Play, Train And Entertain At X-Golf Woodbury
By Rhett Arens
It hits me as I’m unloading my clubs in the -15 degree wind-chill that in 10 minutes I’ll be teeing off at Pebble Beach. How’s that for a mood swing? For the next hour or two there will be many catch-yourself moments like that as X-Golf immerses you in a virtual reality, state-of-the-art golf experience. To make matters even more inviting, you will be greeted with a wide smile and plenty of golf know-how as the excellent staff gets you orientated and started at one of the six playing stations in short order. From the minute you walk in you’ll be struck by the smart floor plan and the high-quality build-out that aligns well with the tremendous quality standards inherent in the technology. Since its grand opening on December 14th, owners Tonya and Travis Holt have welcomed both the hard-core players, casual date-night couples and everything in-between into their new business venture with open arms.
Most of us have taken a run at simulators at some point, everywhere from cruise ships to the back of bowling alleys. X-Golf has taken it to a new level, a level that allows for quick play, data feedback on ball flight and an abundance of course management information. All of this can be viewed as the perfect backdrop for a corporate outing with co-workers or some competitive comradery with your playing partners but there is also the option to conduct serious training and build knowledge for those future outdoor rounds. Time to step that handicap down a notch.
To insure business gets off on the right foot Tonya and Travis have brought in General Manager, Michael Sampson who comes with a stellar background and pedigree having managed at both StoneRidge Golf Club and Hillcrest Country Club. Michael’s in-depth knowledge of the game and customer-centric approach will serve X-Golf customers well by providing playing guidance, event management and assisting with the multitude of equipment programing options at your fingertips. Anticipating the perfect fit for training and instruction that these realistic simulators deliver, they have also brought in PGA Associate, Amy Harris. Amy comes from an instructional school of thought that will have players playing to their strengths and gradually addressing gaps in their skill sets without over-cooking the input. She comes from Bent Creek Golf Club and is looking forward to working with both the aspiring High School players in the area as well as those just getting started in the game. In addition to Michael and Amy there is an enthusiastic staff that will assist with food and beverage as well as scheduling and customer care needs.
The key to playing well on these indoor simulators is to let go of the external world and immerse yourself in the visuals and data provided by these amazing installations. X-Golf Woodbury has smartly provided plenty of elbowroom and a comfortable seating, watching, waiting layout for each of the six stations. Lighting is subdued and tasteful except for the playing screen, which is where your focus should be. Accuracy and realism is brought to the forefront through a combination of high-speed cameras, impact sensors, infrared lasers and advanced software.
One issue with the indoor golf experience has historically been the short wedge game and putting. With proprietary technology X-Golf has addressed this issue and offers the most realistic short game simulation I have ever played. All the courses can be played with on-screen target clues and distances into the trouble spots and greens. The green layouts show undulations and right-left putting swings with uncanny accuracy. Again, allowing more attention to your own mechanics.
As mentioned, I stepped up to the Pebble Beach course, but there are another 50 or so world class, PGA TOUR choices to choose from as well as a broad collection of international tracks (with more to come). You may never get to play golf in Asia, Europe or Australia, but you can take a run at it with X-Golf technology at a comfortable 70 degrees over a well-poured pint of craft beer and a delicious appetizer. Perhaps all this spot-on customer focus is why the X-Leagues in Woodbury have taken off like a 300-yard drive.
There is a nicely proportioned U-shaped bar in the center of the facility that allows for a refreshing post-round or pre-round beverage and a bite to eat. The menu is split between gourmet parlor style pizzas and a carefully selected handful of appetizers, all done in the open-style kitchen behind the bar. Pull up a comfy stool and spend your betting winnings knowing you’ve stepped into the world of high-tech VR golf and lived to tell about it. With rates that match or come in slightly under an 18-hole round during a summer weekend, X-Golf is a great cost-value play, train and entertain outing. X-Golf Woodbury is here to stay and it’s time to play.