As Facebook turns to “Meta” and tries to pilot new virtual reality offerings, a soon-to-open Centralia business has been way ahead of the game, while creating something much more tangible.
Par 4 Sports, inside the Northwest Sports Hub, lands somewhere in between real sports and arcade games.
Though the main offering is virtual golf, there are many different games for customers including traditional sports such as football, basketball, baseball, hockey and soccer, along with some arcade-style games such as zombie dodgeball or shooting aliens. Golfers can choose from 30 different courses from around the world.
“Basically, it’s a golf multi-sport simulator area,” said owner Andrew Pullin. “(It) caters to whatever interests, whether it's kids for a birthday party, team party or adults who want to hang out on the weekend or just work on your golf game.”
Golfers use real balls and clubs that are hit into durable fabric. Using eight different cameras and cutting-edge technology, the simulation offers instant, accurate feedback on strokes. The feel of standing on the course is still there, just with a few added graphics meant to enhance the experience of real golfing.
Of course, nothing can quite replace spending time outdoors and driving golf carts around, but Pullin said when the weather is miserable, golfing can be, too.
He added there is a “pretty big golf community here, and especially when it's raining over the year, I think it'll be a good option for them to keep playing in a climate-controlled area.”
Plus, the business could allow young customers to browse different sports and get a feel for them without cost pressures associated with renting gear for each thing they want to try.
Groups of up to six can rent out one simulator bay at Par 4 Sports for $40 an hour Mondays through Thursdays or $50 an hour on Fridays through Sundays.
Par 4 Sports does not yet have a set opening date, but an elevator inspection later this week will be among the final pieces needed, so Pullin anticipates the day is coming soon.
After graduating from Centralia in 2012, Pullin was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies. He played in the organization for seven years.
“Now I'm back here. So, I felt like this was a good opportunity for the community,” he said. “And that’s the thing to me is, I think golf will be a big portion of it, but because it offers a lot to a wider audience, it'll help out.”
Keep a lookout for grand opening deals on the Par 4 Sports Facebook page or visit par4sport.com.