People always ask me what the keys to a great travel TV show are.
I say two things.
- First, take your audience to off the beaten path places they are not aware of.
- Second, show me new trends that no one is paying attention to.
Tony has done both in the latest episode of the Traveling Golfer — which you will see below.
You will get a tour of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania that is a destination for golfers, business conventions, and lovers of history.
At the same time, Tony shows us why the boom in the virtual golf business here is at the forefront here.
Hey, Montgomery County is ahead of Tiger Woods whose isn’t introducing his virtual golf league until early 2024.
First, let’s outline for you how the home of Valley Forge has struck a Tiger-like drive and impact into the virtual golf scene.
The reasons are obvious and growing. As Tony points out — comically — no lost balls.
That’s because you play indoors regardless of weather or location.
Just be aware. You have no excuse on that first spring golf trip. Because with virtual golf, you can groove your swing all winter long while snow is falling.
Steve Graves, owner and Chief Fun Officer at Play-A-Round Golf, explains how indoor golf lessons provides more information to the golfer and instructor.
That’s because the technology has only gotten better. Motion sensors and virtual reality headsets allow your swing to be tracked and replicated so you can feel the impact of your shots.
In addition, the technology can detect the spin of your ball offering a more precise analysis of where your shots are headed.
Plus, you can play great golf courses, like Pebble Beach and St. Andrews, along with Pinehurst and Ponte Vedra, without having to shell out hundreds of dollars. The simulators will also give you a heads up before you take that bucket list vacation to these resorts.
Simulators give us other great golf courses as well. But in some areas it gives us a golf outlet when we don’t have time for a four hour round. Or let’s say you want to lure your kids to the links but school and work make it tough. Take them to virtual golf for a family event.
Another benefit of virtual golf is if your region is bulldozing and eliminating golf courses to make way for more economically attractive real estate ventures.
Despite that, virtual golf simulators are making golf a year-round business especially in areas of Montgomery County nestled in the Northeast winters.
Virtual golf is popping up in many businesses such as private country clubs and shopping centers.
But public courses are joining in as well.
Tony talks to Robert Kleckner, PGA professional and owner of Linfield National Golf Club, also in Montgomery County, which is opened to the public.
Year Round Golf Even in Snowy Northeast
He built his simulators near the club’s bar and restaurant, which he says, brings in all kinds of golfers all year long.
Which gives us two more great benefit of virtual golf — entertainment and community involvement. It brings together neighborhoods, organizations, and groups of friends for a weekend or nighttime gathering.
Virtual golf Is only growing. That’s because the technology is not slowing. From my research and observations, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) will revolutionize the future virtual golfing experience, making it even more engaging and lifelike.
And that is helping to make Montgomery County boom
Mike Bowman, the head of Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Bureau within Montgomery County, tells Tony there’s a lot of investing in golf simulators that is creating local leagues at night and also more attractions for the growing visitor population — which is making Montgomery County the entertainment, golf, convention, and meeting center home in Pennsylvania.
Covid and the tight-scheduled airline industry gave visitors from the heavily populated Northeast and mid-Atlantic states to hop in the car and drive to Montgomery County.
And Montgomery County was ready.
Tony talks to Bob Davis, owner of Ravens Claw Golf Club, that is ranked in the Top Ten of Pennsylvania courses that has hosted numerous events for many organizations including the LPGA.
All this has led to a massive increase in the number of restaurants and hotels.
One of the biggest attractions is the Valley Forge Casino Resort.
Joyce Serrian, Vice President of Casino Operations, gives Tony a tour of this Vegas-like oasis.
Of course, Tony could not pass up some of the gourmet food. Chef Phil cooks up some Maryland crabcakes for our viewing and Tony’s tastebuds. You’ll hear Tony’s unbiased review too.
It’s just another factor making Montgomery County a growing destination for convention goers.
Mike Jamison is the Executive Director of the International Network of Golf, a media company that holds conventions in business conferences around the world.
He explains why his company is quite busy in Montgomery county.
Besides golf for all skill levels, Montgomery County has other attractions.
Valley Forge National Historical Park is famous for being the site of the winter encampment of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. Visitors can explore the reconstructed huts, the iconic Washington’s Headquarters, and learn about the hardships faced by the soldiers during their stay.
Valley Forge and most of Montgomery County are only an hour drive away from Philadelphia International Airport.
We highly encourage you to take the trek. But first watch here.
John Daly is a contributor to the Traveling Golfer show. He is also the cohost and coproducer of Undercover Jetsetter, along with Susan Anzalone, covering Travel, food, wine, Mixology, and golf that also airs on Winging Media. John is best known as the host of Real TV, which led him to a stint on the Celebrity Golf Tour along with numerous appearances at celebrity and charity golf events. He also covers the Carolinas with his show Carolina Buzz, also on Wingding Media.