Golf Digest “Best Young Instructor” and host of “The Golf Fix” on Golf Pass Devan Bonebrake recently opened a new high-tech lesson facility in Los Angeles called Beach City Golf Academy. The expertly-designed indoor facility offers two hitting bays and a putting bay that utilizes the most advanced putting system on the market, the same one several top PGA TOUR pros use in their homes. Each bay inside the Beach City interior is outfitted with V1 Studio Systems, Trackman technology, and a simulator.
Bonebrake Expands His Teaching Operations with Third Golf Academy
With successful operations already at Orange County’s Southern California Golf Academy and Rolling Hills Country Club in Los Angeles, Bonebrake saw an opportunity to grow his business again without taking on huge infrastructure or construction.
“One of our fitness trainers from Rolling Hills Country Club near Los Angeles, where I teach, opened up this space and did all the things that he needed to do. And then COVID shut it down for about a year. The Teaching Professional there got out of the business, and needed someone to split the rent. It’s half a golf-specific fitness facility and half golf instruction. I was able to get a lot of equipment at a very good value. It’s an investment opportunity and something this area needs,” he adds.
Bonebrake sees significant potential in the location. “There’s not a lot of golf in the area. It’s high-density and high-income, so I think it’s going to soon be known as a luxury practice training facility. We’re going to have full memberships with unlimited practice in the bays that you sign up for online to reserve your spot. And there’s going to be a lot of clubfitting but it will be more of a private facility. And yes, lessons are going to be probably the main source of revenue for the business, aside from the memberships. Clubfitting will be the third tier of revenue,” he says.
High-Speed High-Frame-Rate V1 Cameras Complete Bonebrake’s New Golf Academy
In building out his vision for Beach City, Bonebrake also had the fortune of V1 Sports Chief Revenue Officer Chris McGinley living nearby, and was able to purpose-build the space according to V1 Sports’ best practices with custom solutions to optimize the functionality and benefits of the property’s design. McGinley and the V1 Sports Team have 26 years of experience solving design issues in finite spaces, which came in handy at Beach City.
“The space had two existing Trackman simulators with black frames,” McGinley says. “We did not want the V1 Studio System hardware to be obtrusive so we used black mounts to affix our V1 Cameras to the frame and ran the cabling up through the side covers then out across the ceiling and down the back wall into the computer. We also ran additional monitor cables along the face on and back view camera cables, and put a floor monitor on wheels so it could be easily disconnected and moved for a left-handed golfer. This saved Devan the expense of getting an additional piece of hardware while creating the same golfer experience regardless of the side of the ball you stand on. Another critical factor was lighting. The facility was dark and Devan wanted beautiful video without washing out the simulator. We installed relatively inexpensive high-bay, industrial, 5000K LED lighting and put them on a dimmer switch. We angled the lights to strategically light the golfer front, back and behind while not casting any light towards the sim screen. The lighting is bright and crisp like being outside and produces beautiful video without disrupting the sim experience and can be fully dimmed as needed.”
Bonebrake says Beach City will offer mostly one-on-one lessons with some group classes, too. “We’re going to have some of the best teachers that we can find.”
The space, along with his access to V1 Pro’s library of professional model swings, has already proven beneficial to his work as the host of “The Golf Fix.”
“I recently devoted an episode to Henrik Stenson, trying to analyze his swing. I’ve used his swing so much during lessons on V1 that I have all these different breakdowns and analytical looks at his swing that are second nature on V1 videos. I can draw lines and feel like I know exactly what I’m talking about and not second guess myself,” Bonebrake says.
McGinley thinks the elevated experience at Beach City Golf Academy is a great example of the V1 Team offering critical solutions for a teaching pro who knows exactly what tools he needs to give students the best possible learning environment.
“V1 was able to elevate both the space and the experience with its technology and know-how. Every job is different but they all add to V1’s experience and knowledge base in helping teachers and academies create the right experience,” McGinley says. “Devan is an outstanding teacher who knows the golf swing and how to effectively communicate whether he is talking to a single student during a lesson, or many viewers during a telecast. His skills in using technology like V1 Pro to analyze, create, and record an effective takeaway video lesson is impressive. He seamlessly moves from making a personal connection to making a critical analysis. He is one of the best I’ve seen and it is not surprising he is starting to get well deserved national recognition.”
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