Two 20-foot Zen Green Stages are now recessed into the floor in the Centre of Excellence at Education City Golf Club in Qatar.
One is dedicated to putting, and is integrated with PuttView and SAM PuttLab technology.
The other is for full swing use with both Trackman and Flightscope launch monitors, enabling golfers to hit shots out onto the range from all lies from flat to extreme slopes.
In this article, we hear from the key people involved in the installation.
GEORGE STUBBS, Zen Green Stage
George Stubbs oversaw the Zen Green Stage installations in Qatar while working with the team from MIA Sports Solutions.
The sheer investment in so many different golfing technologies makes Education City very special.
It is truly breathtaking. You can experience the very best current golf technology there, which is why we are honoured to be considered as operating at this world-class level. This ambitious installation will build confidence in the Zen brand, the world over.
For your putting, at Education City you are now getting the ultimate in rich data with the combination of the Zen Green Stage, PuttView and SAM PuttLab.
And for the rest of your game, Education City currently has the world’s largest Zen Green Stage dedicated purely to full swing golf. It is covered in special Tee Line turf, which you can also put a tee peg into if you want.
The whole deck is superb for hitting shots out onto the range, whether you use it as a level surface for tee shots, or as a fully-adjustable sloping surface to accurately recreate the gradients you find out on the golf course for fairway approach shots or even chips and pitches.
ANTHONY CAIRA, Head PGA Golf Professional, Centre of Excellence at Education City, Qatar
Anthony Caira is a Certified Club Manager, PGA Director of Golf and a Fellow of the PGA. He heads up the Centre of Excellence at Education City.
Our golf coaching facilities are all under one roof, and enable me and my coaching team to spend hours with clients in air-conditioned comfort, out of the sun.
The Green Stage has to be part of it – without it our facility wouldn’t be as good. Our customers are blown away by the Green Stage: they love it.
Honestly I was astounded myself, it really opened my eyes to what is now possible in a golf coaching situation.
For full shots the Green Stage is marvellous when we are using our Trackman and Flightscope machines. With it, I can show pupils how sloping lies affect ball flight and distance.
Speaking as a coach, there are countless ways in which I can use the Green Stage to get my point across to a pupil. For example, pre-Green Stage, if a golfer had a steep downswing I would have been looking for a slope out on the range to help me make adjustments to their swing. Now, there’s no need as I can create any slope on the Green Stage within seconds – uphill, downhill or sidehill.
Some of golf’s most difficult shots happen when the ball is below your feet, or on a downhill slope. Those present a golf coach some of his biggest challenges. Helping golfers to master them isn’t easy, but during a lesson on the Green Stage I have total flexibility to change the slope to, for example, a slight uphill lie which gives pupils a confidence boost as it makes for an easier shot.
Green Stage and PuttView are a good match, and work well together. For better players especially, the addition of the PuttView graphics is amazing, especially on the double-breaking putts which the Green Stage can create.
I like to help pupils focus on their least-confident types of putts. We are looking for dead-weight putting, so PuttView is ideal to help golfers see the ideal pace and path of a ball depending on what slopes we have created on the Zen Green Stage.
Our SAM PuttLab technology is another true eye-opener for people. It is fantastic, and of course it works perfectly with the Green Stage.
RHYS BEECHER, Director of Golf, Education City Golf Club
As Director of Golf, Rhys Beecher is responsible for the success of club operational activities at Education City Golf Club and ensuring the landmark project achieves the vision of Qatar Foundation. He was involved in the Centre of Excellence project from its formative stages.
Golf is not ‘yet’ a widely popular sport in Qatar, but we have designed the facility with the intention of growing the game. The Centre of Excellence is key to the success of our vision, and I am privileged to have been involved in its development.
We operate Education City Golf Club on behalf of Qatar Foundation. Our aim was not just to create a Centre of Excellence, but also to create the holistic golf experience. While one aspect of our vision is to grow local golf participation, our other aim is to attract international teams and professional golfing bodies from around the world to come to Education City Golf Club and see what is possible. So we intend not only to develop local golf, but also to attract tourism through international teams.
Our studios have been carefully designed allowing them to operate as both ‘in to out’ and ‘in to in’ studios. They can also be opened up for group use or closed and segregated when more privacy is needed. It is a very flexible facility, which allows us to maximize its usage.
In 2015 we started to work closely with the team at MIA Sports Solutions, from the UK, on the Centre of Excellence project. We found them to be exceptionally supportive and diligent: they answered numerous installation questions for us, and in 2017 they introduced the prospect of deploying two Zen Green Stages for both putting and full swing uses.
