North Carolina dentist Dr. Barry Sautter has tricked out his practice so he’s never far from being able to hit the links. Fore!

IS DR. BARRY SAUTTER a golf fanatic? We’d ask him, but he’s currently occupied hitting virtual drives into the enormous screen of
his high-tech golf simulator. The one in his practice, that is.

OK, yes, apparently Dr. Barry Sautter is a golf fanatic.

“When I was looking for space to design my office, I told my advisers I wanted to have a room to build a golf simulator,” he says. “This raised a few eyebrows.”

The good doctor held firm, however, and Sautter Family Dentistry in Charlotte, North Carolina, which opened in 2011, is now graced
with exactly that. The sport is a lifelong pursuit for the Midwesterner; Dr. Sautter’s high-school team in Wisconsin placed in the state tournament all four years during his time as a student there.

The space the simulator occupies is multifunctional: “All the AV and computer components allow us to have meetings, CE courses or a family movie night for the staff and their kids.” He has even hooked up his old Nintendo 64 to the giant screen for Mario Kart tournaments. “You’re never too old to be a kid again,” he says.

The simulator, built and installed by the companies Foresight Sports and Premium Golf Simulation, is loaded with six famous courses: “Congressional, Royal Troon, Olympic Club, Coeur d’Alene, Oakmont and Quail Hollow,” Dr. Sautter says, rattling off the names. Augusta National, the legendary Georgia course where the Masters is held, isn’t among them, but the real thing is just three hours down the road. Dr. Sautter has attended the classic tournament — “it’s breathtaking” — several times.

Should the simulator be such a draw for business that he needs a quick build-out, well, Dr. Sautter is ready. “It came to me many years ago that the space and dimension requirements for a full-swing golf simulator and a dental operatory were not that much different,” he says. The room his faux greens occupy is roughly the size of two full operatories, should he one day need a couple more. Until then, however, it’s swings, drives and holes-in-one all the way down.