Golf Simulator Business (Good Franchise Idea?) 

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Recent advances in software and technology have ensured that using golf simulators is an immersive and enjoyable way for people to play different courses from all around the world.

So much so, that golf simulator businesses are popping up all around the United States, as entrepreneurs are looking to capitalize on the nation’s love for golf.

Below, we explain in detail how you can make money from a golf simulator business and introduce a franchising opportunity as a viable alternative.

By the end of this guide, you will have all the information you need to start your research into launching your very own golf simulator business and start making money from the wonderful game of golf.

Do Golf Simulator Businesses Make Money?

Utilized effectively, golf simulators can be incredibly profitable. Commercial golf simulators present an excellent potential return on investment, which could see you earn as much as $500 per day.

GolfZon – one of the leading manufacturers of golf simulators, states that the typical fee for one hour of use on one of their simulators is $50. With standard bookings of up to ten hours per day, this translates to $500 per day, or between $150,000 and $175,000 annual revenue for each bay.

Given that golf simulators can be used for a range of reasons, including training, corporate days, and even for recreational use in sports bars, there is significant potential to see a great return on your investment from a golf simulator.

Below, we look at some of the things you need to think about before investing in a golf simulator business that will help you decide if such a venture is well suited to your business aspirations.

How Much Does It Cost to Start a Golf Simulator Business?

It can cost anywhere between $50,000 and $900,000 to start a golf simulator business, depending on venue size, how many simulators you plan to install, and where in the US you are going to open your facility.

After all, the best golf simulators are expensive and utilize the latest technology and equipment. While you can find simulators that are cheaper or more expensive, this price range gives you a good idea of what to expect from the cost of the simulator itself.

But the cost of the simulator is just one of the expenses you will incur when you’re launching your business. You will need to consider other costs, including premises, furnishings, taxes, marketing, staff, etc. – everything that is associated with running any type of business.

The table below gives you a rough idea of how much it is likely to cost to launch a golf simulator business in the US:

Venue Size# of simulatorsAverage cost to open
1,500 – 3,200 square feet2-4$50,000 – $250,000
5,500 – 10,000 square feet6-8$350,000 – $650,000
6,800 – 12,000 square feet7-10$750,000 – $900,000

The more simulators you have, the more profitable your golf simulator is likely to be. You should only use the above figures as a rough guide, and you will need to conduct research into your local market and consider the different brands of simulators that you can opt for.

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How Do Golf Simulators Make Money?

Golf simulators make money by allowing people to use them in exchange for a set fee. It’s common for indoor golf centers to install simulators in bays, much like a traditional driving range. Customers then pay for the privilege of using the simulator while practicing or playing a round of golf.

Alternatively, golf simulators are often used as teaching tools by professional coaches, who deliver their lessons from the bays in which the golf simulator is installed. Pros that use a golf simulator can charge more money for their services, often up to $100 per hour for a session on a simulator.

Although not quite as common, golf simulators also make money from corporate and social events. Corporates may hire a golf simulator for use at a team-building day, or a family may hire a simulator for a birthday party or special occasion.

Ultimately, there are multiple ways in which a golf simulator can make money, and you will need to develop your business plan to incorporate various income strategies into your golf simulator business.

Golf Simulator Revenue Projections?

Most golf simulators can earn between $35 to $50 per hour in terms of revenue. This is fairly standard for the industry, but you might come across instances that fall out of this range.

It’s relatively easy for you to grow your golf simulator business, as the more simulators you have, the more revenue you can make.

But let’s say the following is true to illustrate how much revenue you can generate from one simulator:

  • You have one golf simulator.
  • You will charge $50 per hour.
  • The simulator will be in use for an average of five hours each day, six days a week.

With the above statements, you can expect your golf simulator to earn $250 per day or $1,500 per week. This would give you $78,000 revenue per annum from one simulator. Of course, this is just an illustrative example, and you can amend the above figures to suit your own projections.

When you’re working out how much your simulator will earn, you need to be realistic with your expectations. You will also need to invest in marketing to ensure that people know about your simulator, as it’s important to attract as many people as possible to ensure it’s in use as many hours as possible during the day.

Golf Simulator Business for Sale: Best Places to Look?

Starting a business from scratch can be daunting, so looking for an existing golf simulator business for sale is a good option for lots of people. To begin your research, look on a broker site like BizBuySell, where you can search your state for golf simulator businesses for sale.

There are lots of similar sites that allow you to search for relevant businesses for sale, and these should be your first port of call.

Alternatively, you can look for business brokers in your state and express your interest in buying a golf simulator business. While they might not have anything for you right away, they will keep your details and inform you if something comes up.

Another option is to contact golf simulator businesses directly. While many owners won’t be willing to sell, others will consider a sale if the price is right. You can perform a simple Google search of golf simulator businesses in your area and go from there.

Finally, you could scour the classifieds on Craigslist and check out eBay for commercial golf simulators for sale. While you won’t necessarily be buying a business, you may end up saving a lot of money on the simulator itself, which is likely to be your highest business setup cost.

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What About Golf Simulator Franchise Opportunities?

One of the most popular and successful golf simulator franchises in the US is X-Golf. A franchise is an excellent opportunity if you like the idea of running your own business but don’t want to start something from scratch and like the idea of working with an established brand.

X-Golf offers all franchisees an exclusive territory for a $30,000 franchise fee. Although build-out costs will vary from location to location, X-Golf suggests that most investors require a $700,000 initial investment to launch their franchise.

One of the main benefits of franchising with X-Golf is that there are more than 50 locations already throughout the United States, and you can draw on the company’s significant experience of running successful golf simulator businesses.

You will also benefit from centralized marketing and promotion, making it a lot less daunting than going it alone.

However, you need to remember that when you open a franchise, you will have to pay an annual royalty fee to the company, often in the region of 5-10%, as well as other franchising fees that are stipulated before you’re required to make your investment.

As such, do your homework before investing in a golf simulator franchise and ensure it’s the right decision for you.

How Do I Promote My Golf Simulator Business? 

To start promoting a new golf simulator business you should create a website and start posting on social media to build an online audience around your business. Community groups on Facebook are an excellent way to engage with budding golfers in the local area.

Marketing your golf simulator business is crucial if it’s to be successful, and there are lots of ways of going about it. Given the digital age that we currently live in, your first port of call should be to promote your business online.

You will also need to consider offline marketing, depending on where your business is located. It’s a good idea to target private and public golf courses to promote your business, as you will share many of your customers with established courses in your area.

Next, consider drawing up a list of corporates that may be interested in using your service. After all, corporate clients pay well and are a great way to maximize the profit potential of your golf simulator.

Although old-school, taking out advertising space in golf magazines and local newspapers works well, as it gets your new business in front of your target audience. However you go about it, promoting your golf simulator business is extremely important as you look to get clients through the door.

Conclusion

Starting a golf simulator business or investing in a franchise is a great way of pursuing a business venture that you’re truly passionate about.

And while the startup costs can be steep, most people see a healthy return on their investments if they get their marketing strategy right. 

So, if you’re looking to make some money from the sport we all love, then launching a golf simulator business is a good way to go about it.

But just like starting any business, make sure you do your research, understand the local area, and create a service that your customers will love.