Business

High-tech golf a growing game

Jake Hong, one of the owners of the GolfSquare Gold & Clubhouse in Langley, gets ready to tee off at Pebble Beach. The business offers golfers the chance to play a round of virtual golf at one of 170 courses from around the world using GolfZon technology. - Gary Ahuja/Langley Times
Jake Hong, one of the owners of the GolfSquare Gold & Clubhouse in Langley, gets ready to tee off at Pebble Beach. The business offers golfers the chance to play a round of virtual golf at one of 170 courses from around the world using GolfZon technology.
— image credit: Gary Ahuja/Langley Times

It offers the perfect solution to those unable to fly around the world and play some of the world’s most famed golf courses or for those who simply don’t want to play 18 holes in the rain.

Last week saw GolfSquare Golf & Clubhouse open its doors in Langley, with a grand opening celebration set for tomorrow (Nov. 8).

The new business, located at 101 20121 Willowbrook Dr., offers golfers a chance to play a round of virtual golf.

Virtual golf is already big in Asia, especially in South Korea, where more than 200,000 people play daily, explained Jake Hong, one of the owners.

The 7,600 square foot business — built from scratch — has nine golf simulators, with a choice of 170 golf courses from around the world.

The projector screen has a resolution of 1,024 x 768.

The technology used is called GolfZon, an advanced 3D golf simulator.

It is in 31 countries, including Canada, which has four in Toronto and now the Langley location.

“Langley’s population is growing so fast,” said Mike Kim, another one of the owners.

Kim has lived in Langley for about a dozen years and run the nearby Katana Steakhouse for the past nine years.

He said his experience with customers in Langley — “they have always been so friendly and nice” — showed him that this was the right location for the indoor golf facility.

Kim also liked the fact that there are so many shopping attractions nearby.

A golfer will play a round just like they normally would, teeing off, using their irons and putter.

The platform, or swing plate, from where the golfer takes their shots also shifts to coincide with where their ball lands on the golf course.

Two of the simulators also feature both a bunker mat and a rough mat if a golfer wants to work on shooting from those playing surfaces.

Another unique feature is that players can adjust the weather conditions if they want to attempt to play in rainy or windy conditions.

A camera records the players’ swings for replay and analysis and their is also a sensor mat which track club and ball movement, sending data to the computer for real-time play simulation.

There is also an opportunity to play head-to-head, with stroke play, match play, skins games, longest drive, nearest-to-the pin, a putting game and a driving range.

The cost to play is $29 for 18 holes and golfers are required to bring their own clubs. There is also a golf membership option.

And just like a traditional golf course clubhouse, there is a full kitchen and liquor licence.

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