Indoor Golf Association


Are You in the Market to Purchase an Indoor Golf Simulator?

Indoor golf Simulator

Looking to purchase an indoor golf simulator? It can be a confusing, timely and overwhelming process. As you might have already discovered, when conducting the research on the many (and we mean many) indoor golf simulators on the market today, you can be left with a sense of bewilderment at the end of the day.

Each indoor golf simulator manufacturer can offer you a variety of different models, each containing a different set of features and each priced at a wide range of levels. Some golf simulators may have features that you may, realistically, never use. Other simulators may or may not provide the flexibility of adding special options at a later time.

We hope to offer some useful suggestions that might help you to narrow your search down to just a few golf simulator manufacturers before you decide on the one.

The reasons for purchasing an indoor golf simulator for a business can be very different than the reasons behind purchasing one for your home. In this segment we will focus our efforts in helping you to make the best investment decision in your purchase of a golf simulator for your own private use.

Establishing a Budget for a new Indoor Golf Simulator

Establishing your budget is the most important factor in beginning your search. Figuring out exactly what you want to spend on a new indoor golf room will narrow down your list of potential make and models for your space.

There exist in this industry a very wide range of sticker prices for the many simulators out there. Generally, the prices range from a few thousand dollars (or less) to upwards of around $70,000.00 per unit. Keep in mind that the less expensive model could meet your needs just fine. The more expensive machine isn’t necessarily better for your specific needs but, in your case it may be the better choice. That will ultimately be up to you to decide. By deciding on what you want to spend can eliminate a lot of what is available to the would-be-buyer.

The cost of buying an indoor golf simulator doesn’t stop with the purchase price of the system however. That is just the beginning of your initial list of expenses. When creating your budget you will also need to consider freight and installation expenses.

Freight expenses have been on the steady rise since the great recession and shipping an indoor golf simulator can be expensive. Indoor golf simulators typically include a computer, projector, putting carpet, hitting screen, the electronics that measures ball flight and/or club head swing and finally the booth. The materials that create the booth can differ from manufacturer to manufacturer but typically the booth will consist of a metal frame and fabric. In some cases the booth is made of wood sections pieced together.  When all is packaged your freight cost can run from $300.00 to several thousands of dollars depending on what make and model you choose. Freight to a residence is typically more expensive since a delivery truck with a lift gate is required as well as a smaller truck to better navigate tight residential roads. So don’t hesitate to ask the sales person what you can expect in terms of the freight expenses.

Once your order arrives then you will need to contend with the cost of installation. Some manufacturers insist that they conduct the installation while others do not. Regardless, this is an expense that needs to be considered when installing an indoor golf system into your home. And depending on the location and look you want to achieve in your new indoor golf room, installation costs will vary.

Installing a golf system in your garage can help keep the expenses at a minimum, whereas adding it to your new custom home as a full entertainment center can drive the expense up quite a bit. Once you have narrowed down the indoor golf simulator of choice be sure to get an idea from the manufacturer as to what will be involved in the installation. You may need to contact the following contractors to assist in making the installation progress in a smooth and hassle free manner.

Some indoor golf simulators can be complicated to install while others can be done on your own. Various specialists may be needed, depending on your level of creativity and handiness. You might want to get bids from an interior designer, general contractor, carpet layer, carpenter, electrician and AV specialist if you plan to use the simulator as a full entertainment center. Just make sure the manufacturer will be fully available to assist in the event you have any questions.

Indoor Golf Simulator – Recreation vs. Learning Tool

Another important category to consider when deciding on the make and model of an indoor golf simulator is whether your objective is recreation or instruction.

If you want the simulator more for recreational usage with family and friends then you can eliminate the need for fancy and expensive swing analysis software and focus instead on the course selection. Granted, just about all of the indoor golf simulators on the market today will provide, as standard equipment, your basic ball flight data. So if recreation is your main objective, you will want to consider course selection, and the number of included golf games (skins, best ball etc.).

