Inspired by their unwavering love for golf, Ben, Ryan, and Derek, the co-owners of Dry Golf in Birkenhead, embarked on a mission to establish a unique commercial golf facility. The venue boasts two cutting-edge golf simulators powered by GC3 launch monitors – shaping an environment where golf lovers of all skill levels converge to refine their techniques and share in the sport they love.
We caught up with the founders of Dry Golf to delve into their journey, learning about their motivations for creating their facility, the reasons behind choosing Foresight Sports technology, and the profound impact it has had on both beginners and seasoned players. From the inception of their dream to the challenges they faced, Dry Golf’s story unfolds, illustrating how their partnership with Foresight Sports Europe has been instrumental in crafting a golfer’s paradise that caters to all.
The inspiration behind Dry Golf was literally our absolute love for the game. Ben, one of our co-owners, was being rather too specific in his search for a house move, requesting that any potential home had to have the ceiling height to accommodate a home simulator, Ryan (another of our co-owners) has assigned the whole of their garage to accommodate his practice set up, and Derek (our third co-owner) was sick of hearing the others complain about their golf induced marital disputes, so the most obvious solution was for us to set up our own simulator business!
In all seriousness, we all absolutely love golf and it plays a big part in all of our lives. We really felt there was a huge gap in the market for state-of-the-art golf simulation, along with great service and a warm friendly atmosphere – which is exactly what we proudly offer at Dry Golf.
When we were choosing the simulation technology, it was really important for us to get the very best to ensure customers get the most positive experience, and the most reliable data to support the development of their game. After looking at the range of what was on the market, the decision to use Foresight technology was an easy one. We felt the use of camera-based launch monitors suited our indoor set up, the accuracy and precision of the data is second to none. In addition to this, the 4K graphics give great visuals and a true to life experience. The broad range of courses allows our customers to develop all areas of their game, challenging themselves regardless of their golfing ability. We also found that Foresight was fantastic in answering all of our questions at the start of our journey, supporting us to make the very best decisions to help our business get off the ground.
Our goal was to give all people the opportunity to experience golf simulation, without people feeling self-conscious, nervous or apprehensive – regardless of their golfing experience or ability. We now welcome such a broad audience and have developed a really warm and friendly atmosphere. We are in no doubt that the Foresight technology has supported us in doing so.
We have touring professionals and a high number of very advanced golfers using our simulators, simply to get exact numbers to help develop very precise areas of their game, creating consistency and accuracy. We also have total beginners coming through our doors who are just learning the basics.
Foresight technology allows them to develop the fundamental skills with a range of different courses, and skill development games to help refine techniques that they can then relay on to the course.
We offer junior coaching courses for children aged 6-16 and the games options can really help to engage and enthuse the youngsters whilst embedding the key skills and techniques needed within the game. These have been a great success and will be continuing throughout the summer holidays.
We are also looking at utilising the technology to offer sessions for beginners, older golfers and golfers with additional needs. We truly feel that we can accommodate the needs of everyone, with our high quality set up, excellent customer service, knowledgeable staff and exceptional technology delivered by Foresight.
When we initially set up Dry Golf, we opted for 2 Sim-in-a-Box simulators which we installed and customised ourselves. We went for an industrial look, fitting the bays with reclaimed wood and black out hoods to improve visibility of the screens.
The biggest challenge we faced was definitely planning bay sizes to avoid ‘indoor golf syndrome’. We didn’t want it to feel claustrophobic and for this to affect the way golfers swing indoors when compared to outdoors. We were under immense pressure to get open, so the pressure of time was also challenging for us.
We had a few issues with getting the projection sorted and to match up to screen size but with any challenges, Foresight were on hand to give us advice and were great in helping us find solutions to any barriers or challenges we faced.
We have been absolutely blown away by the positive response we have had since opening. Despite opening close to a time of unprecedented, glorious weather, we have managed to secure a high number of regular customers, many of whom are now Dry Golf members, meaning they pay a subscription to access our services every month.
We have many customers who regularly engage with FSX Play, meaning they can log on and evaluate all of their data. We have seen a number of customers totally transform their game, being able to really get to know their clubs and reset yardages on the course. Customers are so complimentary of the accuracy and precision of the data, and this totally speaks for itself when customers are able to improve their game in such a short period of time.
Our return-on-investment timescale plan is going well so far. We are currently on month 4 and we are now seeing a steady influx of bookings and generating additional income each month. We can now pinpoint when we need to work to generate more bookings and are thinking strategically about how we can counteract this, and balance this with the busier periods.
We have utilised social media and made links with many local businesses to help increase our profile, and the benefits of this are now being seen with increased footfall and online bookings. Something to bear in mind is how this kind of business can be seasonal or ‘weather dependent’.
We are ensuring that we are never aiming to replace the outdoor golfing game, but promoting how well using the simulators can work alongside getting out on the course. We would absolutely recommend that you opt for an Autumn opening, with the hope that weather will be colder and wetter, making your business more appealing to a wider audience from the off.
We opened in Spring and faced the glorious June weather, and whilst we didn’t suffer too badly, it did reduce the levels of walk-ins and bookings and required us to think outside the box and work to generate custom.
We are feeling so positive about the future of Dry Golf, and our recent success is making us feel very optimistic for the Autumn and Winter ahead. We are already developing the business in many ways by having a resident touring professional golf coach offering lessons, coaching and Junior holiday camps. We are making links with local schools to help support their golf performance, alongside offering enrichment and extracurricular opportunities for young people.
We have contacted and made links with a number of local businesses who wish to run team building and corporate events at our venue, and we are in the process of applying for our alcohol licence so people can enjoy a drink or 2 during their game. In addition to this, we are hoping to offer exclusive sessions for older golfers and golfers with additional needs.
Based on increased custom, we think one of the major steps will be to invest in a third simulator, this time powered by GCQuad to give customers even more data to develop their game. We also wish to really promote working with our junior golfers, committing to the development of grass roots golf, doing our bit to ensure we are bringing the talent through to professional level, hopefully with a big Dry Golf logo on their top!
Learn more about the world’s most trusted and award winning technology.
Join our mailing list to receive the latest news, offers and information from Foresight Sports Europe.