Golfers, want to play the course at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin without leaving Tigard (and at a fraction of the cost)? Or maybe you would rather play the Old Course at St. Andrews without booking a plane ticket to Scotland? How about playing both courses in the same day?
All that and more (80-plus golf courses) is now a reality at Infinity Golf in Tigard, which just opened in October and provides golfers with all the simulated golf they can handle, including practice options for analyzing their swing and how they hit the ball.
The new business is the brainchild of owner and president Ken Reigle, a lifelong golfer who last November got laid off, “so I started investigating setting up a simulated-golf business,” Reigle said. He found the perfect location in the Pacific Terrace shopping center behind Burger King in north Tigard, but the suite had to be gutted and re-imagined, a process that took more than four months.
The décor resembles a country club complete with a full bar, “and we offer delicious and unique food options,” Reigle said. “We partnered with a chef to create a crowd-pleasing menu.”
Among the six golf simulators is one in a VIP room that can accommodate up to 12 people. “We have already had a lot of parties in there,” Reigle said.
He partnered with aboutGOLF, a company that pioneered golf simulation many years ago. “The company holds the licensing agreements with the golf courses, builds its own proprietary software and hardware, does the installation and continuously monitors the accuracy of each simulator remotely,” Reigle said. “We also subscribe to their software service that provides updates and releases of new courses.”
He visited many simulated golf facilities before setting up his own, noting, “Most felt transactional where people simply play and leave. We want people to feel comfortable eating, drinking and socializing while talking about their game afterwards.”
According to Reigle, one person can “play” an 18-hole round in about 45 minutes versus the 4 ½ hours it would normally take in person. “Where else can you play Pebble Beach on your lunch hour?” he asked.
Golfers use real balls and real clubs, with most players bringing their own clubs, although Reigle also rents sets, including tiny ones for little kids. And guests also can play mini-golf and other games.
Golfers can opt for one of the many practice modes in which the simulators provide the golfer with the club speed, ball speed, spin rate, trajectory and many other metrics, precisely measured by what Reigle described as “the best simulator technology in the world.”
Golfers can also download an app that captures all the information about their swing for every club. “It gives you honest feedback,” Reigle said.
“You get to play in a climate-controlled atmosphere where nice people bring you food and drinks, and you don’t have to worry about the people playing ahead of you or behind you. It’s the next best thing to playing golf outside.”
Reigle offers membership levels that offer various amounts of monthly simulator hours, is putting together leagues and junior leagues, and will be holding fundraisers to support high school golf and other sports teams. He added that he has other exciting things planned for the future.
“My vision when I started was to help people meet their golf and entertainment goals,” Reigle said. “I hire great people who create memorable experiences and fun for our customers. A family-friendly environment is what I wanted to create here that makes the place warm and inviting.”
Infinity Golf is located at 11513 S.W. Pacific Hwy. in Tigard; for more information, call 503-486-4653 or visit www.golfwithinfinity.com.