August 12, 2022


Health for a better future

Why Manistee Hospital got a golf simulator

MANISTEE — It is not something that one might expect to find in a hospital, but it can be useful for physical therapy and rehabilitation: a golf simulator.

Inside the Manistee Health and Fitness Center at Munson Healthcare Manistee Hospital, there is a golf simulator that consists of a projector and green screen which allows a person to simulate their own golf swing on a virtual golf course.

A person simply stands on the mat and can proceed to mimic a swing. It has dotted lines that will show if the person is not hitting the ball straight. 

The idea to get the simulator came from Tyler Stec, the Manistee health and fitness manager at Manistee Hospital. 

Stec said he gave a presentation to his superiors, which helped to push the project along. The simulator was unveiled three months ago.

He said he’s always been an avid golfer and that golf was one thing that bonded him and his father and it is something that bonds people together in Manistee. 

The golf simulator at the Manistee Health and Fitness Center at Munson Healthcare Manistee Hospital allows people to work on their golf swing, as the simulator projects a path of a ball getting hit. While it is primarily for recreational use, the physical therapy department does use the simulator for an individual’s rehabilitation, according to Tyler Stec, the manager for the Manistee Health and Fitness center.

Submitted photo/Tyler Stec

The simulator is used by people of all ages, Stec said.

“High schoolers, a 10-year-old, we’ve had middle-age guys … these old guys that want to get their swing back, … we’ve even had a 90-year-old,” Stec said.

Stec said the simulator gets weekly use and there are actual tee times, which allows people to call in throughout the week to reserve a particular time. Reservations can be made by calling 231-398-1520. Stec also said there will be a website in the future where people can reserve a tee time, though he said there is no exact date for its rollout yet. 

The cost to use the simulator is $20 to $60 per hour but people who have existing gym memberships with the fitness center can get a discount.

He said sometimes there are five or six people a week who come in to use the simulator to perfect their swing. 

It usually gets used for about an hour or two at a time, according to Stec

The simulator was donated by the Manistee Hospital Foundation and no funds came from the actual hospital budget, Stec said. 

“We had very generous donations from Mark and Barbara Gerson. It was $10,000 to pull it all together,” said Esther Sigurdardottir, director of rehabilitation services at Munson Healthcare Manistee Hospital. 

Currently, none of the other hospitals in the Munson Healthcare system have anything like it, Stec said. 

Stec said that while most of the use is recreational, some departments at the hospital use it as well.

“(The) physical therapy (department) uses the golf simulator to aid in an individual’s rehabilitation,” Stec said.

Sigurdardottir went into more detail on how the golf simulator works in the rehabilitation process for certain patients. 

“The simulator can use be used in rehabilitation, in terms of assessing balance, eye-hand coordinator, for strength training after shoulder injuries for and neurological issues such as Multiple Sclerosis and stroke,” Sigurdardottir said. “It is a great asset for the community.”