AUGUSTA — A group of three golfers from central Maine played the Teeth of the Dog golf course Friday afternoon in the Dominican Republic, but they never had to leave the state.

The men were some of the first in the area to use a new state-of-the-art indoor golf simulator inside the A-Copi Tennis and Sports Center on Leighton Road. Emergency medicine doctor Doug Boyink took money from a personal credit line and opened KV Indoor Golf on Friday on the second floor of the tennis center.

“Once I heard about this kind of simulator, I just knew we had to have it for this area,” said Boykin, who has been playing golf since he was a teenager. “I thought we had to do this because there are a lot of people here who want to play golf in the winter.”

The simulator, from aboutGolf, cost $54,500 for the premium package, which includes more than 80 courses, such as the famed Pebble Beach Golf Links in Northern California and the Old Course at St. Andrews in Scotland. For a lot of golfers, playing those two historic venues will never be logistically or financially possible, but the simulator does a great job replicating what it would be like to play on those classic courses.

“A course like Pebble Beach is now $500 to play, plus you need to stay at the resort and lodge for two nights,” Boyink said. “This is going to be great for the community.”

During their round playing the Teeth of the Dog, the threesome of Jerry Chase, Tony West and Mike Fitton traded casual barbs and ribbed each other, just as they would on a regular course.


The course, ranked No. 39 in the world by Golf Digest, is a challenging course that costs players at least $295 to play. But at KV Indoor Golf, a player pays $30 per hour, and a single player can play 18 holes in about 60 minutes.

They all agreed that the simulator is a pretty accurate representation of how they play outdoors.

“We’re what you’d consider hackers, so this is very similar to real life,” West said after making a birdie on the par-3 eighth hole. West, from Windsor, finished his round 28 over par, one shot behind Chase, of Farmingdale. Fitton was the best of the group Friday, making a 15-footer for birdie on No. 16 and finishing with a plus-18 89.

“We’ve been going to Portland and Falmouth (to play indoors), so this will save us a little bit of gas,” Chase said. “Once the word gets out, there won’t be any problem getting people to come here.”

Players stand on a green surface that looks like grass and hit the ball off a tee or the mat into a 14-foot screen. Three sensors above the player’s head on the ceiling register the player’s swing speed, trajectory, ball flight and other data to mimic where the ball would land on the course.

Fitton and his two friends were using every club in their bags, from their drivers and woods, to irons, wedges and putters. Chase was even using a glove on each hand, though the players weren’t wearing golf shoes.


The digital courses have all the details of their real-life counterparts, from sand traps and water hazards, to trees and houses and canyons and cliffs. The recreation of Pebble Beach Golf Links, one of the most picturesque golf courses in the world, is visually stunning and no less challenging than the real thing.

Boyink said it took several months to get everything for the facility. Someone at the Augusta Country Club, he said, wanted to buy an inexpensive simulator, but he thought that wasn’t a good idea.

“I told them that would screw up the market because people would play but not enjoy themselves and they’d never come back,” he said. “I said if we were going to do it, we’re going to get the best one we can buy.”

Over time, Boyink, of Mount Vernon, said he hopes to transition the operation of the facility to the tennis center, which already is handling reservations and collecting money. He’ll be at the facility a couple of times a week for the first six weeks, and a recent PGA training program graduate will be there the other days.

Lessons will be available from Jason Hurd, the general manager of the Augusta Country Club, and Peter Hatfield, a teaching professional at the club. Lockers can be rented for $10 a month for people who plan to play more regularly and don’t want to have to carry their clubs from the car, down a long corridor and up a flight of stairs every time.

“At $30 an hour, I think it’s a pretty good deal for people that want to do this,” Boyink said. There will be discounted rates for children, and Boyink envisions high school and college teams using the facility, as well as hosting competitive tournaments and charity events.


Boyink grew up in Michigan and moved to Maine in 1975. He started playing golf in high school and became more and more interested in the game as he got older. Augusta Country Club was on his commute to work, and he ultimately became a member.

He said he isn’t doing it for the money, but he is excited about what this facility will do to help grow the game in central Maine.

“There’s a lot more golfers here in the winter than you think,” he said. “This is going to be a great resource for the community.”

The facility will be open 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Jason Pafundi — 621-5663

[email protected]

Twitter: @jasonpafundiKJ

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