Mark finds new passion and community. What’s more, his newfound confidence has translated into his day-to-day life.
The newest arrival to Lincoln’s entertainment and leisure scene brings golf and a new passion to the local community. Mark Thomson, from Wragby, says: “Virtually Golf has helped me to get noticed again, my confidence has improved and I found a community that’s supportive, relaxed and welcoming to everyone.” Following 25 years in the RAF specialising in aircraft maintenance, and having moved all over the UK, it was important for Mark to find
something that would fit with his new work.
Mark heard about Virtually Golf from a colleague a year ago, who recommended he try something new to help him build a social circle and, more importantly, a hobby to boost his overall well-being, both mental and physical. According to Golf & Health, “Golf provides mental well-being benefits, research highlights that golf can help individuals improve their confidence, self-esteem and anxiety levels”.
With a sincere drive to enact change in the golfing community, open the door to the sport, tear down any misconceptions and get more and more people really enjoying it, the Virtually Golf team has an ambition to help the sport grow and flourish. “With full-time, night shift work, I can now easily fit at least 3 hours of golf into my weekend, which wasn’t an option before. I have my golf clubs with me as I travel to Virtually Golf and it is a fantastic conversation starter as people want to know where I am heading to in Lincoln City Centre with the golf clubs in tow!”
Mark, 48, has had an interest in golf since he was 9 years old, but due to his location and access to golf equipment, he never had the opportunity to get into the game, which he was told he has a natural gift for. After losing his mother in 2020 Mark decided it was time to give golf another go. Having tried a dozen or so golf courses and clubs all around the country, he couldn’t find a community or the support required to get into the game and give him the focus he needed away from his bereavement.
It wasn’t until he discovered Virtually Golf that Mark felt there was a place that really cared about his golf swing, not to mention making sure he had the perfect cup of tea to enjoy while he was working on improving his game. “With the technology, I can really see what clubs are best to use for what distances, I have learnt so much from the simulators but also from the handy tips that Ronnie and Stephen offer me!”
A true labour of love, a passion project for all involved and one that was seven years in the making, Virtually Golf brings a ground-breaking entertainment platform to the city. Founded by a highly experienced board of directors, each of whom has a vested interest in Lincoln as well as the game itself, the VG team is making sure golf at the grassroots is opened up for everyone to enjoy – a more than apt idea given that ‘Home of English golf’ lies just down the road.
Alongside its sporting potential, Virtually Golf is keen to make those who ‘think’ they aren’t golfers at home too. “We love seeing Mark utilise the technology and store his scores so he can see where he’s improving,” says Stephen Clark.
Mark is truly passionate and spent at least 45 minutes talking about how great the technology is as well as pointing out the breathtaking view of the Brayford “I love how friendly and genuine the staff are at Virtually Golf and it’s such fantastic value for money for just £40/month I get to come in as many times as I like and use the fantastic technology. I love being noticed by the VG team and truly feel part of a community. I am looking forward to trying my new set of skills on a golf course soon, and as my game improves I hope to take part in one of Virtually Golf’s weekly Tap in Tuesdays competitions too.”