Usta be, you had to head east to DiscoverGolf, Frog Hair or some other joint to play simulator golf in western New York. Thanks to the unfortunate demise of Golf Discount-Paddock Dome and the arrival of a company called The Sportzone, the Tonawandas, Grand Island and northwest Buffalo now have a spate of simulator bays within par-five distance (give or take a bounce or two.)

Six public and one private simulator offer golf courses, practice range and a number of sports beyond our favorite four-letter word. There are soccer, football, hockey, baseball and for the traditional old-schoolers, zombie dodgeball. Since this is a golf website, we’ll leave out the other five sporting activities and focus our soles solely on the auld geme.

With each generation (roughly three years) of simulator, enormous advances are made in precision. The Sport Zone has dedicated a site page to an explanation of the science and technology that entered the equation of Virtual Sports/Visual Sports (not sure which is the name of the system and which, of the company.) I’ll leave the reading to you; my plan is to get inside quickly and tool around the joint.

I suspect what’s most entrancing and frightening about the set-up are the four cameras and 2000 images per second that they shoot. With that many clicks, I must have a good side, right? If that’s what the good guys are using technology for, imagine what the bad guys are doing! But I digress…

As far as golf courses go, if you click the golf courses link from the site golf page, you’ll see a healthy list of accessible courses. In addition, contemporary layouts like Pacific Dunes make an appearance. Stay tuned (hopefully) for an interview with the principles at The Sport Zone At The Dome.