It was during the COVID lockdown of 2021 that Mitchell Bloomfield caught a different kind of bug. "A couple of my mates were like, 'Well we can't do anything else, I'm going to pick up golf.'" As a younger lad, Mr Bloomfield had dabbled himself, but since picking up the club two years ago, he hasn't put it down since. But perhaps this was no surprise, with self-confessed golf nut Colin Bloomfield as his dad, and rubbing shoulders with golf pro Greg Kerr, Mitchell's conversion to golf devotee was bound to happen. But no matter how passionate you are about the sport, there are some days where the weather is just too awful for a round and there are some courses that humbler golfers can only dream of playing on. With that in mind, the trio have come together to open Wollongong's first indoor golf centre since the closure of a similar venture in Albion Park Rail. Having previously opened Wollongong's first escape room, Mitchell said a similar ethos was at play in the former gym in Keira Street. "Why doesn't Wollongong have one?" Less than a week after taking the keys to the premises, the centre is starting to take shape. Once complete, there will be six bays for golfers to drive at will into a virtual range. The screens give each participant instant feedback on their shot and how to improve it. "The launch monitors detect every shot, and then run the calculations for how that would go, if it was outdoors," Mr Bloomfield said. Struck three degrees too far to the left, the club face too open or closed at the point of impact, and whether the golfer's swing was in line will all be thrown up on the screen for fine tuning. "You can just come in and whack, but it goes really deep if you want to," Mr Bloomfield said. There is also the option to play some of the most prestigious courses in the world, without the membership fees. The space is set up for individuals or groups, with the ability to host corporate gatherings and larger parties. Aside from the virtual experience, an analogue putting range and a bar and lounge area completes the package. Renovations are underway, with the hope to open Smash Factor in February.