“You can play 18 holes of golf here and not have to go take a shower like you would on the golf course,” he said.
Owner John Reno opened Swing Zone in early April on Kuykendahl Road as a way to turn his hobby into a business.[/caption]
The business features golf simulators offering the full 18-hole experience—including three hitting surfaces and a moving floor simulating uphill, side hill and downhill slopes—within a climate-controlled environment. Lessons are available for all ages as well.
Players can choose from more than 165 courses worldwide, including North American, European and Asian courses, without traveling or sweating much, Reno said.
“This [Golfzon] equipment is the No. 1 simulator equipment in the world,” he said. “It’s as close to real golf as there is on the market right now.”
Reno said he opened the business after retiring early from an oil and gas firm in The Woodlands. He said he has played golf as a hobby since high school.
“If I’m going to do some sort of retail business, it might as well be something [I] love,” Reno said. “If you’re doing something that you love and enjoy, it has a better chance of being a success.”
Reno said Swing Zone has a diverse clientele, ranging from families to experienced golfers. Up to six people can play at a time in a simulator bay, which is rented by the hour. A one-hour session ranges from $30-$35 per person with $5 admission for each additional player. Additionally, one child age 14 or younger receives free admission per paid adult.
A full game usually takes each person about one hour to play, Reno said. While golf clubs are available to loan, players can bring their own.
Swing Zone also offers a bistro menu, including panini, hot dogs, sandwiches and pizza—in addition to a selection of beers, wines and mixed drinks—for players to enjoy during a game.
The business also features a full bar, local craft beers, a wine list and a bistro-style menu for guests to enjoy while playing.[/caption]
To broaden its course offerings, Reno said Swing Zone plans to add arcade golf—a more leisurely golf game with a shorter time commitment.
“Arcade golf will be more catered to people who don’t necessarily take golf seriously, who just want to swing the clubs and have some fun,” he said. “There’s a lot of other types of businesses we could have started, [but] you don’t get the instant reward of seeing your customer smiling, laughing [and] having a great time. To me, that’s very rewarding.”
24036 Kuykendahl Road, Tomball
Hours: Mon.-Thu. 10 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 10 a.m.-11 p.m., Sun. noon-8 p.m.