The Top Things You Need to Know Before Buying a Luxury Golf Simulator Q&A with Golfzon's National Sales Manager
September 22, 2020
As you learned from Ken in Virginia buying a Golfzon indoor golf simulator is not only a great investment for your house, but also your golf game. Before buying an indoor golf simulator like Golfzon it's important to do all your research. We're back to provide some answers to the most common (and maybe a few uncommon) questions on buying a premium Golfzon indoor golf simulator.
We spoke with James McDonald, National Sales Manager for Golfzon America to get all the details.
Can you walk me through the different models, add-ons, and how you help a potential customer determine which Golfzon simulator is best for their space and their budget?
Absolutely. Let's start with the Vision Premium. This is the top-of-the-line Golfzon simulator and truly is the best indoor golf simulator on the market. It comes with ceiling-mounted high-speed cameras, our multi-surface hitting mat, auto tee-up system and patented omni directional moveable swing plate to simulate basically any lie you'd encounter on a real course. Having the cameras mounted in the ceiling offers more space and a cleaner look that's great for both residential and commercial installations. The Golfzon Vision Premium starts at $46,000.
However, a more affordable but no less premium indoor golf simulator experience there's the Vision Standard. The main difference in this model is the cameras aren't installed in the ceiling but rather on the floor well out of the way of the golfer and their swing. This model takes out the multi-surface mat but still has the option of including the hydraulic swing plate and auto-tee system. The Golfzon Vision Standard system starts at $38,500.
So, when considering which model is right for the customer it depends on their budget as well as the size of the space or room they're looking at installing Golfzon. For example, if a customer is building a new house or putting an addition on their existing house it's easier to construct higher ceilings for the Vision Premium. Whereas, if there's an existing room that might not have ample clearance for the Vision Premium ceiling sensors it's easier and more cost effective to install the Vision Standard system.
Are there other differences between the two Golfzon models?
The other biggest difference is with the camera sensors. The Vision Premium has the two separate ceiling mounted sensors and the Vision Standard has a single floor stand with two camera lenses within the camera tower. The sensors work the exact same way - watching the dimples on the golf ball to take measurements and make calculations. Otherwise the technology and software of the golf simulator are identical. In both cases the sensors collect the same golf ball data to nearly identical degrees of accuracy.
When it comes to making a decision about purchasing and installing a Golfzon indoor simulator what's the next most important decision point for a potential customer?
Room size. The minimum ceiling height is 10.5 feet high but we're even happier to see 11 feet of clearance. This ceiling height isn't arbitrary, it makes the sensors work their best and if you think about swinging a 45” driver you need a good amount of space, especially for our taller players out there. And it's important to remember that if you're opting for the hydraulic plate and auto-tee up systems, we’ll need a 7.25” platform around the hitting area which effectively shrinks the overall height of the room.
What about hidden fees? Do you have to pay for more courses or software upgrades on an annual or monthly basis?
Absolutely not. Everything is included up front. While some of our competitors might be a lower cost initially, they don't have our simulator technology (e.g. moveable swing plate, high-speed camera sensors, auto-tee) and they charge consumers for software updates and/or additional courses. With purchase of a Golfzon indoor golf simulator all of those items are included; courses, software updates, etc. along with a “bumper-to-bumper” warranty for the first year from the date of installation.
So, a customer has decided to purchase a Golfzon indoor golf simulator for their home or business, let’s talk about installation. Can you walk me through the process?
Sure thing. Once a purchase is made all of the component parts are shipped directly from Korea which takes about 6-8 weeks for delivery. In that time, we at Golfzon help guide the customer through getting their space ready for installation.
The required amount of space is the aforementioned 11 foot ceilings, 13 feet wide with 23-26 feet of depth. Depth is the measure from the screen to the back of what we call the safety zone directly behind where someone is hitting. Think of this like maybe the line on the ground at your local driving range you stand behind to avoid getting hit with someone's backswing.
Generally speaking, our customers already have a general contractor lined up helping them with construction of their new space or remodel. However, we've done enough installs where we have a good network of general contractors that can get the “bones” of the room ready for our Golfzon engineers to take over and execute the implementation of the technology. Golfzon provides the construction plans in a manner that any general contractor will be able to install the system, and we'll provide remote consultation with our in-house Project Management team to fill in any gaps.
And if you're looking for the Ultimate Golf Man Cave, we can make that dream become a reality too.
How does Golfzon software get updated, how frequently, and does my internet connection matter, etc.?
Golfzon is constantly looking to improve our software and add courses. Software patches occur during off peak times every other week with major server updates occurring once a quarter. The software updates 1x a month for minor updates. Anyone that has used a touchscreen computer, such as an iPad can operate a Golfzon indoor golf simulator. It's as easy as touching a few icons and you're ready to play or practice.
Internet connection does matter as the minimum speed is 50 Mbps. Also, while the system is WiFi compatible the Golfzon system is best used with a hardwired ethernet connection. That way speeds are constant and more reliable for the best gameplay possible.
What about courses? How many are there? How often are new ones added? What if one I’d like to play isn't included?
Golfzon golf simulators currently feature 195 courses globally, with new courses being added from North America yearly. New courses typically fit one of three sets of criteria, 1) They're a Top 100 course as ranked by Golf Digest, 2) They host a PGA TOUR event, and/or 3) The course has hosted a Major championship and/or international team event (Ryder Cup).
However, there are some cases where a course has made a special request to be included on our roster. This process takes around six months and requires a team to visit the course; capture drone footage as well as ground level photography; then a team of designers sets about creating the course. It's rather labor intensive but the likeness ends up being uncanny to the point that trees and sightlines are almost indistinguishable. We actually had one of our clients find their car in the parking lot of their home course on our system.
We're always taking requests for courses and if there's enough demand, a course will be moved up in the priority. Right now there are far more Korean and Asian courses just because that's our heritage. As more and more American golfers get onto the Golfzon platform customers will see more U.S. courses.
What's the biggest barrier or concern customers have when considering buying a Golfzon simulator?
Typically the price point. But we don't shy away from being a premium product with a premium cost. Anyone reading this will think I'm biased but Golfzon is truly the best indoor golf simulator experience on the market.
Many golfers dream of hitting golf balls in their homes; whether it be in their basement, garage, or back yard. Most start by hitting balls on a mat into a net with maybe a small launch monitor. As a golfer, being able to scratch that itch of hitting balls at any time is awesome.
But as you dive further into better launch monitors, screens and projectors what you're ultimately looking for is getting as close to the real thing as you can be. That's where Golfzon is unrivaled. From our on-course graphics and multi-surface hitting mat to Golfzon's moveable swing plate and high-speed camera system, when you put it all in one package, there just isn't a close competitor in the market.
For example, when you really want to improve your game even the best driving ranges don't offer the ability to practice different lies like above or below your feet with uphill and downhill lies. What if you constantly struggle with fairway bunker shots where the ball is above your feet? You can’t practice that shot at a driving range but you can in a Golfzon simulator with the moveable swing plate and multi-surface hitting mat. And after you've hit a shot, the Golfzon auto-tee makes it so you don’t have to retrieve the ball. There’s no down time and no shagging balls. When you’re on a Golfzon simulator you’re there to play golf, and we have made it our goal to create a fully immersed experience with no distractions.
All of these elements contribute to Golfzon's premium price tag. The customer isn't only paying for technology but investing in their golf game, the enjoyment of playing and the convenience of having all of these elements at their fingertips for years to come.