Is anyone else seeing a boom in indoor golf facilities near you? I know by me there are at least 3 maybe 4 or 5 pretty close. I joined one for the summer because the rate was better. It is cool and super convenient!
We had one of the first indoor golf in our region, maybe 13-14 years ago, then there were several others followed.
All of them gone out of business by now.
Then there is this new business model trying to “franchise” indoor golf. We shall see if it will survive.
To be honest, our weather pattern here allows us to golf in 5-6 prime seasonal months and another 3-4 golf-able months during one calendar year.
We are not snowed in for 2-3 months like upper States in the mid-West or the NE region.
The advertised theme for the indoor golf is , party atmosphere, often showing people sitting at bar stools with beverages and snacks.
Some business has been trying very hard to sell the idea of franchising.
Personally, I don’t see “indoor” golf replacing the golf in our region. It might take away the driving range business as a jumbo bucket of range balls is $20 ( up from $16 just a few years ago ). One local municipal driving range made $400,000+ in profit last year and getting greedy to view this as a revenue source instead of a benefit for the residents.
I believe the indoor golf facilities will be fun to visit when weather does not allow golfers to be out on the golf courses. Not a year round replacement for the real golf. Maybe a good alternative for someone who wish to hit the range during lunch break.
It exist and started in places where either lack of physical space or weather related influence. I see this indoor golf working well in places like major metropolitan and small countries.
Pickle Ball is another one which my personal opinion don’t see it flourishing. As it was invented because of the lack of available space to build tennis courts on one of the island in our region, some parents invented the pickle ball for their kids since it was difficult to get on a tennis court in summer. They are selling franchises and advertising using retired tennis greats to promote the sport. Been trying to get a professional league going.
I don’t hate the new ideas. These fall into the category of the result from brainstorming with the dreamers, who lack the innovation and practicality. In short, video gamers.
Who knows, they might be the next best thing since the sliced bread.
Yes we went from pretty much zero to a handful nearby. I’ve gone a few times in the winter to get warmed up for an annual golf trip, but that’s about it. I haven’t looked into playing at one regularly, but they are a bit pricey for just going once in a while.
I could be wrong with my personal preference.
As I was thinking who will pay for tab water put in a plastic bottle? The bottled water is here to stay; although the trend is on the reverse side now, for the concerns of polluting the environment with the plastic bottles but it won’t go away just not as trendy as several decades ago.
My kids started us using the reusable thermos about 14 years ago. We do need to wash and clean the thermos but it saved hundreds if not thousands of plastic bottles from going into the environment just from my family.
Maybe kids these days would like to sit down to have a draft beer and a few bites between golf shots to a large screen of some famous golf venues which they’ll probably never set foot on.
You’re right, it is not economical for what it offers. They also promote
“membership” to get additional revenue ( it seems to be the new way of generating revenue for businesses).
Trends come and go, so is the golf equipment. As some said, there is nothing new under the sun.
A practice was to research the expired pattern right and “invent” something from those ideas.
Local driving range started the Top Golf. Similar to the top tracer the television broadcast been using for tournaments golf shot analyzing.
Looks cool on the screen but, why? Paying $20 for a jumbo bucket of range balls then another $12-$15 for 60 minutes of use to see where the golf ball would go and some numbers relating to performance?
All of a sudden, the cost of going to the driving range doubled.
Are we relying on A.I. to tell us how we are doing?
Unless one has deteriorated vision, use and train your eyes during practice and bring that to the golf course.
We certainly could not bring a top tracer in a golf cart with us to the golf course.
In a time while everyone is using technology to explain things around us. Most are great for “progress” but many had fallen into a rabbit hole.
This brings up another interesting point.
Which option would most golfers chose? A spread sheet with a bunch on numbers from a launch monitor ( supposed to be set up and handled by experienced person), or, to have an experienced teaching professional observe and give feedback?
We had a bar/restaurant with five simulators open up 15 years ago. Then we got a Top Golf and an X-golf a couple years ago. But the latest thing around here is unmanned, 24-hour simulators. We had two open up last Fall and one of them is expanding from one to five screens - mostly single-screen buildings, but at least one two-screen building. They are both subscription models. The one I joined is $100/month for 3 day advanced booking and $225 for 5 day. The other one is a yearly subscription. I heard it was ~$2,000.
They advertise as BYOB and play golf with your buddies, but that’s not really how it works. There’s enough room, but you can only book for a max of 1.5 hours and everybody has to be a member or you pay a $25 guest fee. In all the times I’ve gone, I’ve never seen more than one person in there.
Last Fall, I decided I would give it a try. I signed up for $100 and immediately regretted it. The only times available in my 3-day window were 1AM - 4AM. There was $100 down the drain. And I had to give 30 days notice to cancel, so if I didn’t cancel right away, it was a $200 experiment. I decided to give it a month and I ended up playing 7 times in the first two weeks. I’d check the app three or four times a day and snap up any cancelations. I have some flexibility in my schedule, so I could go at non-prime hours.
