In 2006, X-Golf Group founding brothers Ben & Charles saw a gap in the Australian marketplace for an inclusive golfing alternative. The boom of Tiger woods was well in affect and golf infrastructure was not keeping up with playing pressures. This caused a very segmented industry where revenue was funneled to a multitude of governing bodies which all pulled in competing directions. Combine this with a ‘new aged golfer’ who grew up with computers, the internet and playing gaming consoles the idea of an all inclusive entertainment venue was born.
Unfortunately in 2006 the golf simulator technology had not developed passed a couple of cheap radar systems with a net, mat & projector. Ben & Charles new this was not going to be good enough for the Australian market to take seriously, after all Aussies are some of the most analytical technically minded golfers in the world. It was not until 2011 when a simulator manufacturer from South Korea started to combine laser & camera technologies that the concept of X-Golf venues began to take shape.
Ben (a traveling golf professional) and Charles (an enthusiastic Environmental Management student) developed a business plan, raised $500,000 through family & friends and launched Australia’s first ever Indoor Entertainment venue. The plan was simple ‘make golf accessible and fun’ and build a brand that embodied the spirit of the Aussie weekend warrior.
While indoor golf was not completely new to Australia, the way X-Golf presented the brand was new for entertainment in general. X-Golf was never complacent about accurate and realistic golf simulators but new the brand is built on the entire X-Golf experience that takes place every time a customer enters a venue.
The experience is a combination of amazing golf simulators featuring fully automated teeing systems, serviced by positive, funky and energetic people who greet you with a smile and are ready for your personalised outing. The setting is designed with comfort and openness in mind with warm yellow lighting, timber bars & comfy couches matched in with fun lounge music. The point of difference is further enforced through the brands unique product offerings from nightly X-Leagues, daily school groups, weekly work functions and Saturday bucks sessions. These are complemented by our exclusive tactical marketing campaigns, partnerships, robust Customer Lifecycle and our loyalty program that rewards and communicates with our loyal customers
X-Golf growth is a funny story, our legal council called us reluctant franchisors but we like to look at it as thorough. You see we started the X-Golf journey as the first international distributors for the amazing X-Golf product and began selling the simulators to entrepreneurs who wanted to replicate our first ever X-Golf venue. The issue was we did not have systems and operations manuals in place so we ended up watching the first couple of investors flounder from one activation to the next not achieving the results along the way.
After watching at arm’s length we knew something had to be done so we started advising on how they should run their indoor golf venues to earn a profit. Without full control we found it hard to implement the changes needed in order to make these entrepreneurs succeed and decided the way forward needed to be run by strict guidelines and hence we were named the ‘reluctant franchisor’.
They say that “There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” For us we made lots of mistakes but every time we fell down we got back up. We built Operation manuals, daily checklists and systems to help mitigate these mistakes. When we tripped up we built better systems until we finally had a fun, robust and complete franchise model that you see today. Every year we still learn, we still get better, we still evolve and we add to our talented Head Office team pool. This year we are scheduled to open another 6 venues Nationally branching out to WA & the ACT which will tick off 5 of the 7 states and territories in Australia
International in 2017 we helped launch the X-Golf franchise business into the United States and we are proud to announce we were named in the top 100 growing franchise businesses in the country. Now with 30 locations across the United States we are scheduled to open another 30 in 2020 making this a big year for all things
The underling answer at X-Golf is always ‘YES’! The easy and fun part is figuring out how?
It is a philosophy that has taken us far, pioneering Australia’s first Indoor Golf Entertainment venues was not going to be easy but thanks to a positive attitude and an underling YES anything is possible.
We have tackled councils, climate, investors, international expansion, competition and always come out on top.