Next level your bar or restaurant business with a golf simulator

From ax-throwing to vintage arcades to photo booths, keeping customers entertained goes hand-in-hand with keeping your bar or restaurant business profitable. Golf simulators in bars and restaurants follow the same concept: entertain your customers, make them stay longer, stay in business.

Golf simulator in a restaurant bar

If you’ve noticed your favorite local establishment is lacking paying customers each time you belly up to the bar, there are a few things you might want to check.

  • Your armpits. Are you stinking people out of the place, and in turn, the bar out of business? Just kidding, we’re sure that’s not the case.
  • The entertainment options. Sure, pool, darts and video gambling can be fun, but they’re pretty old school forms of entertainment. 

We’ve got a restaurant business proposal: add a golf simulator. It might be the best suggestion you could make to the establishment’s owner. 

Just ask Brent at Blind Shot Social Club. Although Brent and his wife founded their business as a combo indoor golf and restaurant venture, he can attest to how valuable even just one golf simulator can be to a venue that serves delicious food and drinks. 

It’s a fantastic opportunity to add to your restaurant business plans and could help make a bar profitable. When it goes over well, don’t be surprised, and maybe you can get an ownership stake in the bar or restaurant.

A modest commercial golf simulator setup, like what we show you below, will cost around $15,000. Of course, there are ways to make that more affordable or higher end. No matter how you plan to run your golf simulator - charge by the round, by the hour or by the drink - you’ll be able to make up that money in no time.   

RESTAURANT GOLF SIMULATOR EQUIPMENT

Ideally, a golf simulator in a restaurant or bar would include an enclosure, impact screen, launch monitor, software, projector and a computer to be the main hub of the technology. 

While Carl doesn’t specialize in golf simulator computers at the moment, we can make recommendations for the other areas. 

GOLF SIMULATOR ENCLOSURE AND IMPACT SCREEN

What is a golf simulator enclosure and impact screen? An enclosure is the black material that surrounds the impact screen and hitting area to help contain errant shots, but also block out ambient light from the projected image on the screen.

The impact screen shows the projected image of the golf course using the golf simulator software, but also allows golfers to hit balls into it. 

Typically, business owners will go with a Carl’s Place Pro Enclosure because it’s a higher end option for commercial purposes. But sometimes, the establishment might not have a ton of extra space and a smaller, but still high quality Carl’s Place DIY Enclosure will work better.

Either way, we would suggest a Premium Impact Screen with whatever enclosure you purchase. Its multiple layers will be quieter and less disruptive at impact, and will last longer assuming that the golf simulator would be used at all hours the business is open. And, the Premium screen provides the highest quality image for the most immersive experience in a golf simulator.

GOLF SIMULATOR LAUNCH MONITOR

A launch monitor is the brains of the operation; it’s the piece of technology that is able to read or track the club and/or ball as the golfer swings to show you how the ball would fly in real life. 

Ideally, you’ll want a higher end launch monitor that provides an awesome experience for your customers, so we would suggest a Uneekor QED or EYE XO

One huge advantage of Uneekor devices is they are mounted up and out of the way of the golfing area, so you don’t have to worry about them getting knocked over or damaged from people traffic walking around or through. With them being centrally overhead mounted, it allows both righties and lefties to seamlessly play at the same time as well. 

Those aspects, along with the accuracy and experiences provided by the units, make them worth the cost.

If budget is of concern, you could go with a FlightScope Mevo+ or Garmin Approach R10, but with those units sitting on the ground behind the golfing area, they might get knocked over repeatedly. Not only will this likely damage your unit over time, but also force you to realign them often. 

We would not suggest a launch monitor like the SkyTrak for a use like this. SkyTraks are great for a small footprint as they sit right next to the ball; however, if you have righties and lefties playing - which would be likely in a setting like this - you would have to continually switch the unit back and forth, which is not ideal. 

GOLF SIMULATOR SOFTWARE

Golf simulator software then takes the numbers from the launch monitor and inputs it into its algorithm, which then spits out the simulated shot on the virtual golf course. 

Most golf simulator softwares nowadays have a plethora of fun games to play, which we think fits well in a bar/restaurant atmosphere. However, Creative Golf 3D is well known for its fun games on Golfisimo, so we might start there.

Or, if you plan on running a league of some sort, E6 Connect and TGC 2019 have some high quality options. GSPro offers some of the highest quality gameplay physics and graphics that will stun your customers. 

GOLF SIMULATOR PROJECTOR

A golf simulator bar or restaurant with no space limitations could mount a standard throw projector such as the BenQ LH710 or LU710 back behind the hitting area of their golf simulator. That way, the projector is out of the way of any swinging clubs or balls flying from errant shots. 

If the establishment is tight on space, Carl’s Place offers several different short-throw projectors, which only need to be placed a few feet from the impact screen:

Don’t forget to add a hitting mat as well. 

RESTAURANT GOLF SIMULATOR HOSTING IDEAS

While serious golfers looking to train and improve their game are more likely going to use a golf simulator in their home or at their clubhouse, a restaurant or bar golf simulator is fantastic opportunity for entertaining novice and expert golfers alike.

Many bars or restaurants with a golf simulator offer their customers to host different types of parties there, such as birthdays or bachelor parties. 

Although it might be more ideal with multiple golf simulators, it could still be possible to run a league with just one hitting bay. You might just have to spread out your league throughout the week.

Instead of doing a dice shake of the day on Sundays, maybe you could run a closest-to-the-pin or longest drive contest. $1 to enter, winner takes all. Maybe include a consolation prize for the shortest drive or furthest from the pin to make sure people aren’t scared to play. 

Also, golf simulators can be dual purpose. If the golf simulator isn’t in use, throw on a college football game on Saturday or pro football game on Sunday or Monday. 

Have you ever played the game Golden Tee at a bar? Typically you pay a set price and get to play just a few holes. That could be perfect for a golf simulator at a bar or restaurant as many people there will just want a quick entertainment option.

Let us know in the comments if you’ve ever seen a golf simulator in a bar or restaurant and if people enjoy it as an entertainment option!