When Spring came around, I considered keeping the membership and using it as a driving range. As soon as the weather turned, the available times went from 1AM - 4AM to literally any time I wanted. The closest driving range to me is <10 minutes and it’s complete trash. The closest good one is ~25 minutes. It’s almost July and I’m still paying and using it as a range. I go for 30 minutes on Mon, Wed, and Fri. I only ever practice. It’s a Full Swing simulator. So I’m paying about $10 per session to hit 50 or 60 balls.
Bad: It’s hitting off mats.
Good: I have to book it in advance, which I think causes me to never miss.
I get stats with every shot - swing speed, launch angle, etc.
Too hot, too rainy? No excuse
The range is never too busy because I have an appointment and its only me.
I played a scramble yesterday at the course closest to my house and the range was using mats, so that mitigates the only bad aspect. That range uses mats until mid-May to allow their grass to grow in. Then they let so many people hit off the grass (it’s constantly busy) that it can’t recover. So by mid-June they’re back to mats. They should double their price, IMO.
Anyway, I’m using an indoor subscription place as my driving range this Summer and I’m pretty happy. I’ve practiced more this Summer than in the last 10 years and I’ll deal with the wear and tear on my clubs and elbows sometime in the future.
Yes, for sure. One opened up here (STL area)last Fall and another is on the way. The first one is pretty hard core with 7 sims, a tiltable putting green and a putting lab. It’s used by several of the college coaches here for winter work as well as try out or player evaluation.
I worked by butt off, this past winter/spring by going 2-3 x week and working with the sims. I was rewarded by shooting my age (74) once down in Florida and a second time back here in St, Louis.
the second one looks to be a bit more plush and amenity oriented which holds no interest for me. You, can of course, play simulated rounds at both.
Driving range mat is a fact of life now.
In our area, even the high-end daily fee and most of the private golf clubs are using the mat for driving range use.
Less maintenance and more profit?
I can’t blame the decision because I had seem how golfers butchered the grass driving range. No one seem to know how to properly use a grass driving range these days and they don’t care. No one fix the divot in the fairway and ball marks on the greens. And with all the carelessness, 5 1/2 to 6 hour round is very common.
I can’t say if this is due to selfishness or lack of concern for the others. Or worse, a degenerating intelligence level.
$1,200-$2,000-$2,700 annually for the convenience seem to be a lot for the average guys.
Personally, I would only consider using the indoor driving range when weather preventing outdoor activity.
We’re not living in New York City or Tokyo or Paris.
In my opinion, the membership should be sold with limit for usage. If they charge $25 for guest fee, it could be $120 per 6-8 tokens of play for the month, no carry over.
There is a lot of ways to make the limited space at the facility more available to everyone. A basic business plan should suffice.
We have a new thing here called the Stadium Golf. From what I gathered, someone set up driving range mat on the seating area in one of the stadium ( probably in conjunction with top-tracer ) and charge a premium fee for use during the vacant schedule of the open roof stadium.
I don’t see this working, for there is no residential buildings around the stadiums and the parking around the arena is very expensive ( cost an arm and a leg ).
Sorry to say, we’re not lacking space here. The window of Winter months and raining season will probably be the only time someone would use the indoor driving range. Or someone live in the metro area who does not want to commute 10-20 miles for driving range.
Limited market for sure. Not going to flourish as the franchise claimed.
Same as working on the golf clubs. Doing it as a hobby is fine, not going to be a reliable source of income for sure.
I live in NC and The Club at Longview has offered me the best experience yet. Still I am open to more suggestions if you have any regarding both indoor and outdoor golf.
$2700 here will get you a 6 day membership on a course you can play all year round. 4hr or less rounds are the norm. And the range is hitting off grass. No mats.
You are in a place not yet spoiled by over population and those too smart to work.
Which day of the week is excluded? And the reason why?
7 day is another class of membership that costs just over 3k plus comp entry is compulsory on a Saturday so another $7 a week plus $1 for the hole in one fund if you so desire
Ah ha, the prime day of the week for the working class.
Assuming many of us still goes to the church on Sunday with family.
Not quit sure the extra cost will be worth it to most the fixed income persons.
The insurance coverage is a good coverage. A few golf courses I had visited made this extra a mandatory fee. Fortunately, I had the pleasure of enjoying a couple of the free drinks while others reported H-I-O on my days. Anchor draft mixed with 7 up, was a refreshing drink for hot and humid climate.
Playing 6 days gives me a day off to think about my next round
Golf everyday will be too much work for me. A few of the guys I know are on the golf course almost everyday. Every other day would be perfect for me at this time in my life.
Absoltely Okiwiz, 6 days per week is plenty.
You need a day off.
I’m in London, Ontario. There are definitely a lot of them springing up and I am one of them. I am opening an indoor golf facility called Hyde Park Golf. The fact that I’m opening a business is proof that I’m certain that it’s going to add a lot of value to golfers, but I think the value is more accentuated when you live in an area where golf courses are covered in snow (or at least too cold for you to go out to golf) half the time of the year.
Best of Luck and much good fortune bestowed upon you! I used the Trackman at my other club extensively when rebuilding my swing. It does not take the place of grass and dirt, but the program gives you excellent feedback. It’s what one chooses to do with that feedback… My one thought would be, if you have some more serious type of customer/user… you have the ability to help them understand the feedback and how to apply that feedback, in general, to their game and their swing! I mean it…I wish you much success!