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New Las Vegas golf experience aims to be ‘a hell of a lot of fun’

Atomic Golf may have golf in its name, but the sport is a small part of the entertainment facility that opened its doors last week in downtown Las Vegas.

That doesn’t mean it can’t serve as a bridge to those who want to learn more.

“We’re putting clubs into people’s hands for the first time,” said Brian Birckbichler, senior vice president of Atomic Golf Las Vegas. “If 3 percent of the million people that come in through our doors this year say, ‘Hey man, this is pretty cool. I’m going to do it out on the course,’ then golf wins.”

Atomic Golf looks like a traditional driving range on first glance. There are 103 golf bays spread across four floors and a putting district in one corner. Turn the other direction and there are six full-service bars, a tap room and food options. The golf bays come with huge video screens, allowing each shot to translate to a virtual game.

“Every single one of our games doesn’t look and feel ‘golfy,’” Birckbichler said. “You’re still swinging. You’re swinging at a target, but as far as you can see you’re playing a video game.”

There are no golf instructors or lessons offered. The range does have Trackman, allowing every shot to be measured.

“You can see ball speed, apex, rotation, trajectory. You can see all of that on the screen,” Birckbichler said. “But you can also have a hell of a lot of fun doing it at the same time.”

Atomic Golf is located at 1850 South Main St. and linked to The Strat. That partnership will help visitors understand Atomic Golf is much more than a driving range, Birckbichler said. But it will be a launching point for new players.

“Every now and then somebody hits that ball for the first or second time and something goes off it their head, like, ‘I really like this,’” Birckbichler said.

Honors for TPC employee

Misty Kadel, a golf course maintenance administrative assistant at TPC Summerlin, has been named the 2023 recipient of the A. James Clark Award.

It honors one employee across the TPC network who exemplifies commitment, strong work ethic and inspirational leadership.

Kadel has worked at TPC Summerlin for more than a decade following a career in nuclear engineering. TPC Summerlin officials lauded Kadel for her spirit and the lasting impression she makes on fellow employees, members and guests.

“Misty takes pride in following and administering company policies with fairness and accuracy, embodying the care and compassion one would expect from a mother of four and grandmother to four more,” general manager Brian Hawthorne said. “Misty embodies the epitome of what the TPC network desires in an employee.”

This is the ninth year the award has been given and the first time it has gone to a Nevada employee. Each of the 29 clubs in the TPC network nominate one employee for the honor.

Kadel will be recognized with plaques at both TPC Summerlin and the network’s home at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. A donation was also made in her name to Special Olympics Nevada, where Kadel is a volunteer.

Rebel honors

Two UNLV players have been named the Mountain West’s golfers of the week. Junior Toa Yokoyama won the women’s honor for the second time this season following her fourth-place finish at the Mountain View Collegiate in Tucson, Arizona. It was her fourth top-10 finish this season.

Senior Yuki Moriyama won the men’s honor for the first time after notching his first career title at the All-American Collegiate in Humble, Texas.

Greg Robertson covers golf for the Review-Journal. Reach him at grobertson@reviewjournal.com.

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