X-Golf Bringing Virtual Game to Grandview Heights, Powell

Article originally published on The Columbus Dispatch, written by Jim Fischer

Soon golf enthusiasts should be able to grab a set of clubs and some friends and tee off at St. Andrews or Pebble Beach – all without leaving central Ohio.

X-Golf, a national indoor golf simulator company with more than 80 locations, is expanding to Greater Columbus.

A Grandview Yard location is expected to open at 1165 Yard St. before year’s end, according to X-Golf Columbus owner Mike Wezner. A Powell location is planned for 2023 in the under-construction Lily Reserve at the corner of Olentangy Street and Murphy Parkway, he said.

The 7,000-square-foot space features seven simulator bays offering golfers the opportunity to virtually experience many of the world’s great courses – several dozen sites, Wezner said, including some of the most famous ones in the world.
An array of cameras, infrared lasers and impact sensors offers a realistic golf experience through technology, he said, calculating data for swing path, flight path and spin rate, among others.

“If you hit a ball that travels 175 yards and lands two fairways over, it will still do that at X-Golf, but without the shame of a 10-minute walk in the wrong direction and all of the ‘Sorry buddies,’” Wezner said.
Tee times are booked online, and golfers use all of their own gear, though rental equipment is available, Wezner said.

Cost for X-Golf varies based on time and day of the week, but is charged by the hour, no matter how many golfers are playing. Up to six golfers could use a single simulator bay at once, Wezner said, and a round can be played in as little as a couple of hours.
In addition, a host of customizable experiences is available, including long-drive contests, putting challenges and unusual hole and shot options.

“If you want to drop in on the ninth hole at Pebble Beach, have everyone in the rough around the green and see who can get it closest to the hole, we can do that,” Wezner said.

He said X-Golf is intended to provide top-simulated golf experiences, regardless the golfer’s skill level. Also, he said, on-site food and beverage options, including local partners for liquor and beer, along with other amenities in the space, are designed “to create a comfortable place to golf, whether you’re with a regular foursome, on a date night or at a business meeting.”

Grandview Heights High School doesn’t have a public course nearby to allow the golfers to play regular rounds to improve their games. It’s nothing for the Bobcats to drive 20 to 30 minutes just to hit balls or play a round, according to coach Kevin Richards.

“It’s great for (our program), and it’s great for Grandview in general if it’s cost effective for the kids,” Richards said. “The kids need lessons, and the kids need to have reps in the offseason, and this would give us a chance to have that.

“They have needed a place to hit balls close to home for a while now. We don’t have that kind of place to practice and hit, and it would be a great opportunity for the kids.”

Andrew Fraley, boys golf coach at Olentangy Berlin High School, sees no downside to having his players use such a facility.
“This is an information age, and the more data you can have to help with your game, the better,” Fraley said. “(The players) can see their data in real time and figure out what the smallest open or close means on their putts or the angles on their drives. To be able to practice year-round ‒ even when it’s 12 degrees outside ‒ it can only help their games.”

Because the experience is software-based, a variety of related options soon should be available, Wezner said, including local tournaments, a mobile app that could store play data and the opportunity to play with someone remotely in real time.