Jan McCosky stepped onto the platform and squared her shoulders before taking her first swing. The ball flew past trees and out onto the golf course, and, after a few seconds, the same ball magically appeared back on the tee.
“I’m trying to up my game,” said the Livonia resident. “The technology is the best I have I seen yet. It’s so realistic, I feel like I’m right there on the golf course.”
As winter approaches, golfers can step inside and practice their swing at X Golf Novi at Twelve Mile Crossing at the Fountain Walk in Novi.
The 4,000-square-foot facility taps the latest virtual reality technology to let golfers experience 90 golf courses around the world. With a full bar and lunch specials, X Golf can be enjoyed by not only enthusiasts but the curious as well.
Scott Minke and Jason Perras, co-owners of X Golf, wanted to open a facility where people could have fun and play golf as much as they do.
“We both love the sport and both grew up in Novi. It took us more than six months to research the best technology and that is when we discovered the X Golf franchise,” said Minke, who graduated from Novi High School in 2000 with Perras and business partner Brendan Hadley.
“We felt that Novi was the best place to open because there isn’t anything like this in the city, let alone the state,” he said.
Founded in 2005 in Korea, X Golf can be found in Japan and Australia, and there are only two franchises in the United States: Novi and Lafayette, Louisiana.
Not only can golfers choose among courses such as Pebble Beach and Oyster Bay, but they can also select weather conditions: rain, sunshine or windy conditions. After each swing, X Golf technology offers a swing analysis, ball speed and spin factor. Sensors are located on the screen, allowing an accurate reading with each hit.
Each simulator booth has a big screen plasma TV and a plush couch for golfers and those that just might want to watch. Hourly rates are $25 on weekdays and $35 on the weekends. Mondays through Thursdays, golf leagues can rent booths for practice.
Players looking for more instruction can take advantage of two PGA professionals, who are on site to give private lessons during the week. Out of the six golfing booths, two booths in the back of the facility have cameras positioned on the wall so users can see their stance and swing.
Tami Bealert, Class A Golf professional and certified Titleist Performance Institute trainer, said indoor golfing can take some of the pressure off some golfers.
“Sometimes when you practice indoors, you can be comfortable and have fun without having to ride in a cart from hole to hole,” Bealert said. “I know some individuals can be worried about people watching them and their swing if they are new to the game, but when practicing indoors, there can be less scrutiny.”
X Golf has only been open for a short time, but Minke already plans on expanding the franchise.
“In the next few years I hope X Golf will be in more cities in Michigan. Golf is one of those sports that can be enjoyed by anyone,” Minke said. “Through virtual reality you can be at any golf course of your choice while enjoying with friends and family without having to leave the city. You can’t beat it.”
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