Getting into the swing with new golf business

John Downie who has set up virtual golf in Ashington called The Golf Studio. GM031384
John Downie who has set up virtual golf in Ashington called The Golf Studio. GM031384

A golf professional is teeing up for a new challenge as he helps the next batch of would-be Rory McIlroys or those just looking to improve their game.

John Downie has set up The Golf Studio in Ashington which allows players – from beginners to professionals – to hone their skills from the comfort of a warm, indoor centre.

The 58-year-old, who has spent the last 20 years coaching in Germany, felt the time was right to set up his new adventure close to his Newbiggin roots.

The studio, the first of its kind in the region, gives players the chance to use a state-of-the-art golf simulator to either practice their swing, hone their stance or just play a round of golf.

The simulator features 16 golf courses around the world – including top American courses Sawgrass and Torrey Pines – as well as a driving range, while there is also an indoor putting green in the studio.

John said: “Technology has improved over the last ten years for measuring accurately indoor golf.

“The simulator really is fun for golfers and only takes two-thirds of the actual real time to play 18 holes.

“I’ve also got video technology for one-to-one lessons so can record people’s swings, play it back and they can see if they are doing anything wrong.”

John spent eight years on the European Tour after making his debut as a 19-year-old at the Italian Open in 1974, where his playing partner was Seve Ballesteros, who was making his debut on the tour as a 17-year-old.

He had captained the England international boys’ team and was in the amateur ranks alongside players such as Howard Clark, Sandy Lyle and Mark James.

The Golf Studio is open seven days a week from 7am to 10pm at Unit 15, Ashington Workspace, Lintonville Parkway, Ashington.

To book a session contact 07715 980728 or email

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