18 Statistics on the Top Golf Simulators
I recently ran a survey in my forum of over 8,000 golf simulator enthusiasts to understand what golf simulator they owned and how they rate it. I asked them to share information on what they paid, what metrics it tracks, their satisfaction with its accuracy, if they’d buy it again, and what golf course software they use with the golf simulator.
I wanted to share a quick article of golf simulator statistics based on the buyer survey. Below is a summary of their responses starting with the most popular golf simulator in the survey, the SkyTrack Launch Monitor. I hope you find this informative.
SkyTrack Launch Monitor
This was the most popular simulator in the survey based on the number of responses. I suspect it has to do with the affordable price point and wide range of compatible golf course software options.
Garmin R10 Launch Monitor and Golf Simulator
The Garmin was the second most popular simulator in the survey based on the number of responses. It is a relatively new offering from a well known brand. Along with being from a well known brand, folks were excited as it tracks many more metrics than simulators that are much more expensive.
Garmin R10 Pro’s:
Garmin R10 Con’s:
Flightscope Mevo Plus
Owners reports indicate that the Flightscope Mevo plus outperforms the less expensive simulators in every way and comes in at a much lower price point than many of the high end options. Owners reported it was easy to set up and worked well right out of the box.
Flightscope Mevo Plus Pro’s:
Flightscope Mevo Plus Con’s:
Uneekor EYE XO
The Uneekor EYE XO is a premium overhead launch monitor and golf simulator. It's super-speed cameras provide instant shot feedback and some of the most accurate, in-depth data on the market. Owners give it very high marks for accuracy. It is a residential golf simulator that is considered pro level and is often found in commercial settings.
Uneekor EYE XO Pro’s:
Uneekor EYE XO Con’s:
Bushnell Launch Pro
Bushnell acquired Foresight Sports in the Summer of 2021, and the first big product to be released came in the form of the Bushnell Launch Pro launch monitor. It is a bit bigger and heavier than other portable models in the review and folks tend to think of it as professional grade.
Bushnell Launch Pro’s:
Bushnell Launch Con’s:
I hope you found these top 5 golf simulator reviews helpful. There are many great reasons to get a golf simulator and there is surely one that will fit your needs. A great setup will allow you to play or practice at any time of day, in any sort of weather.
There are a few things every golf simulator needs in order to provide a quality experience, namely a launch monitor or tracking system that records your shot data, a net or hitting screen & projector, and good software that simulates your shots.
Now it is your turn.
Please let me know what you think in the comments. What simulators should I add to this list? What do you think of your simulator?
If you liked this article, please use the buttons up top and share it - thanks in advance for your help!
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We get this question a lot. Let’s start by examining the most crucial element, golf simulators.
What does a golf simulator cost?
The price ranges also vary by brand. That said, you don't have to spend $100k to get a great setup. See sometailored golf simulator packages that can bring your startup costs down.
Cost ranges by commercial golf simulator brand:
Get all the information you need to start and grow a profitable indoor golf business with our Ultimate Startup Plan:
Starting an indoor golf business
Yardstick Golf has done extensive research on what it cost to open indoor golf centers. There is a wide range of startup costs for the indoor golf bars we studied. Four of the biggest factors driving the range in costs are:
Small Indoor Golf Centers
Small golf centers we studied cost between $50,000 and $250,000 to open. They had between 2 and 4 simulators and were between 1,500 and 3,200 square feet. Simulator choices were on the lower end of the commercial range.
Medium Sized Indoor Golf Centers
Medium sized golf centers we studied cost between $350,000 and $650,000 to open. They had anywhere from 6 to 8 simulators and were between 5,500 and 10,000 square feet. Simulator choices were generally mid to high end of the commercial range. Beverage services were much more common that food service.
Large Indoor Golf Businesses
The largest golf centers we studied cost between $750,000 and $900,000 to open. 7 to 10 simulators were the norm for this group and the facilities were between 6,800 and 12,000 square feet. Simulator choices were typically high end, but a few went more in the mid-commercial range. Beverage services were also much more common that food service.
What do you think?
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Now I’d like to hear from you:
Did you have a different experience opening your center, or are there other cost questions you’d like to know?
Comment and share your experience or question.
Golf Lessons From Anywhere
I recently met Eric Eppic, the Founder and CEO of Swizzy Golf. Eric's company is bringing golf lessons to everyone via their app. Since simulators are a great learning tool and because his app focuses on video, I see the to be very natural companions. Given this opportunity to get more out of your simulator, I asked Eric to share more about Swizzy - his thoughts are below.