If you are looking for an abundance of swing data or even video feedback then you can expect to spend more for these features. Just keep in mind that these features alone may not help you in improving your game. Understanding the data and how to use it to correct your swing can be a complex task, sometimes requiring the skills of a golf instructor. If you are neither of these then it might be worth seeking a private lesson in-house and receiving expert advice to fine tune a swing.

So, if you are looking to purchase an indoor golf simulator and dreading the amount of time that it might take to wade through the many confusing options, try narrowing down your search criteria.

If you can narrow your indoor golf simulator search down in terms of what you want to spend and what you want to get out of your new investment, then you can decrease the research time and confusion substantially.

We would like to hear from you regarding your own personal experience with researching indoor golf simulators for your home. Please complete the form here to share any tips and tricks that you’d like to pass on to others!

Turning Happy Customers into Fans!

Happy Customers

Passionate, loyal fans are the lifeblood of every successful indoor golf business—but it can be tough to get people to care about your business when you’re always on the go, when you’re interacting with dozens of people each day, and when you don’t get to spend much time with individual customers.

How can you connect on a deeper level with customers when you don’t interact with them for longer than the time it takes to get them set-up on the indoor golf simulator, take their order if you serve food and then move on to the next customer? Let’s look into some proven methods of turning customers into loyal fans.

Your Indoor Golf Center is More Than Just a Place to Play Golf

There’s one thing you need to understand before you start trying to connect with your customers—your indoor golf center is more than just a place to play golf. An understanding of this simple fact is crucial. Without it, you’ll find yourself wondering why it’s so important to build relationships that extend beyond “Hi, how are you today?” and “Here’s your order” and, “Thanks for stopping by.”

To your customers, your business isn’t just a convenient place to stop to play indoor golf or to grab a quick lesson. Your business is an experience. It’s an idea. It’s a tangible, real-life representation of a dream come true.

As an indoor golf business owner, you occupy a unique place of mystery and intrigue in your customers’ minds. For people who spend the majority of their days slumped over computers in boring cubicles, trapped under harsh, fluorescent lighting, your life as an indoor golf business owner seems very magical and exotic. Though a customer on his lunch hour might empathize with a McDonald’s worker who looks just as bored by his job as the customer is with his, that same customer likely feels a bit of envy toward you—the indoor golf business owner who’s clearly passionate about his or her business and is offering the opportunity to play golf on exotic virtual golf resorts with a bright, authentic smile and a dash of happy laughter.

When customers visit indoor golf centers, they expect more than just a round of golf. They expect an experience that goes beyond a drive and a chip shot. They expect you, the business owner, to be positive, warm, and welcoming. And they expect (and want to see) something different than what they would find at any other business, restaurant, convenience store, or fast food joint that they could hit up for basic services.

Indoor golfers are expecting a taste of passion for the game of golf. And it’s up to you to understand this, remember this, and deliver it to them.

Customers Want to Become Fans—You Just Have to Help Them

Now that you understand how excited your customers are about visiting your indoor golf business, you may be able to see how eager many of them are to become fans. People love finding awesome businesses and brands that they can become loyal to so, if you can do the right things to satisfy your fans, you can give customers a reason to love your business as much as you do.

So, how can you show customers how passionate you are about your business—and how much you care about them? We’ve got four key practices you can employ to take your customer relationships to the next level. These behaviors will take you from “Bill, the guy who schedules my tee time” in customers’ minds to “Bill, the really awesome owner of Bill’s Indoor Golf Center, a.k.a. my favorite indoor golf business, a.k.a. my friend, a.k.a. my hero.”

1. Get to Know Your Customers

Up first is one of our favorite tips—a practice that seems so easy that it’s hard to believe what a major impact it can have. We’re talking about getting to know your customers.

This practice is the first one you should enact because it’s easy and fun and has huge rewards. All you have to do is talk with your customers while they’re ordering food or waiting for their tee time. It doesn’t have to be anything major—you just want to dig a little deeper than your typical greeting. Even a simple question like “How’s your day going?”, “On your way back to the office?”, or “Have any fun plans for this weekend?” can get a conversation going and allow you to learn more about your customer than what he or she likes on a pizza.

