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.
Cost ranges by commercial golf simulator brand:
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?
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.
I've been running a short golf simulator survey on this site for a couple months to collect information on simulator buying behavior. I thought I'd take a moment to share some of the results to date, but before going into details, I want to highlight a couple points. First, this was by no means a scientific study. I did not attempt to make my sample represent the general buying public - in fact I did not control the sample in any way. This is also a relatively small group, so the results may not be representative of a larger group - that said, here is what the results are showing.
Most of the folks taking the survey plan to purchase one or more simulators. Not surprising given they probably came to my site looking for information on simulators. It does appear though that folks looking to buy, know a good bit in advance and take some time to research and plan their purchases.
Almost all of the survey participants indicated plans to look at more than one simulator before making a purchase decision. More than half indicated looking at three simulators. I wish I'd included a comment section to collect info on the pro's and con's of each brand reviewed. Please comment if you have info to share on this topic.
Price Paid / Quoted
Admittedly, this was the question I was most interested in seeing. Prices for a mid-range golf simulator appear to be $25k+ based on survey responses. I'm not sure what to make of the under $10k response - maybe it was for home versus commercial use.
Since this one allowed multiple selections, it has the most responses. In this small sample, it looks like there is a primary and secondary tier of golf simulator brands being considered by potential customers.
If you like this article, you may also want to check out our article on Golf Simulator Market Share
Running an indoor golf business involves creating a facility where golfers play rounds on a golf simulator that projects an image of a course and uses sophisticated sensors to depict the real shot in a virtual environment. There are many of these businesses existence, and most are in colder climates.
If you are considering opening an indoor golf center, success turns on 4 basic items:
Depending on the size of your facility and the amenities, start up costs can be significant. Many indoor golf centers start small and grow as they see their revenues grow. Others take a decidedly more ambitious approach and build a premium facility from the start. Choose a path that makes sense for you, your budget and matches your clientele.
One of the major expenses will include the cost of the golf simulators. For a commercial operation, these can run as little as $15,000 or as much as $60,000. Price will depend on a host of factors, software features, number of courses and size of the system. Some facilities mix the simulators, purchasing several basic ones and one or two high end systems. This enables them to offer premium services without the extra start up expense.
Another start up expense will be your facility costs. In most cases, facilities will be leases, but a few do chose to buy / build a facility. In the event you are doing a commercial lease, there will likely be build out expenses to suit your specific design. It may make sense to get help from a commercial real estate pro to help you negotiate these as part of your lease.
The types of complimentary services you chose offer will drive other start up expenses. If you are going to do food and beverage, you will have a few other costs. Licensing for food and beverage will be one such expense. Building out a kitchen will be another. Even a low end kitchen with used equipment will run over $20,000. Don't forget about marketing, recruiting, website, network and signage expenses.
Take a look at all your expenses and figure out which ones are the keys to your success. Be sure to get the right equipment on the items that are critical to your success and perhaps defer those that are not as critical until after you have a strong revenue stream.