XGolf, a virtual golf course experience, arrives at Commack
For Geoffrey Schwartz, pandemic free time has turned into frequent departure time.
“Last year with work slow due to the pandemic, my wife and I joined a country club and played a ton of golf,” said Schwartz, 42, of Dix Hills. At the end of the season I said ‘how can I continue to play?’ “
This research led Schwartz to XGolf, a Los Angeles-based company specializing in the virtual golf experience. The franchise has 75 locations open or signed to open in the near future, according to Schwartz, who plans to open his own location – with a restaurant, bar and lounge – in February.
New franchisee is preparing the former 11,050 square foot Babies R Us in the Commack Veterans Memorial Center between Harbor Freight and Five Below for its first location, and hopes to open more if it proves successful for the region .
He sees his vision months after TopGolf opened in Holtsville and has quickly become a popular spot and Birdies, another golf simulation experience, is planned for Patchogue.
“I think the Long Island golf community needs it,” he said. “We have probably five months of good golfing weather here, maybe less. I think we have one of the largest golf populations in the country and that’s the kind of thing people want to do.
“They want these experiences where they go out and not just go to a bar and have a beer, but do something with their friends in a nice environment and maybe can learn something in the process.”
virtual reality in a real environment
The proposed XGolf will feature nine bays approximately 16 feet wide by 25 feet deep. Players will swing real clubs against real golf balls against a screen projecting a real world course. A professional-grade software and hardware package including cameras, impact sensors and infrared lasers will calculate the distance and speed of the ball.
With the push of a button, Schwartz said, the system will also pop a ball off a tee for every swing.
The game can be digitized, but Schwartz wants the atmosphere to have the personal touch of a real golf course. To achieve this, he said a PGA professional will supervise players of all skill levels.
“I want them to walk around and offer advice like a pro on a golf course,” Schwartz said. “I don’t want someone to come in and out without being noticed.” Everyone should have a VIP time here.
Schwartz points out that while XGolf will serve beer, wine, spirits, and a range of bar fare such as pretzels, pizza and wings, golf is the priority.
“We don’t want it to be just a bar where people are swinging metal sticks,” he said. “We want this place to look like a golf course. I don’t want it to be stuffy and exclusive, but I want people to feel like they are being treated well, that they are there to experience an upscale golf resort open to all.
Schwartz intends to appeal to the pros, to those on and off the course.
He will appear before the City of Smithtown Zoning Appeal Board on October 26 to seek approval to build a mezzanine with a boardroom for networking events, birthday parties and private functions before groups do not connect.
XGolf also offers league play for those looking to participate in regional and national tournaments.
“These are local leagues,” Schwartz said. “But we have an app system that, once you play enough here, allows you to set a handicap like you would on a real golf course. “
Top: A screenshot of the XGolf promotional video below on the company’s website.