Getting the most out of your simulator, with Swizzy Golf
Hi everyone, we’re Swizzy Golf – a mobile platform for real-time, remote golf lessons between students and certified instructors. We’ve taken advanced swing analysis tools and integrated them directly into our live lesson environment. While in a lesson, instructors can annotate on screen, record live swings, replay live swings, analyze videos from an existing media library, and more, as their students follow along – all in real-time.
Our mission is to democratize the sport; to make golf more welcoming than ever, giving everyone in (or aspiring to join) the golf community instant access to high quality lessons. With Swizzy Golf, the factors that have made golf inaccessible in the past are no longer barriers, and we think an even greater way to facilitate this is through golf simulators. Golf simulators provide the much-needed space that power a seamless and effective Swizzy Golf lesson. With that said, offering Swizzy Golf as an option in golf simulators is beneficial for the venue as well – we allow golf simulator venues to promote instruction or lessons without having an actual Professional on-site.
In 2018, the National Golf Foundation conducted research on “Simulated Golf” where PGA Superstore CEO Dick Sullivan claimed they conducted over 50,000 golf lessons in their in-house simulators. In addition, he said, “You don’t see Amazon giving lessons or putting grips on. We’re unique that way. We don’t just sell product, we provide a different level of service.” Swizzy Golf empowers golf simulator operators via the option to provide their customers with this different level of service. The additional service of providing golf instruction will draw more patrons to the simulators and increase the amount of money they are likely to spend there.
Dedicated support to enable your success
Offering Swizzy Golf as an option would require minimal effort. To optimize your space for virtual lessons, we recommend setting up a simple phone-stand / tripod in the simulator area for customers to use with their device. Furthermore, we can provide material on how the students can easily get setup and into a virtual lesson within minutes. There are a number of ways that we can support your efforts for providing remote instruction. Because we’re still a relatively new and growing company, we’re able to dedicate time and effort to each of our partners to find the best solution for their space. In addition to providing the platform and assisting in optimizing the simulator for virtual lessons, we can dedicate Pro’s on our platform to be available at given times, manage the lesson booking requests from your customers, and facilitate the entire lesson transaction process from beginning to end. We're even working with golf simulator manufacturers on software integrations, which would allow users to access Swizzy Golf lessons directly through the simulator without an external device.
More about Swizzy Golf
The idea and technology behind Swizzy Golf surfaced in late 2018, when a pair of passionate golfers realized two voids in the industry: 1) insufficient digital golf instruction, and 2) lack of access to quality, real-time golf instruction. Since then, the concept has been tested, the platform has been built, and the solution has gone live – now helping to connect Students and Instructors across the globe… whether you’re in the US, Europe, as far as Korea and Australia, or beyond.
And here we are – powering the first golf technology platform to enable live, remote golf lessons.
Find us at our website here, or in the iOS and Google Play Appstores. We can’t wait to join you on your journey to better golf – whether in your golf simulator or otherwise!
The Swizzy Golf team
Lower your score with a golf simulator
If you are looking to lower your scores, I’ve recently used a golf simulator to shave a few strokes off my typical score. I was able to take my handicap from a 7 to a 4 by getting very precise information on how far I hit each and every one of my clubs. Below is a bit of a story on how and why I did it.
I recently got a new set of irons and wanted to see how far I hit each one. I decided to do a couple different sessions on a golf simulator and track the results. Over a few different sessions I hit each one of my irons 10 to 12 times and tracked the distance of each shot in a spreadsheet.
When I analyzed my shot data, the results surprised me…
That last point seems to be fairly common. According to Shot Scope’s database that has tracked nearly 20 million shots, 80% of golfers are missing their greens on the short side.
After seeing the data, I did a few things:
Here is how I did it. First I made a sheet in Excel to track the distances of each club. I put room to track 12 good swings with each club. I quickly realized that hitting 12 shots per golf club plus warm up in a single session would probably not give me the best results.
I decided to do two separate sessions of 6 shots with each club. If the shot was a huge outlier (say a massive chunk), I excluded it from my data. I recorded each reasonable (not perfect) shot in the spreadsheet and repeated the process through two different hitting sessions until I had 12 representative golf shots with each club. I also threw in some ½ and ¾ swing shots with my wedges and am super glad I did. I now have some great references for those in between yardages where you can really lower your score.
Then I got nerdy. . .
I took the golf simulator data from the 12 golf swings and created a table that showed the Long, Average, and Short distance for each golf club. The Long was an average of my 3 longest shots, and the Short was the average of my 3 shortest shots on the simulator. The average is across all 12. So now I know my average, short, and long distance with each club - including ½ and ¾ swings on all my wedges.
