Processing Your Payment

Please do not leave this page until complete. This can take a few moments.

Updated: February 1, 2024

Indoor golf driving range 'swishes' into Waterville

Indoor golf Photo / Provided Swish Indoor Golf is a new indoor golf simulator facility inside the Hathaway Creative Center in Waterville.

Maine golf courses won't open for a couple of months, but an indoor golf simulator is now doing business in Waterville so players can tee off anytime, in any weather.

For owners Nicolas Pelotte and his wife, Sarah Hawk, of Winslow, the launch of Swish Indoor Golf comes six years after he started as general manager at the Waterville Country Club. He's worked in the industry since 2005.

“Swish has been a future plan of mine since taking over at the country club,” Pelottee told Mainebiz. "I wanted to make sure that I became grounded in my new position before taking on anything additional. After six seasons and dedicating myself to improved professional growth, Swish started to gain steam.”

Swish caters to players of all experience levels and handicaps. It's located in leased space of just over 3,000 square feet in the Hathaway Creative Center, at 10 Water St., Suite 109. Play costs $40 an hour, Tuesdays through Thursdays, and $50 an hour on Fridays and Saturdays.

Swish is the latest business to capitalize on the growing popularity of indoor driving ranges, turning the sport from a weather-dependent activity into a year-round pastime. 

A report by the National Golf Federation released in November shows that an estimated 6.2 million Americans teed off in a golf simulator within the previous year, representing a 73% surge over pre-pandemic levels.

The report also found that only 2% of simulator golf users said they play less on an actual course compared to 29% who indicated they play more outdoors.

Elsewhere in Maine, indoor golf facilities include Sim City Golf in Bangor, Old Orchard Beach and Westbrook, and X-Golf Portland on York Street near the Casco Bay Bridge. 

Swish capacity 

In Waterville, the newly opened Swish has seats for more than 40 customers, and the simulators can accommodate eight patrons at a time. A variety of flatbreads, acai bowls and other snacks are all listed on the menu.

Calling the target market vast, Pellote says that “we will be a place for avid golfers as well as first-time players. “ 

Grant funding from Central Maine Growth Council’s Economic Recovery Implementation Hub program allowed Swish to secure top-of-the-line indoor golf launch monitors and projectors. The program supports local economic recovery in the wake of the pandemic.

While Pelotte was unable to offer any details about the previous tenants, he said the space was a blank slate for his brother, Darrell Pelotte, who "built Swish with his bare hands." Hawk, Pelotte's wife, oversaw decor.

"For myself, it was my vision that only became possible because of Darrell and Sarah's hard work," he said.

As for staffing, "we are planning on having a staff in the single digits but will certainly respond to staffing needs based on our traffic," Pelotte said. 

Waterville City Manager Bryan Kaenrath welcomed Swish's arrival as good news for the city.

"This addition aligns with our economic development strategy and supports an inviting environment for residents and visitors alike," he said. "We extend our warmest welcome to Swish and anticipate the valuable contributions they will make to the heart of Waterville.”

More information 

Swish is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Find out more and book tee times here.

Sign up for Enews


Order a PDF