By Christine Graf
Less than one year after Mike Gerarde established PSG Golf, he and partner Jeff Boss have opened an indoor golf facility at 615 Maple Ave., Suite 2, in Saratoga Springs.
PSG Golf offers golf lessons to students of all ages and skill levels, and their new facility features two golf simulators, a TopGolf simulator, an indoor putting and chipping green, and a bar.
Gerarde, a Glens Falls native, began playing golf about 10 years ago while a student at Syracuse University. After graduating and joining his family’s payroll company, Keena Staffing, he found himself entertaining clients on the golf course.
“The connections you create through the golf course are invaluable, and that’s how I got the idea to start a golf lessons business,” said Gerarde. “A lot of people that I worked with or that I knew didn’t want to get out on the golf course because they thought they weren’t good enough.”
After becoming certified as a golf teacher, he established PSG Golf in July 2022. The business is named in honor of his father, Paul Stephen Gerarde, who passed away when Gerarde was 10.
Before opening his own facility, Gerarde taught lessons at the Luxury Box in Queensbury and Tarks Indoor Golf Center Saratoga. He then partnered with Jeff Boss, a Capital Region native who has been golfing since he was 10.
“Jeff is a tremendous golfer,” said Gerarde. “He was an accountant in Albany, and when I started the lessons business, he wanted to join.”
After deciding they would like to have their own facility, the partners created a business plan, obtained financing, and began searching for a location. They ultimately chose the former home of Artisanal Brew Works, a space that became available after the brewery moved a stone’s throw away to 617 Maple Ave.
“We looked at a lot of places, but either they weren’t wide enough or their ceilings weren’t high enough or there wasn’t room for a bar and the simulators,” said Gerarde. “This space was exactly what we were looking for. They had a nice bar area, and the ceilings in the back where the beer vats were plenty high enough. It’s like a warehouse back there.”
Simulator lessons are available year round, and playing lessons—lessons that take place on the golf course—are offered during the months that golf courses are open. During a playing lesson, students are taught golf rules and etiquette as well as how to play different shots on the course.
For beginners who may self-conscious about taking lessons, PSG offers a private setting.
“A lot of people are much more comfortable learning in a private space,” said Gerarde. “That’s why I love these simulators. They are private, and it’s just the teacher and the student.”
PSG’s simulators utilize launch monitor and swing camera data to help students improve their ball contact and swing path. Instant video playback includes several different camera angles. Gerarde said the data is especially beneficial to low handicap golfers looking to take their golf games to the next level.
“They love the technology because they can see their swing rates, their club path, the spin rate that’s coming through on the ball, the side spin, and their launch angle. They love to see all that data,” he said.
The SUNY Adirondack golf team, coached by Gerarde and Boss, also utilizes PSG as their practice facility. Two of their players went to nationals, and one finished 8th in the country.
In addition to being used for team practices and lessons, simulators can be reserved for private use by individual or groups. PSG does not charge simulator patrons for use of the putting and chipping green, but it is available only when it has not been reserved as part of a “party package” that includes rental of both simulators.
According to Gerarde, PSG’s indoor putting and chipping green is the only one in the area.
“It was expensive, and we used really high quality turf. People tried to talk us out of it because it doesn’t generate revenue, but to us, it was really important. It provides added benefit to our clients who want to come in and have some fun putting and chipping around.”
Although Gerarde and Boss are PSG’s only employees, they expect to hire additional staff during the winter when indoor golf facilities are in high demand.
“Golf simulators don’t get much use during the summer when everyone is outside golfing,” said Gerarde. “But the main idea for our business was to provide lessons for students, so we are getting a lot of people who are coming in for lessons.”
PSG has a limited snack menu as well as a bar that serves alcoholic beverages. They have no plans of installing a kitchen, but patrons can order meals from Artisanal Brew Works and have them delivered to the PSG Golf facility.
In addition to offering simulator rentals, individual lessons, and 3 lesson packages, PSG offers a limited number of memberships that include 24 hour access to the facility. For more information, visit psggolf.com.