Indoor Golf Simulation Trend In Korea Expands To U.S.
There are "more rounds of golf played indoors than outdoors in Korea, and 'screen golf' cafes are as ubiquitous in Seoul as Starbucks is in most American cities," according to Brian Costa of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. They can be as "small as a coffee shop, with players hitting balls off a mat into a soft projection screen showing the view on the course." A nine-hole round "costs as little as around $15 and takes less than an hour." Golfzon makes the vast majority of simulators in Korea and the company said that there are "more than 5,500 locations in Korea that use its technology." It has "opened 20" locations in the U.S. since early '17 and is "planning what one Golfzon official called 'aggressive growth' in U.S. cities in the years ahead, without further detail." Golfzon has come to "occupy a middle ground between traditional sports and esports, the videogame competitions that have become a Korean national pastime." Topgolf has been "adding simulators in cities such as Boston where real estate is pricey." Golfzon simulators can "cost anywhere from around $35,000 to $70,000, depending on how many features are added." More than half of those sold in the U.S. have been "installed by wealthy individuals in their homes" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 3/3).