Shepparton News

Living in a golfer’s paradise

HACKS AND SEASONED CAMPAIGNER­S CAN GO TO NEXT LEVEL AND TEE UP AT COURSES ACROSS WORLD

- By Aydin Payne

If you have ever dreamt of nailing your tee shot down the fairways of the world’s most famous golf courses then you are in luck.

Shepparton’s first indoor golf simulator has landed and it’s given Goulburn Valley golfers the opportunit­y to play at elite courses such as, St Andrew’s, Pebble Beach and thousands more virtually.

Golf enthusiast­s and beginners can tackle the experience at Next Level Golf, the brainchild of owners Ashley Blake and Reanna Matthews.

The couple — which is accredited PGA Profession­als — has a wealth of golf experience that includes competing on the Australasi­an tour and working as club profession­als in the Goulburn Valley.

Along with the simulator, Next Level Golf provides coaching lessons and club fittings for those looking to make improvemen­ts on their game.

The opening of the store last week was a special moment for Blake — who was born and raised in Shepparton — as he saw a dream become a reality.

“It is something that has been in my head for about 10 years now and it’s really exciting to finally see it become a reality,” Blake said.

“We’re unique in the fact that we have the simulator, but we also provide coaching lessons, club fitting, repairs and we stock balls and equipment too.

“We have over 300 different shafts, it’s a very wide range and that’s so we get the right fitting to suit your swing.

“We have modelled ourselves on Shepparton’s Little Music Shop, in the fact that we are a small building and business, but we have plenty to offer our customers.”

Blake said the licensed venue, fit with a bar fridge and tables, was open to bookings for private functions.

And while Next Level Golf will be a social experience, Blake also sees it as a fresh outlook on playing the game — especially for beginners.

“The simulator is great because you can book in with your mates and come down, have a few drinks and have a bit of fun,” he said.

“There are over 70,000 golf courses from around the world to play on, you can go from playing on a couple of local courses to playing at world famous ones like Augusta National.

“But it’s also great for beginners because instead of being out on a golf course with loads of other people watching you hit, you can come in here and get to hit the ball without that pressure around you.

“We see ourselves as a soft entry for people wanting to play golf. We want to be that first step for people.”

While Matthews continues her work as an advertisin­g sales consultant, Blake holds down the fort during the week, until she jumps into the store on weekends.

“Reanna and I met as juniors and have both had similar golf journeys. We have done everything together,” Blake said.

“We come as a team; we always have.”

Next Level Golf offers one-hour bookings on the simulator for groups at $25 a head, while a 45-minute coaching lesson and club fitting session costs $80 each.

● Next Level Golf is located at 186 Corio St, Shepparton and bookings can be made on the store’s website www.nextlevelg­olf.com.au or by phoning 0437 186 084.

 ?? Pictures: Rodney Braithwait­e ?? Take your game to next level: Ashley Blake says he is looking forward to helping golfers in the region improve their game and have a bit of fun at Next Level Golf.
Pictures: Rodney Braithwait­e Take your game to next level: Ashley Blake says he is looking forward to helping golfers in the region improve their game and have a bit of fun at Next Level Golf.
 ??  ?? Plenty on offer: Next Level Golf also provides club fitting, club repairs and coaching lessons.
Plenty on offer: Next Level Golf also provides club fitting, club repairs and coaching lessons.
 ??  ?? Virtual reality: Ashley Blake stands in front of the golf simulator.
Virtual reality: Ashley Blake stands in front of the golf simulator.

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