Divots the newest addition for an avid golf community
Travis Laibl chips his shot up onto the virtual green at the Moses Lake Divots Indoor Golf facility on April 30, while out enjoying his birthday.
Casey McCarthy/Columbia Basin Herald
Divots front desk manager Renata Vazquez works at the computer with the course list, snacks and beverages behind her at the Moses Lake facility on April 30.
A look out across the virtual fairway at Dorado Beach, one of numerous courses available at Divots Indoor Golf facility in Moses Lake.
Staff Writer | May 24, 2021 1:00 AM
MOSES LAKE — Golfers in the Columbia Basin have a new venue to get some swings in at a wide variety of courses with the new indoor Divots Golf facilities in Moses Lake and Walla Walla.
The indoor golf attractions provide an opportunity for golfers 21 and older of any skill level to play 89 courses from all over the world. Golfers can tee off and enjoy beer, wine and traditional golf course concession snacks, like chips and beef jerky, with friends and family.
Customers can also order in from their favorite restaurants while they play, with Divots promoting ordering from local businesses. Big-screen televisions allow golfers to watch major sporting events while they play.
The Moses Lake location opened in early April and features six state-of-the-art simulator bases, with courses ranging from Pebble Beach Golf Links in California to Cabo Del Sol in Mexico.
Divots is a project of parent company ai Sports LLC, based in Walla Walla, where its first location opened in October 2020. Jordan Schilling, manager for ai Sports, said owners Henderson Orchard and Monty Buell hoped to bring a new, somewhat different recreational activity to the region.
“I think we’re thinking of Divots becoming regionally something fun, something different,” Schilling said. “Obviously, everyone knows about Top Golf, but with a little bit more functionality that people that are into golf can utilize all year round.”
The new indoor facilities accommodate seasoned golfers but also novices who might be looking to try out the sport for the first time. Experienced golfers can come in and work on their swing in winter or on rainy days, while newcomers can get a better feel for the game in general.
Competitive leagues have launched with great success in Walla Walla. There are also plans for incorporating multi-location competitions between the Divots sites in the near future. As pandemic-related restrictions are lifted and venues open up, she said Divots also hopes to host groups and companies that want to rent out the facility for parties when the opportunity becomes available.
Schilling said ai Sports wanted to capitalize on the popularity of golf in the Pacific Northwest while reaching as many people as possible. New locations are set to open up in Richland, Lewiston, Idaho, and Anchorage, Alaska, before the end of the year.
Schilling said there are some other areas for expansion in mind, but the company wants to wait and see how these first locations perform. So far, she said the indoor golf facilities have been a “smash hit.”
“We think it’s been well-received, and people from a variety of skill levels and interest in golf are coming in to check it out,” Schilling said. “It’s just something new and cool to do.”