The days have gotten shorter, the nights longer and the temperatures colder, and that can take a toll on your golf swing. But luckily, evolving technologies can extend your golf game well into the winter months.
With the popularity of indoor adventure and gaming facilities on the rise, there’s no shortage of cold-weather activities to partake in. And for golf enthusiasts, this is no exception. Businesses all across the country are opening up with some of the best golf simulators to help you stay practiced and motivated during the cold months. One up-and-coming facility that comes to mind is Lakeville Links.
What Is Lakeville Links?
We had the chance to connect with the Lakeville Links team – Christopher Johnson and Cody Larvick – to learn more about their facility, their passion and their idea to create such an engaging indoor entertainment experience through the use of virtual golf simulators.
Lakeville Links Q&A: How They Propelled Their Golf Simulator Bar to the Next Level
1. What inspired you to choose Minnesota as the home of your golf simulator business? What niche market are you filling?
Christopher Johnson: We live in Minnesota and have for many years. This area was lacking fun things to do in the winter, and since we’re avid golfers, it made sense to pursue.
Cody Larvick: We are both Minnesota born-and-raised. We’ve both lived in Lakeville – across the street from each other – for many years and wanted to stay local and be heavily involved in the community. Our niche is anyone wanting to get some golf in during the brutal winters, and we cater to a broad variety of players.
2. How does local weather – especially in the winter – affect your indoor golf business? Why?
C.J.: Winter is effectively our season. Once it warms up, Minnesota golfers want to get outside. When it rains or is extremely warm, we may get some folks in the doors, too.
C.L.: The late fall through early spring is our bread and butter. We wanted to provide another indoor activity to the south metro area when people typically hibernate, waiting for spring.
3. What are your guests’ favorite amenities in your indoor golf simulator business? What’s your favorite food order?
C.J.: The golf simulators, first and foremost. They play ours and then may go play on others, but they come back to ours. Golfzon is the premium. They also love our food!
C.L.: We provide a full bar which includes 6 tap beer options, many liquor options, canned beer/seltzers and a very nice collection of whiskey and bourbon. We provide a nice food menu, too.
My personal favorite snacks are the Pig Wings. Our pizzas are also phenomenal. We make them in house with fresh ingredients.
4. Why did you choose Golfzon to power your business?
C.J.: Simply put, they are as close to real golfing as you can get. We went and hit Golfzon when we were doing diligence, then 3 or 4 others, and ultimately came back to Golfzon golf simulators.
C.L.: We wanted to provide our customers with the best technology and indoor golf experience the market had to offer, and that is exactly what we got with the Golfzon TwoVision simulators.
5. Which Golfzon technology features and golf courses keep your patrons coming back?
C.J.: Accuracy, the 5 different surfaces, the plate movement and the high quality graphics.
C.L.: Regarding features, first and foremost it’s the moving platform. Hitting off a flat mat for a full round of golf is not realistic. The moving platform recreates real golf shots throughout the round.
The other feature is the putting. Historically, putting has been the toughest thing to recreate for a golf simulator. The TwoVision putting has put that in the past.
Our customers also love the replay video and club face data after each swing. They love to see where on the club face they made contact, the degree the club face was open/closed and then all of the other data like club head speed, spin, launch angle, smash factor, etc.
6. Do you offer golf lessons on your simulators? Any social events, leagues or tournaments?
C.J.: We do offer golf lessons via partner instructors. We also do club fittings via a partner. Outside of lessons, we offer birthday parties, corporate events and virtual golf tournaments.
C.L.: We are on the verge of having three teachers that will be able to provide lessons at our facility. We’ve already held corporate events, Christmas parties, Happy Hours and look to add more in the near future. We have indoor golf leagues on specific nights and also provide flex leagues and course-of-the-month tournaments.
7. What does your pricing structure for playing on the Golfzon simulator look like?
C.J.: We charge by the hour. Weekdays until 3PM, we charge $45 per hour per bay; after 3PM and all day on Saturday/Sunday, it is $55 per hour per bay. We also offer senior discounts before 3PM on weekdays at $35 per hour. Lastly, we have Active Military and Veterans rates of $10 off per hour.
8. What marketing tactics have been most effective for your business?
C.J.: We’re blasting Facebook and Instagram. We’ve also hired Facebook advertising gurus to help get outside our social media circles.
C.L.: We utilize Facebook, Instagram, email, and have started to look into TikTok. The best marketing has been word-of-mouth. People that have been coming in have been our best marketing tool for sure.
9. What advice would you give to someone looking to open their own commercial indoor golf simulator entertainment business in an area with long winters?
C.J.: #1. choose Golfzon, #2. Food and beverage is a must.
C.L.: Partner with Golfzon, offer great food and beverage, hire great employees and work your tail off to provide the best golf experience to your clientele.
Take Your Indoor Golf Business Up a Notch
With exciting, new technologies, you can perfect your swing regardless of the weather. And when the temperatures do drop, it’s always good to have an indoor activity to fall back on. That’s what the team at Lakeville Links did, and the community rallied behind them in support.
They took a chance on opening a golf simulator business, and they’ve seen great success thanks to their dedication, hard work, business ingenuity and golf simulator offering.
The concept of an indoor golf simulator bar and lounge is something that continues to grow in popularity, and our Golfzon simulators can take your business to the next level.
With the help of Golfzon, you can extend your golfing experience all year round and make your community happy. A wide range of innovative features make our commercial golf simulators some of the best indoor golf simulators on the market to help improve your game. Play alone, with friends or meet your match at an indoor facility like Lakeville Links, offering world-class training and practice opportunities.
It’s time to grab your golf clubs and get swinging, no matter the weather.