This is where it gets really helpful. When picking a club I find my distance and go to the club with the closest average. I then look to see if the pin is in front, middle, or back position.
If the flag is in the back of the green, I make sure the “Long” distance with that club won’t get me in trouble. If it might, I look at the average distance of the next shorter club and see if the “Short” distance would get me in trouble. I am essentially looking at the two clubs to see which has less risk. Knowing my full range of tendencies has enabled me to avoid a blowup hole or two every other round or so.
If the flag is in front, I go up one golf club and check for the same risks. If the pin is in the middle, I really just look to see if the short and long would stay on the green so I know if I should go after it, hit more of a stock shot or choke down on the club a tad.
I hope this helps you find ways to use your golf simulator to improve.
No it is your turn. What do you think? How else could I improve this process? How do you use your golf simulator to train?
I’ve been reading a lot lately and it’s been inspiring me to refocus my efforts on improving my business. I’ve learned new ways of thinking, creative approaches to managing my time, and I’ve gained confidence from the books I’ve read. It is so interesting to learn about the inner journey of others and see many parallels to things I am working to solve.
I thought I would take a moment to share some of my favorites along with a bit of information about why they resonated with me. I hope this provides some help to you as you look for ideas, support, and strategies to nurture your entrepreneurial dreams.
What did I miss? I’d love some more great suggestions that you like so I can continue my reading journey. Comment with your favorite books.
Bruin Capital Acquires Full Swing Simulators And Envisions Peloton-Like Platform For Golf
It could be really interesting to see a Peloton-like model for indoor golf. I could see it changing both commercial and home business models for indoor golf. Whether it will be a positive change or not remains to be seen.
A Hopeful and Positive Take on the Full Swing Acquisition
Getting into indoor golf today often requires a large up front cost for golf simulators, projectors, course software, hitting cages and turf mats. If the acquisition changes the model to a lower up front cost and long term subscription it could make indoor golf approachable for a lot more folks.
Instead of paying tens of thousands on your home golf simulator setup, this might result in something that looks more like a down payment and ongoing monthly subscription. Perhaps comparable to getting a golf membership. Maybe the company retains ownership of the equipment and you can use it as long as you subscribe. All positives if you are looking to expand indoor golf ownership.
A Pessimistic View
Perhaps the acquisition goes the other way and because of the Peloton-like business model, not only do you pay a subscription, but you also pay a premium on hardware for Full Swing systems. Peloton charges $2,000+ for a bike when you can get comparable models from other manufacturers for a fraction of that price. Perhaps Bruin Capital sees the Peloton-like model as a way to charge a premium for Full Swing simulators.
The Forbes article announcing the acquisition can be found here.
Lets hear from you - how do you think this will impact the business model for both home and commercial indoor golf? What did I miss or get wrong?
How to fund your indoor golf business
With your business plan in hand, it’s time to tap all your available resources to
find the best available financing at the lowest cost to you. As you enter this
phase of your indoor golf startup, keep in mind that there are lenders, accountants and attorneys who specialize in small business financing. In some cases, they represent your best chance of a smooth, successful financing experience.
Designing an affordable simulator package will also help you secure the financing you need.
We recommend starting your financing investigations by weighing your ability
and willingness to leverage your own assets and working your way from there
to conventional and other potential lending sources.
Home Equity: If you are a homeowner, you may be able to leverage your home
equity through a home equity line of credit (HELOC), or a home equity loan
(HEL). The biggest advantage to this is that leveraging your own existing equity
should be possible at a relatively low interest rate. The disadvantage is the
inherent risk involved in putting your home up as collateral for your business.
Always take care not to assume more risk than you could handle.
Retirement Funds: You can leverage retirement funds for your business
investment and avoid penalties by working with a company that specializes
in helping investors take advantage of the Entrepreneur Rollover Stock
Ownership Plan (ERSOP) or Rollovers as Business Startups plan (ROBS) to fund
new businesses. In these scenarios, your retirement funds become an investor in your business instead of being invested in publicly traded equities or fixed-
income investments. Using this kind of account is quite complicated, so make
sure you work with a reputable investment professional to ensure your ERSOP
or ROBS is set up and executed correctly. As with the use of home equity
funds, use caution as you look at utilizing retirement dollars. Know the risks of
putting this money ear-marked for long-term security on the line for a business
Family and Friends: Gifts, loans, and investments from family members can
be a great source of capital for your business. If you do accept funds from people you have personal relationships with, make sure you have an agreement in writing,
with the terms and conditions of the gift, investment or loan clearly outlined--
including investment terms, payback terms, interest, and what happens if you
default. Having the details hammered out in an agreement may prevent a
misunderstanding down the line.
