A Golf Simulator for the Whole Family – How One Texan Was Able to Create a Space for Family Golf Fun with Golfzon
When it finally came time for Jeff McIntryre of Houston, Texas to build a home golf simulator in his house he knew it wouldn’t just be for his benefit but his entire family’s. As a family man, Jeff wanted a space that offered the best technology to improve his game but also had the fun factor for his kids and growing extended family. He was able to check all of those boxes with a premium Golfzon indoor simulator.
How Jeff Decided to Purchase a Golfzon Indoor Golf Simulator
Golfzon: Why did you decide to purchase an indoor golf simulator?
Jeff: I’ve enjoyed golfing my entire life. We live in a golf course community and my wife loves golf and the family is picking it up as well. Our children and grandchildren lived nearby. We thought it would be an excellent opportunity to create a centerpiece for our whole family to gather.
Golfzon: What were you looking for in a home golf simulator?
Jeff: Being an entrepreneur and owning my own businesses for 35 years (my wife even gives me a hard time for digging into the details) I had previously searched around for a home golf simulator a few years ago but never pulled the trigger. When we said this is the time and we were going to do this, I fell into my roots as an entrepreneur to do research in a very analytical way. I looked at a number of simulator companies, and probably two or three made the top of the list, but eventually I determined that nothing matched up with the Golfzon golf simulator.
Golfzon: How did you hear about Golfzon’s golf simulator?
Jeff: It started with my research. But being around the game of golf I’ve always been interested in getting better and have taken lessons over the years with other simulators. But this time my research was specific to our house plus the family environment. Golfzon had all the attributes that were important to me in making my final decision.
Golfzon: Had you owned or played on indoor golf simulators previously?
Jeff: I’d taken lessons over the years with simulators or launch monitors both in a golf club and out on the driving range. The technology really lent itself to improving my golf game but as far as an at-home, family environment Golfzon was an easy decision.
Golfzon: Did you consider lower-budget simulators? If so, why did you ultimately choose Golfzon?
Jeff: Yes, there were some at a lower price point but just as I do in my business, my goal is not to be the cheapest — I don’t buy on price, I buy on quality. I don’t mind spending a little more money, but I want to spend it one time and know that it’s going to last for a long time. The quality, history and the fact that Golfzon golf simulators are rated the number one simulator made an easy decision.
Golfzon: Was there a defining moment, or feature(s), that sealed the deal for you in choosing Golfzon?
Jeff: I think the moving swing plate and the auto-tee sealed the deal for me. I said to myself that if I’m going to hit a bucket of balls, so to speak, I think I’d rather spend my time focusing on my swing and not retrieving and re-teeing up balls. Golfzon’s auto tee system really lets me focus on my game.
The Golfzon Indoor Simulator Build-out and Installation Process
Golfzon: Walk us through the process from purchase to installation.
Jeff: Initially it was research and then reaching out to the Golfzon sales manager Jimmy McDonald, who was very helpful, knowledgeable and responsive. We went to the original contractor who worked on our home and he agreed to help us with the Golfzon project. As far as I was concerned it was very simple. All I needed to know was the clearance space needed for the simulator – somewhere around 15-15.5 feet wide, 11 feet of height clearance and about 22 feet of clearance from the screen. So, from that point, we just engaged with the contractor. He did the work and Golfzon helped me fill any holes, so to speak.
Golfzon: How quickly were you able to install the golf simulator once the contractor finished?
Jeff: Once we constructed the space, we reengaged with Golfzon and they gave me the schematic. Then we started building the infrastructure – I worked on some of the panels myself – and what was pretty cool is that it could be any way that you want. It was customizable from start to finish. From the time we built the platform until they came in and installed the final mechanisms and did the last minute details, it was about a three to four month process. Totally seamless.
Golfzon: How did you come up with the simulator design for the space?