During these discussions we decided to go for the longer-length, 20-foot Green Stages to give us maximum flexibility for year-round use both in a fully indoors environment, and also when we need an indoor hitting /outdoor range solution.
The Zen Green Stage’s phenomenal flexibility only really becomes apparent once you have had it installed. We have made many what I would call ‘aftermath discoveries’ with it, when using tech like K-VEST, Trackman and Flightscope on it.
We are discovering new possibilities with our Green Stages all the time, and are only just learning about all the ways in which the technologies can work together.
ANDREW KEAST, Managing Director, MIA Sports Solutions
Andrew Keast’s MIA Sports Solutions is a global leader in the design and installation of performance golf studios.
The Centre of Excellence project at Education City was four years in the making, and the goal was to create the largest, best-equipped golf academy possible.
It is a landmark project for Qatar, and for the world of golf. MIA Sports Solutions was proud to design and install the technology platform which enables the Centre of Excellence at Education City to offer a truly revolutionary and holistic approach to growing the sport of golf. The teaching studios there are separately themed to assist their coaches with biomechanics, custom-fitting and movement analysis, and there is also a dedicated ladies’ studio. All of them are multi-purpose however.
As we approach the third decade of the 21st century there’s now no doubt that, if you are specifying an advanced golf academy, then a Zen Green Stage should be a serious consideration when evaluating your technology options.
A Green Stage is a significant addition to your golf academy.
As designers of high-performance golf studios around the world, we believe that a dynamic, moving platform can enhance the overall experience.
If you are a top-level coach like Anthony Caira at Education City, you need the best tools in the world with which to teach people. Or if you are a visionary like Rhys Beecher, you need the ideal technology to deliver the most complete, most memorable golf coaching facility.
For both, I believe that the Zen Green Stage has been a significant part of delivering a brilliant facility which satisfies all of their needs.
LUKAS POSNIAK, co-creator, PuttView
Lukas Posniak is co-founder of Viewlicity GmbH, creators of the PuttView – the world’s leading augmented reality system for putting practice
Right now, the Centre of Excellence at Education City Golf Club in Qatar is one of the world’s truly elite golfing facilities. In fact, I believe that it is unique in how a wide range of the very best available golf technology is seamlessly integrated there. We are very proud that PuttView is a core part of that.
When combined with the Zen Green Stage, as we have done in Qatar, PuttView helps to change the environment for the player both visually (PuttView) as well as physically (Green Stage).
It was one of our early priorities to integrate PuttView with the Green Stage, as our visual environment is naturally at its most impressive when projected onto a surface which moves.
Golfers at Education City now have a truly world-class environment in which they can learn to become better putters, with the assistance of Anthony Caira and his team of PGA golf professionals.
NICK MIDDLETON, founder, Zen Green Stage
After establishing Zen Oracle in the mid-1990s as a golf equipment company specialising in putters, Nick Middleton diversified into elite coaching and performance technologies – most notably by developing the adjustable, variable-contour Zen Green Stage putting and full-swing platform.
The Centre of Excellence at Education City in Qatar is not only home to Ryder Cup legend José María Olazábal, but it is also the world’s new benchmark for integrating cutting-edge golf technologies in one location. Education City’s significance will only grow when, at the 2020 World Cup football, it will also showcase the latest global developments in sport and exercise health science.
Qatar Foundation has certainly set the new gold standard for worldwide golf studio design with the Centre of Excellence academy project. Its ground-breaking design reflects great credit onto all involved, and particularly Rhys Beecher in his role as overall coordinator.
Two Zen Green Stages are positioned at the forefront of the Centre of Excellence coaching facility, after MIA Sports Solutions showed great foresight in seeing what the Zen Green Stage would bring to this project. MIA’s recommendation that the two Green Stages would perform better if recessed into the floor was the right one, and has greatly enhanced the experience for players.
Recreating real-world slopes at the touch of the button on the two Green Stages allows Anthony Ciara and his team of advanced golf coaches to create the best learning environment for their players. They can now bring the golf course right to the player, 365 days a year, with our adjustable playing surfaces, and this is vital to developing skill levels.
‘Out there on the golf course’ is where we learn best, and the Centre of Excellence coaches’ new ability to accurately recreate the world we play the game in, using the Green Stages, will help the transfer of learning from the studio to the course.
As can now be seen in a growing number of golf facilities around the world, and indeed in Sky Sports TV studios and outside broadcast units, the Zen Green Stage is the new centrepiece for innovation in our sport. No golf coaching setup can truly be complete without one, if you wish to develop the golfers of tomorrow by enabling them to hone their game on the real-world contours which they encounter on a golf course.
CONTACT ZEN GREEN STAGE: firstname.lastname@example.org | +44 (0)7971 403627