Traditional Loans: Another option is to leverage traditional business loans,
or commercial loans. There are many types of commercial lending, including
secured and unsecured loans, short- and long-term loans, equipment loans,
and business lines of credit. Expect to put up at least 20% of your investment
to be considered for these kinds of loans, and know that many traditional
lenders may not understand startup business models and that there are lenders
who specialize in this area. As with any financing source, it’s always in your best
interest to shop around, so make sure you check out business loans at multiple
U.S. Small Business Administration Loans: The SBA offers loans through
participating banks and lenders, and since the SBA will guarantee up to 85% of
the loan, there is less risk for the lender—which can translate to a lower interest
rate for you. SBA financing is not really a government loan, but rather a private
loan backed by government funds. There are multiple types of SBA loans you
can investigate. Make sure you carefully evaluate the pros and cons associated
with taking out an SBA versus a traditional loan, i.e. the cost to establish the
loan, the length of the loan, and the interest rates of the loan. Also worth noting is the fact that individuals with high net worth may not qualify for this type of loan.
Online Financing Centers are online companies that serve as clearinghouses
for financing. These companies have multiple financial institutions
in their systems to review your financial information and evaluate your request
for financing. They host the equivalent of speed dating for the loan industry--
you provide all of your information, then lenders review it and decide if they’d
like to initiate a relationship with you.
We'd love to hear from you. Is there another source of financing we missed? Do you have advice on how to think about any of these? Leave us a comment and share.
Finding the right location for your business
Your lease will be one of your biggest expenses in opening your golf center. We want to make sure you avoid the pitfalls that can sink you.
Today you’ll learn exactly how to get the best location and the best lease for your indoor golf facility.
Let’s jump right in
There are “Fore” fatal flaws you need to avoid when locating your business
Flaw 1 – Negotiating without an attorney
Commercial leases are a complex contract between two parties. Unlike a residential lease, commercial leases do not have the consumer protections and regulations designed to protect individuals. Many people starting a new business skip on getting a lawyer to scrutinize the lease and often signing very unfavorable terms.
If you are considering forgoing an attorney, be prepared to review every single word of the lease. The language is often skewed in favor of the landlord and with a lease term that may run five years, mistakes can cost you for a long time to come.
On the other hand, hiring an attorney can demonstrate to your landlord that you are serious and expect to get a great deal and fair treatment. Given the headaches and hassles you can avoid, hiring an attorney to review your lease is a best practice we recommend. Nolo offers some great resources on how to hire an attorney to review your lease.
Flaw 2 – only comparing locations on price per square foot
Many business owners focus intently on price per square foot as the main way to compare different locations. That risks overlooking many other factors that could drive up the cost of the lease. There are many reasons why a higher price per square foot may be a better lease. It may be a gross lease and include expenses such as utilities and taxes.
The cheaper lease may have less parking, be in a less desirable location or have less truly usable space for your business. The cheaper location may be further from your customers and not be as well suited to your planned services. Look at price per square foot as a starting point, not the only point of comparison.
Flaw 3 – Locating too far from your ideal customers
Our player preferences study found that most players won’t drive more than 20 minutes to play indoor golf. When you look at a prospective lease, you’ll often get demographics like the number of men and women within 3 to 5 miles. That is nice, but won’t help you understand whether one area has more golfers than another.
You need to do some research to find out where the best concentrations of your ideal customers live. In our location selection tool, we show you how to find the number of golfers within a 3 to 5 mile radius of your indoor golf facility.
Flaw 4 – Trusting the landlord’s measurements
We do not mean to imply that landlords intentionally mislead tenants. Rather we believe that most are trying to provide a fair service at a fair price. That said, we have heard too many instances when prospective tenants found measurements to be inaccurate.
If your lease overstates the square footage of your facility, it can hurt you in a number of ways. First and most obvious is that you would end up paying more rent than you should. Less obvious is that you would end up paying more than your fair share of things like taxes, janitorial services, and common area maintenance. It is critical that you double check the size of your space to get an accurate lease.
Did I miss anything?
Now I’d like to hear from you:
Is there a fatal flaw that I missed? Did you develop a unique approach to get a great lease?
Comment and share your experience or idea.