Jeff: Well I have to be honest, my wife’s embroidery craft room is adjacent to the Golfzon simulator, and she had a specific idea for how she wanted the rooms to flow together. So, I was a little tied up in that regard. Originally we were going to do solid panels but I like things a little bit outside-the-box so we ended up with the pattern that we have. But we could have done anything that we wanted, and it turned out exactly the way we liked it.
Golfzon: Did you have any special considerations in accommodating the Golfzon home golf simulator within your house?
Jeff: Golfzon told me that there’s a minimum width and recommended the 11-foot ceiling height although I think I could go a little bit lower, if necessary. There also needed to be a little bit of pre-wiring for the internet connections coming in, and Golfzon also recommends a specific plug dedicated to the simulator. Other than that, there aren’t a lot of special requirements.
Jeff and His Family’s Experience Playing on a Golfzon simulator
Golfzon: What has your experience been like with your Golfzon simulator?
Jeff: The experience with the Golfzon simulator has been phenomenal. My son-in-law is left-handed — the only one of the family. Every time he comes over I tease him and say, “I bet you’re glad I got the left-hand option too.” The kids love it. The wife loves it. She plays golf 2-3 times a week and she likes to grab a club in the morning before she heads over to the country club to play golf just to get warmed up.
Golfzon: What are your favorite aspects of the golf simulator?
Jeff: The moveable swing plate, the ability to go to the driving range, being able to have an Arcade Mode to have fun interactions with the kids and the auto-tee which is what sealed the deal for me.
Golfzon: How does playing on a Golfzon simulator compare to playing outdoors on a golf course?
Jeff: Golfzon is comparable to the golf course. I speak to my wife and my son-in-law about this a lot. Golfzon is pretty true to hitting off of the fairway as well as the iron shots you’d hit. The distance you’d get on a 9 iron or driver is pretty spot-on. The penalties you’d receive on a normal course from the rough are the same. Hitting from the Golfzon multi-surface mat feels almost the same as hitting out of real sand and the way the ball reacts is spot on. I know that to be the case because it really gives my wife a lot of trouble getting out of the sand!
Golfzon: How is the accuracy of playing on a Golfzon simulator?
Jeff: The accuracy of the graphics are spot-on. When you’re teeing up looking at a distance…the elevation changes…the flight of the ball…the run-out, it’s all what you’d expect. Chipping onto a green with spin, it’s all there. As a golfer you know when you’ve hit a good shot and similarly, when you’ve hit a good shot on a Golfzon simulator, the camera is going to zero in on it and land somewhere near the hole. Golfzon is very accurate.
Golfzon: How has playing on a Golfzon indoor simulator helped you improve your game?
Jeff: My bunker game has gotten a little better, but I still avoid the sand if I can help it. As far as putting is concerned, the mat really provides good training with its light and dark stripes. It takes a little bit to become accustomed to. The moveable swing plate’s uneven lies – uphill, downhill, sidehill – give you a true feel like the course. Once you get used to it, you can zero-in on what’s causing problems and then practice on those lies to improve. The training games have certainly helped my golf game.
Golfzon: What’s your favorite course to play on your Golfzon home golf simulator?
Jeff: You’re looking at it behind me; it’s Pebble Beach. With so many phenomenal courses in the catalog we have some other favorites and from a competitive standpoint we also like to play 18 and then replay the same course to see if one person can beat the other. But the golf course that takes the cake is Pebble Beach.
Golfzon: What is your favorite part about being able to share the Golfzon simulator with your family?
Jeff: In the recent environment with COVID-19, there’s certainly a level of isolation that occurs and I’m sure most people would feel safer with the family. The Golfzon indoor simulator has been a good location for our family knowing that we can’t get out as much. It’s been a good safe space for us to enjoy our time together.
Golfzon: What does your family enjoy most about playing golf inside?
Jeff: Well, we’re in Texas. When the temperature is up above 100 degrees, we have a pool right out there the kids love. But, when they get tired or it’s a bit too hot, they can come inside play games and hit a few golf shots on the Golfzon simulator in the air conditioned space…it doesn’t get any better in Texas.