Par2Play Aims To Help Golfers Of All Ages

FORE! – Atul Kakar, co-owner of Par2Play golf center on Hamilton Street, lines up a shot at one the facility’s four golf simulators.

You could say Atul Kakar loves golf, but that would be an understatement.

After all, how many casual admirers of the game install a $100,000 golf simulator in their garage?

That’s what Kakar did years ago when is daughter was learning the sport and he was looking to improve his game, and now he’s quadrupled that in a new center on Hamilton Street.

Called Par2Play, the center looks to help budding golfers take their game to the next level, while helping experienced golfer fine-tune theirs.

Kakar is aided in that enterprise by two PGA-certified golf instructors, his partner Nick Schiavo and Nick Monticello.

The center features four golf simulators that can recreate play on about 100 iconic golf courses from around the world.

Not only do golfers get to “play,” but their shots are analyzed in any number of ways, from how the ball hits the special screen to their had and hand angle, which is tracked by software connected to several cameras.

Typically, a foursome will come to play for $70 an hour.

“It takes about three hours for 18 holes,” he said.

Schiavo was the coach Kakar hired to teach his daughter the game, and, later, to help him improve his.

That’s when he set up the simulator in his garage, Kakar said.

“There’s a program for junior golfers NJ Junior PGA,” he said. “The top 10 kids … are all trained by Nick. When I was searching for a teacher, everybody said Nick.”

The two became friends, Kakar said. “Nick became like family.”

It was over St. Patrick’s Day drinks about two years ago that the idea of a golf center was broached by Schiavo, Kakar said.

“He loves working with kids, teens and older,” Kakar said. “More than golf training, what I’ve seen with him is he is like a mentor. Kids usually get a coach, but they don’t always get a mentor, where they can shape the mindset as well.”

From there, the started crafting a business plan, Kakar said. They decided to focus on two groups, young players and senior citizens.

For the former, a Junior Academy membership plan was formed through which, for about $400 a month, a student has unlimited access to the four simulators in the center, as well as the two golf instructors.

Admission is limited, Kakar said.

“We take 10 very serious students who will take it to a certain level,” he said.

The senior citizen program costs about $200 a month, he said.

“They come, they practice, we tell them these are a couple of things they need to work on,” he said. “They bring their own beer, they eat their pizza.:

Kakar said he also offers a senior league, where for about $400, about a dozen players come once a week to play against each other.

The center is also available for open play for all ages, he said.

The center is also available for corporate events, Kakar said.

There’s an “Executive Room” which can accommodate a party up to 15 people, which costs $350 for half a day and $750 for a full day, he said.

Larger parties up to 45 or 50 people can take the entire center which costs closer to $1,000 for three hours, he said.

Offering corporate events was not part of the original business plan, Kakar said. It was created as a way to offset the loss when the Junior Academy prices are reduced for those who cannot afford $400 a month.

“To cover that break, we had to get into those corporate pockets,” he said.

Par2Play is located at 695 Hamilton Street. It’s hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays.

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