These conversations might seem like basic small talk, but the fact that you’re even taking the time to engage your customer can make a huge impression. Most likely, the far majority of your customer’s transactions at stores and restaurants are kept to the basics of placing an order, paying, and leaving. Taking just a couple minutes out of your day to find out something more about the customer’s life shows him or her that you care about more than just selling tee times—you want to make sure your customers are happy and that they feel comfortable and welcomed at your indoor golf center. And most importantly, you’ll begin to earn repeat business—which gives you even more opportunities to talk with your customers, to learn about their lives, and to build relationships that run deeper than a shared love of the game of golf.

2. Reward True Fans

Once you’ve gotten to know your customers and you start seeing people returning for second, third, and twenty-seventh visits, it’s time to reward your true fans.

Keep in mind, however, that you don’t have to have a formalized loyalty program or a regular promotional schedule in place to give special deals to your favorite fans. Simply surprising someone with a random free discount or a bonus treat left on their table is one of the best ways to show people how much you care. Your fans will love the extras, and they’ll be excited to return again in the future. There’s nothing like showing fans that you appreciate their loyalty by doling out a little extra from time to time—and by showing them that you remembered them enough to reward them for making return visits.

3. Give People a Reason to Return

Similarly, we love it when indoor golf businesses show fans how eager they are for their repeat business by giving them a reason to return in the form of coupons and discounts. Print a coupon for a “buy one, get one half off” deal at the bottom of select receipts or tell people that they can get a free round of golf for one on their next visit when they leave you a Yelp review or like your page on Facebook. The key here is not just to show people how much you appreciate them coming in, but to let them know how much you want them to return. Show them that you can’t wait to see them again by giving them something to enjoy on their next visit.

4. Get Involved with the Community

Finally, one of our favorite ways to show customers how much you care about them and their happiness is to get involved with your local community. There are dozens of ways to be an active member in your city’s local events. Here are just a few ideas of how you can show fans your passion for the area:

•Participate in local benefits and community-oriented events.
•Give shout-outs on social media to local sports teams and groups that are doing cool things.
•Hold benefits for local charitable organizations (such as animal shelters, youth programs, and homeless shelters). Offer Longest Drive or Closest to the Pin contest to help raise money for charity.
•Offer a city-themed menu item.
•Run specials on days that are special to your community (anniversaries of big city-wide events, your city’s birthday, or days when a local team is competing in a big game).

The trick here is to show your fans that you’re proud to be a part of the community and that you want to be involved in the things that are going on in their lives. Celebrating local events and staying aware of important things that are happening in your town helps fans see that you care about the city and that you’re committed to serving as an integral part of local life. No matter what types of promotions you decide to run, you can become more involved in your customers’ lives and show them how passionate you are about their happiness by working to be an active member of your local community.

Let Your Fans Spread the Word

Showing fans how much you care is an on-going endeavor that you should continue to focus on throughout your entire indoor golf business career. The suggestions laid out here aren’t just something you should institute during the first few months of your life as an indoor golf business owner—they are behaviors that should simply become a part of how your indoor golf center does business.

As you continue to grow your business and turn more customers into loyal, impassioned fans, you’ll begin to notice something special happening—those brand new fans who are excited about your center will begin telling their friends, who will come to check out what all the hype is about. Slowly but surely, they’ll become fans, too—and they’ll tell their friends, who will come to check you out, and so on, and so on. Over time, you’ll develop a loyal pack of fans that can serve as ambassadors for your brand—and who will be the type of people you can always rely upon to keep your business running.

We’d love to know what practices you use to show your customers how much their happiness matters to you. Who is your biggest fan? What do you do to keep him or her coming back? And what is your favorite way to thank someone who has made multiple visits to your business? Share your stories here and we may just feature your indoor golf center on the IGA website!