Customer retention is a really important part of keeping your business healthy
Ways to drive indoor golf customer retention
How do I engage with my customers?
Great ways to communicate with your customers include:
2. Position yourself as a resource
Your members will be interested in tips, training, and new features. Ensure that your team is up to date with trends and capabilities and are able to offer informed advice relating to a host of topics and goals. By positioning yourselves as industry experts you will add weight and value to your facilities, allowing your customers to use you as an all in one resource rather than purely a facility provider. Once again achieving this will greatly add to the golfer experience.
3. Encourage customer involvement
Run fun events or skill building talks, keeping customers involved with your club is a great way to add value alongside your facilities.
I’m running out of events to organize!
Why not sign up for a charity event as a group? Get as many customers involved as you can. You can all train together in the months leading up to the event, plus you can put on special workshops depending on what the event entails. Taking part as a group will add a real sense of community, it will be great for the atmosphere within the club too!
4. Ask for feedback!
Ask your customers what they are pleased with and what you are doing well, this way you’ll be able to identify what makes them happy and act upon it.
For example: You get great feedback on your early morning specials, particularly those that are family based. You could introduce more specials like this or rework your less popular morning specials to feature more family options.
Don’t forget to ask for the feedback that won’t necessarily be as positive. Areas that customers are not happy with may often be things that can be changed with relative ease. By taking action on negative feedback you will show your customers that you value their opinions.
Making a golfer feel valued will no doubt improve their loyalty to your club.
5. Create a community
Actively encourage golfers to interact with each other. By building a friendly community, customers will feel a sense of belonging. Your club will not only serve as an entertainment option but also a pivotal part of their social life. Not only will this add a an extra benefit of your facility, but it will also ensure they stay loyal to your club, rather than moving to any competitors.
6. Offer loyalty schemes and Rewards
Offer loyalty programs and rewards, or customer discounts. By offering such rewards you are not only keeping your current customer base happy and engaged, you are also implementing opportunities for prospective customers to be introduced to the club.
What are good ways to reward loyal customers?
An excellent way to not only reward, but also incentivise golfers, is to offer a prize or some form of recognition for those who come to your facility most frequently. For example perhaps giving a free guest pass and sleeve of balls to the golfer who has the most visits per month. This will drive engagement not only with your club but also with the golfers within your club. A healthy sense of competition will drive your community feel.
7. Provide an unrivaled experience
You may think it goes without saying, but providing a great service really is one of the biggest factors within retention, ensuring your customers are loyal and choose you over your competitors. To make sure you are providing a brilliant service you should regularly assess what you are doing to benefit your golfers, why you are doing it, if it is successful and how you can improve upon this. By regularly setting aside time to answer these questions you can make sure you are on track and providing the best possible service. Customers who are happy with their service and feel that it is value for money will have no reason to look elsewhere.
8. Make sure you are easy to contact and highly responsive
It is vital that customers are able to contact you with ease, whether that be over the phone or via email. When they reach out to you it should be a quick and easy process. It is really important to keep members of staff that will be answering the phone updated on all changes to timetables, maintenance of facilities and just general day to day news. Prompt replies to emails are another great way to show you are there to help.
9. Reach out to customers who may be unhappy
Keep track of customers who’s attendance has dropped significantly. If a golfer's number of visits drops below a certain threshold it’s a good idea to reach out to them, whether that’s simply a phone call to check that they are still satisfied with service and your facilities or it could be a slightly different approach, such as a back on track email offering a new special to let them know you care.
10. Go above and beyond
Fulfill your customers needs and requirements to the best of your abilities. Reputation spreads quickly through word of mouth. Spending that extra few minutes being attentive to a golfer will stick in their mind. A glowing reference from a current customer is more valuable than any campaign or marketing activity that you undertake
Did you know that the first website listed on a Google search gets 30 times the clicks as the website in second place? Additionally, 75% of customers never scroll past the first page of search results. This is where SEO comes in - SEO stands for search engine optimization and it's goal is to get you higher in search rankings for relevant terms to your business.
Have you looked at where you rank on terms customers might search? Do you know what terms your customers might search? Let's say you own a facility in Washington DC, you might see where you rank on "DC indoor golf" and find you are at the top. Are you done? Probably not. What else might they search. . . DC golf, DC driving range, DC entertainment, things to do in DC, etc. You get the point. Each of these could be sources of traffic and customers for your business.
You could search each possible keyword one by one or you can use tools designed to help you analyze your website and get guidance on what to change or fix. I've linked one such tool below. Now that you know about SEO, use it to improve your website and get more customers.