(First published in the October 31, 2019 issue of City Pages)
Shane Saari’s indoor virtual golf facility, in the former Ethan Allen building, will take you to Pebble Beach and beyond
Shane Saari plans to open 4 Seasons Golf of Wausau in late November. League signups already are underway.
Shane Saari loves golf for the challenge and the fact that it’s a sport he and his wife, Nichole, do as a couple. But in central Wisconsin, golf season runs only about six or seven months of the year. Enter his new business, 4 Seasons Golf of Wausau, an indoor virtual golf simulator that allows people to “play” all year round, at courses around the world— virtually, that is.
While it’s great to golf in the middle of winter, Saari says the cool part is how real the screen visuals appear and the details the simulators capture when you hit the ball. “They give you the spin rate, club head speed, trajectory, every single thing you want to know,” he says.
Each of four Full Swing simulators, set up in their own bays, can put golfers on 84 different courses all over the world, including Pebble Beach, Banff Springs, and The Belfry. Golfers can also practice on the driving range setting.
Saari attended Wausau West High School and after getting a college masters degree, worked in Montana as a fishing guide, and then moved back home, married Nichole, and became a teacher. “I’ve always wanted to run own my own business,” he says. “When watching the market of indoor simulators and sports bars take off, and doing my own research, I knew that I wanted to do this.”
Construction of 4 Seasons Golf, located in the former Ethan Allen furniture store on Robin Lane, is close to complete. Saari plans to be open for golf in late November.
Saari loves the flexibility that the simulators offer. Golfers can play a game of regular golf alone, hit the driving range, get a group of friends together or join a golf league. “There will also be a competitive setting, where the groups that are using the bay can play closest to the pin, longest drive, fairway accuracy and things like that.” He plans to work with local golf courses to promote lessons for adults and kids. Saari encourages golfers bring in their own clubs, or they can rent clubs there.
And, there’s not just golf. The simulators can play 13 other sports. “Say a golfer gets done early and they still have time left in their rental,” says Saari. “They can put on soccer, football, baseball, zombie dodgeball… there are all kinds of things you can do.”
4 Seasons houses three semi-private sim bays and one enclosed private bay that can be used for parties or corporate and business events. Plus, 4 Seasons Golf is also a sports bar, so that while patrons golf or play zombie dodgeball, they can also order beer and pizza.
4 Seasons Golf of Wausau is located at 2107 Robin Lane in Rib Mountain. See details at 4SeasonsGolfofWausau.com