Crazy Business Idea??

cm_qs

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I've had an idea for a potential business floating about in my mind for a while now and I thought I'd solicit the views of the forum.

I'll immediately qualify this as being a thought exercise only - as a real life business I fully understand it to be fundamentally and fatally flawed ( as any greenkeeper, agronomist or anyone with 10 minutes to spare on Google will tell you)......but I like the idea anyway.

Anyway, the idea is this... a driving range / pro shop complex with the addition of..... indoor putting greens.

The theory is this. Build a big greenhouse - like you would find at a plant nursery - and construct a number of greens indoors ( flat, sloping, tiered , undulating etc. etc.) to allow the punters at your driving range to practice putting on grass, indoors, all the way through the winter. A few drinks at the greenside bar afterwards, hit a bucket of balls, spend a few quid in the pro shop. You get the idea!

The controlled environment of your greenhouse would allow you to closely regulate the environmental conditions to make your greens flourish. After all, grass is a plant like any other and is naturally hardy enough that it covers huge swathes of the earths surface - growing it in a greenhouse should be a piece of cake.

The greens would be virtually perfect - No wet weather issues, no invasive weeds to control, no pitch marks, no more losing your touch 'cause you spend the winter putting on winter greens or your living room carpet.

So, the question is ... would you use such a facility if it existed? Would you abandon your normal driving range in favour of it assuming all else was equal e.g location, range costs etc.?
 

Cernunnos

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One, yes I would use such a facility. But two, you'd have to regulate the temperature & light well, as the last thing you want is the greenhouse to end up being a tropical hothouse... Guaranteed to send punters out into the fresh air in an instant.

Now if you had it floodlit as well then late night putting & beer is then on the cards, much in the way people would visit snooker halls I'd visit a putting hall/house....lol

It'dcertainly make me consider using a driving range if it had such a facility.

Perhaps an 18 hole putting area with its own scorecards for punters to have a bit of competetive fun after a round larte at night.
 

Sneds

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Perhaps an 18 hole putting area with its own scorecards for punters to have a bit of competetive fun after a round larte at night.

Definitely on this one. Putting practice can often get boring quick, having a score to aim for would certainly liven it up a bit.

I would use a facility like this if it was close to my house and reasonably priced.

However, how do you think you'd do in the summer?
 

jeffc

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seems a good idea craig,

but just for your info, it doesn't have to be a greenhouse, growing under agricultural lighting is long established and probably necessary in winter months even in a greenhouse type building, hours of daylight are critical (obviously along with temp and humidity.)

perhaps you could evolve the idea to include a green with bunkers and chipping facilities.
I've never found a decent example of this outside let alone inside.
 

viscount17

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what you will need to add is a means to generate a random placement of the ball for that initial putt, ie simulate the approach shot. this will of course require a soft landing system to avoid pitch marks.

an ancilliary facility could deliver a ball to an alternative green which would be guaranteed to produce pitch marks. the punters would be required to demonstrate their ability to repair before being permitted access to your pristine creations.
 

medwayjon

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I think that it is a bloody good idea. Something that woudl definately be in demand.

Are you seriously considering it???

People said we got into what we do at the wrong time and taht we would struggle but business is absolutely booming for us. Those that are struggling are the ones who go and spend all their profits on gold-chains, sovereigns and a pikey-wagon. These are the guys who are now having to auction off stock just to pay the overheads.

If you think its viable, sod the doubters, do it and make the most of it.
 

cm_qs

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Are you seriously considering it???

Absolutely not!

As per my original post - the original idea has a fundamental flaw.
According to my research, it's just not currently possible to successfully grow grass indoors to the standard required to maintain a putting green (or a bowling green for that matter which was the original concept )

Pity, ain't it? :(

Having said that, you could do it using artificial greens but it wouldn't be quite the same.
 
T

thecraw

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Why not just install a few of these all weather system greens that you can buy now. I putted on one in Switzerland last year and it was a dam fine surface and good fun.

Greens will take an awful amount of maintenence which will involve you having to feed, cut, water, and I assume you would have to airiate (or whatever its called when you spike em!) indoors as well. Also disease and weeds can be transfered in from outside on punters shoes.

The bottom line is YES I would use the facility if it was nearby and cost was not stupid.
 

HomerJSimpson

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Would definitely use something like that especially if you could tack on a chipping/bunker area. Maybe a patio area for summer, a bar and maybe a small well stocked shop and you are on your way to an early retirement!
 

OldWindy

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I think it's a good idea and you should pursue it further if you can. We're thinking of setting up an 8 bay range locally (cos it rains so much) and the club is about to install an indoor putting area (with the help of Ryder Cup Wales funding, I think). You might get a grant yourself from a golfing body who would like you to promote, e.g., junior golf.

I remember seeing a program once about a PGA pro who had a small warehouse with effectively a short game area built in. He lives in a state like Wisconsin or Minnesota where the ground can be permafrost for several months. I don't think he wanted to move to Florida as most of the pros seem to. Surely someone out there has cracked this and almost certainly in the US or Canada.

My two-penneth...Good Luck!
 

viscount17

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Also disease and weeds can be transfered in from outside on punters shoes.

. . . but this is easily avoided as there is no necessity for punters to wear golf shoes, no grip issues on your manicured greens. therefore punters remove outdoor clogs before entry and wear disposable replacements.
 

jeffc

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"According to my research, it's just not currently possible to successfully grow grass indoors to the standard required to maintain a putting green"

How come?

you'd be amazed at what is grown indoors and grass is one of the easiest things to grow, light, water, temperature, ammonium nitrate.
 

vig

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Idea is good in principle and I would definately use such a facility but.... There's about a dozen on here that would use one, all in different areas of the country so I think it would be financial suicide. If it was near/next to a well known course then maybe it couls make money, otherwise I think not
 

AliB

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Sounds good in theory, but I would pass. No matter how nice your grass is it still won't be anything like putting on a course (esp in winter) - so you might as well do it on the carpet!
But then I hate practising putting - which could explain a lot!

AliB
 
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