a host of pretty young things. When they advertised for staff 8,500 applied for the 950 positions!
As for the golf itself, wow! You can bring your own clubs if you want, some do, but they’re included if you don’t. Worried about hitting balls out of the arena? Don’t be. MGM even flew in some of the world’s longest and highest hitters to see if they could breach the safety nets but they all failed.
Imagine golf, darts and bowling combined. Remarkably, all the golf balls have chips inside them so their distance, track, velocity etc can all be measured. Couple this with a customizable LCD display in your bay and you can see exactly where your ball would have landed. Add into the mix targets that register electronically as well and you can have nearest as well have farthest competitions with your mates. You can get six to ten people in each pay with the complex accommodating up to 3,000 golfers at once.
Prices are currently between $30 and £90 per hour per bay. Now, go back to line one of this post and ask your other half again!