Entrepreneurs in today’s world have many different characteristics. If there is one that sticks out about WJ Golf co-founder Won Cho, it’s his determination.
Determination to grow and dominate in the golf simulator industry.
Carl’s Place continues to partner with WJ Golf as Cho and fellow co-founder Jason Jung are in the midst of opening a second Chicagoland location in the northwest suburb of Lake Zurich, Illinois.
The grand opening celebration for WJ Golf at the MVP Fieldhouse in Lake Zurich is scheduled for Oct. 16, 2021.
“We decided to open up our second location here in Lake Zurich in a joint venture (with MVP Fieldhouse) to provide a facility that had a multi-unit, multi-sport concept. We wanted to provide a space where people can try out golf and if golf was a good thing, then we would end up using it to expand,” Cho said. “We were approached by MVP and it was an organic partnership where it made sense to try it out as a training facility, but because we can also provide the entertainment aspect, we decided to open three additional bays here in Lake Zurich.”
Along with its new addition of indoor golf, MVP Fieldhouse also has baseball, cricket and CrossFit facilities.
Both of WJ Golf’s current locations in Lake Zurich and Buffalo Grove use Carl’s Place Pro Enclosures and Premium Golf Impact Screens, with plans to expand elsewhere.
“We went with the Pro Enclosure using the Premium Screen from Carl’s Place because we’ve used this application before in our previous location,” Cho said. “We decided to go with the same application here in Lake Zurich due to the fact that it can handle the ball speeds that are being hit at the screen, and the sound that it makes after impact sounds great. You can only believe it once you have it installed at your location. That’s why we highly recommend the Carl’s Place Pro Enclosures with Premium Screens.”
Cho added that his favorite aspect of the Carl’s Place products he purchased was the aesthetic look and feel.
“We wanted to do the high end, aesthetically pleasing look, and that just goes really well with all of the Carl’s Place Pro Enclosure Kits using the Premium Screen,” Cho said. “We have customers and people coming in asking us where we got our enclosures, what brand it is, where it’s made from and we always direct them to Carl’s Place.”
WJ Golf stuck with Carl’s Place products because it was a brand they could trust, Cho said.
“We knew (Carl’s Place is) really right in line with our brand as we expand in the Midwest,” Cho said.
Customer Larry Butz added that the Carl’s Place Premium Screen provides great image quality.
“The graphics and the depth perception are so realistic compared to other simulators that I’ve seen,” Butz said. “The 3D images are incredible and very real. I think this sets this system apart.”
Cho’s experience so far with the customer service team at Carl’s Place has been “top notch.”
“(Zach) was very friendly, very helpful, and provided all the information we needed. We had some custom build applications as well and he was able to be very accommodating for us,” Cho said. “When we were choosing the pro enclosure kits, we didn’t know how many baffles we needed to go with. Zach and the other members of Carl’s Place were very helpful to let us know how a wedge shot can ricochet off the screen and how many baffles we would need as a safety measure to make sure the ball is caught before it comes back at the golfer.”
Cho not only has high quality enclosures and impact screens, but also technology. He explained that the simulators WJ Golf uses are 99 percent accurate when compared to the leading launch monitors in the industry.
“Therefore, we truly know that it can be used as a training platform to get better,” Cho said. “A lot of times when people go to the driving range and they’re hitting the balls, they’re still manipulating their body movements to get the ball to fly straight. Our system has replay camera systems, which allows you to see your stroke after every shot and really identify what you’re doing right and wrong before you start building bad habits.
“When you take that training into the field, you will see better shots and better striking.”
However, Cho pointed out that WJ Golf is not just for training.
“We wanted to make sure we opened up a facility and a technology that was truly world class and unique so it would be one of a kind,” Cho said. “As we grow our business, we are focused on the entertainment side, but it works for the training side as well with a lot of PGA instructors already teaching on our platform.”
The golf simulator setups at WJ Golf’s locations are raised 7 inches off the ground to accommodate its rotating turf and automatic ball return. Butz said WJ Golf’s simulators are made for any type of golfer, from beginner to experienced.
“It really helps that you can work on your game in the offseason, or even during the season, dial it in, work on a variety of shots,” Butz said. “It’s very realistic, whether it’s sand shots, fairway shots, shots from the rough. It really gives you a unique advantage unlike other simulators that I’ve played.
“If it’s beginners, it’s a great way to figure out your swing path and make some adjustments and get instant feedback. You can see your swing, it’s very realistic. You can measure your swing speed, you can get fitted for clubs, there’s a lot of things you can do. The technology here is incredible. It really captures all aspects of your game no matter what level you’re at.”
In 2022, WJ Golf plans to expand even more, adding eight new golf simulator bays to The Arboretum Club in Buffalo Grove, Ill.
“We’ve actually had calls before from all over the United States and even in Canada asking how our Pro Enclosures with the Premium Screen was working for us,” Cho said. “I highly recommend anybody building a commercial or residential (golf simulator setup) to really trust in Carl’s brand.”
“And I do mean that. I’m not being paid,” Cho joked.