X Golf Ann Arbor Sees Growth, Ready for Winter

By Seth Kinker, skinker@thesuntimesnews.com

On Oct. 26 X Golf Ann Arbor sent out a press release notifying the public that professional golfer and European Tour player Sam Horsfield had once again visited the Saline location to play a round of golf on one of their state-of-the-art simulators.

Five days earlier, X Golf celebrated one year at its Ann Arbor location, as the business has seen success in its first year. The Ann Arbor location has five simulators with over 50 courses played around the world.

Owners John Miller and Jeff Tapp, two avid golfers, were sold on getting involved with X Golf when they experienced the technology first hand. The short game aspect set these simulators apart from others.

“We’ve played simulators before and I’ll be honest with you, the short game on all these other simulators are terrible,” Jeff told the Sun Times last October. “Finally, I don’t even know what got us out there, but we went there and then we played it and we were like ‘oh my gosh’.”

“We have high speed cameras that are right above you when you’re hitting the ball, so all the calculations are being made right then and there,” added Miller. “Typically, in most simulators all the data is being collected when you hit the screen, so the typical screen is about 16 feet away. If you have a four-foot putt, you have to hit it sixteen feet and then it has got to go four feet. For us, a four-foot putt is a four-foot putt. That’s the major difference right there, when the data is being collected with our technology compared to most simulators.”

Now, one year in, X Golf is welcoming professional golfers to their establishment.

“So, his girlfriend, Katelin Lawson, actually goes to Eastern, she’s on their golf team,” said Quinn Tapp, public relations intern at X Golf, on how Horsfield found X Golf. “I believe they were just looking for something to do one night, I know he was visiting her, and then they came last fall or winter for the first time. Whenever he is in town, he stops by at least once.”

Horsfield noted the simulators as being the most accurate he had ever played, and he wasn’t the only one. This spring, LPGA Player Katherine Perry visited twice while competing at the Volvik championship in Ann Arbor. The first-time was to play a round, the second was to get fit for a new set of Callaway Irons, something that X Golf offers with a pro on staff.

X Golf is designed to cater to not only hardcore golfers, but casual golfers as well. A couple months after opening, Jeff told The Sun Times that eight percent of their business was casual golfers.

Now, as X Golf reaches just over a year old, they are building on the success of the brand. Corporate is planning to add new course; the Ann Arbor location has added to their drink menu and leagues continue to see growth.

“Winter we get busy,” said Quinn. “Leagues every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday starts next week. We made it through our first summer, it was pretty slow, but we anticipated it. Right now, because it’s getting colder, and the weather is getting worse outside we should be getting busy. Like our owner says you have to miss golf to want to come in. Once it snows, we should be busier again.”

Seth Kinker

Reporter/Digital Media for The Sun Times News

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