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Golf ETC store manager Jared Anderson, left, and owner Ali Peterson stand in front of the store's golf simulator last week. Peterson said golfers anxious for warmer weather have been taking advantage of the store's simulator to work on their swings. Bob Burrows photo

Golf ETC offers golfers options during bad weather

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sports River Falls, 54022
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

Make a list of people who hate the cold, wet spring and golfers are right there at the top.

This spring, however, local golfers have a chance to shake off the rust and work on their swings at an indoor facility that opened last November in Hudson.

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Golf ETC, located at 1615 Maxwell Drive in the old Doughboys Pizza space, offers everything from apparel, club repair and custom fittings to seminars and practice time on a state-of-the-art simulator.

Store owner Ali Peterson said a number of people have taken advantage of the new facility as they await the arrival of spring.

"The first two weeks in March it really took off," he said. "Then it got cold and slowed down a little. Then the last week in March and first week in April it's been pretty steady with people coming through the door."

Peterson, a Baldwin native, decided to open the Golf ETC franchise in Hudson last year after working for Clopay Building Products in Baldwin. His job with the firm took him to California, and most recently Ohio, and when Clopay in Baldwin shut its doors last year he decided to return to Wisconsin and take the plunge into the golf business.

"I just love to play," he said. "In Ohio, I played as much as I wanted, the weather was pretty mild."

Peterson mulled a number of ideas before settling on Golf ETC.

"It's a franchise," he said. "And I started looking at what I wanted to do and kept coming back to this. I wanted something I could both afford and enjoy. I knew the golf industry was tough, but I visited one of the franchises in Ohio and I decided this is what I want to do."

Upon finding a location in Hudson, Peterson called on his high school friend, Jared Anderson, to manage the store and the facility opened last November.

"We originally wanted to open last July, but we wanted to make sure we covered all our bases," Peterson said.

Since opening, Peterson and Anderson have forged a relationship with local swing coach Paul Meyer, who has started offering free, weekly game improvement seminars utilizing the store's Foresight Game Changer 2 simulator.

"Paul just walked through the door one day," Peterson said about Meyer, who has coached both the River Falls High School boys and girls teams.

"Our relationship with Paul has been phenomenal," he added. "We couldn't be happier with the kind of coach he is, and we're happy with his suggestions and his ideas."

The seminars started April 3 and will continue each Wednesday through April with sessions held at both 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.

The first six people to sign up for each seminar are given the option to "get interactive" with Meyer. Spaces are limited so Peterson suggests stopping in to reserve a spot or calling the store at (715) 808-8314.

Peterson said Golf ETC also offers golfers to use the simulator as a driving range, or play an actual round of golf on its built-in course. Cost is $20 per hour and he suggests calling ahead to make sure the simulator is available.

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