Corporate Headquarters: Carson, California
Category: Media and Technology
Ryan D’Arcy – CEO
Scott Minke – Chief Operating Officer
A handful of years ago, X-Golf America had about a dozen indoor, entertainment simulator locations. In late 2022, the brand has topped the 100-location milestone, with 62 venues open and another 40 in development around the country, making it one of golf’s fastest-growing companies.
And more are on the way for X-Golf, which has expanded its franchise model presence to more than 30 states.
“We’re focused on continuing to grow at a rapid pace,” said CEO Ryan D’Arcy. “Our goal is to add between 35 and 45 new venues a year for the foreseeable future. We don’t see that slowing down anytime soon. We’re going to go into prime real estate locations where we can build a beautiful bar and be part of this new entertainment model when it comes to retail spaces.”
The X-Golf story began in 2005 when two brothers from Australia noticed a gap in the marketplace for an inclusive golfing alternative. Due to the lack of adequate technology at the time, it was not until a simulator manufacturer from South Korea began combining laser and camera technology that X-Golf began to take shape. The brothers developed a business plan and went on to launch Australia’s first-ever indoor entertainment venue.
X-Golf America has been a standalone company since 2010 and in 2016 CEO, D’Arcy started the company’s successful franchise program.
This has significantly increased the company the company’s growth over the past six years.
When the franchise program started in 2016, the standard footprint was five to six golf simulators per location, with a centralized bar and an open atmosphere. Now that the business model has proven successful, the typical X-Golf location has seven or eight simulators and sometimes upward of 10 to 12.
Locations also offer a full bar with plenty of food options, event spaces, lessons, and tournaments to provide a fun environment for all ages.
X-Golf utilizes state-of-the-art technology that measures ball and swing data at an unrivaled 99% accuracy. The technology is the result of 20 years of engineering that utilizes a sophisticated combination of lasers, light, impact, and camera sensory technology to collect raw data. The simulators collect data from the golf ball and the golf club to perfectly replicate ball flight, fat or thin shots, tops, and other things that can go wrong when playing a ball on real grass.
“We believe that we have the best technology in space. We are at the pinnacle of operations and we give a start-to-finish model,” says D’Arcy. “The first time I tried X-Golf, I was blown away, and I wanted to start with the company. Our customers come in, have the same experience, and they go home, and they think about it, they tell their friends, they tell their family, or they call us directly and say they want to get involved.”
X-Golf has also made an effort to expand its brand recognition through partnerships with golf influencers such as Paige Spiranac and PGA TOUR professional Max Homa.
“X-Golf venues are ideal to practice, play, and generally have a great time safely,” said Homa. “Their technology is the most accurate I’ve seen in the simulator space, especially with the short game and putting capabilities. I’ve never seen anything so realistic and I’m pumped to start sharing content, and of course, roasting some swings.”
X-Golf has leveraged its partnerships and quality product to simulate massive growth as it continues to expand its reach into the industry.
“We’re not trying to replace golf courses by any means,” D’Arcy adds. “Overall, our customer base is the golfer. At some point in their life, they’ve taken golf seriously enough to own their own set of clubs. Certainly, there are aspects of simulated golf that make it easy (for newcomers) to buffer that transition into a sport that’s difficult, has a lot of rules, and is a bit intimidating. We are trying to grow the game in a way that makes sense, but we’ve also got our own unique set of skills and that’s where we continue to drive our technology and engagement, and keep opening up new gameplay modes.”
X-Golf provides a fun environment for families and casual golfers while also providing more competitive options for everyone from avid golfers to professionals.
The company’s franchise model has helped stimulate rapid growth and continued expansion. While the brand’s initial franchise push targeted cold-weather states throughout the Midwest and Northeast (areas rich in avid golfers but with a shorter traditional golf season), future growth opportunities will be less climate-focused, instead seeking population-dense markets that have the right fit.
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