May 5, 2023 - Sports

Play Quail Hollow with $10,000 golf simulator from Charlotte company

A person prepares to hit a golf ball using a golf simulator.

Photo: Emma Way/Axios

Thousands of people a year are adding golf simulators to their home. Shawn Foley knows because he helps them do it.

The big picture: The CEO of Charlotte-based Rain or Shine Golf has watched golf simulators rise from a rarity for professionals and college teams to a popular addition to any homes’ bonus room, garage or basement.

  • Simulators and entertainment complexes like TopGolf have gotten so common, there’s now more off-course participation in golf than on pressed grass, Foley says.
  • “We’re just scratching the surface,” he tells me.

How it works: Rain or Shine Golf works with customers to coordinate delivery of all the many pieces that go into building an at-home golf simulator — turf, net, screen, projector, software and more.

  • From the time someone decides they want a golf simulator and orders from the Charlotte company, they can ship the next day.
  • The customer then sets up everything IKEA-style, and they’re ready to take a swing.

“It’s doable by yourself, but you’d have to go to a dozen different sources,” Foley says. Rain or Shine brings everything into one place.

Cost: Golf simulators have gotten much more approachable in price in the decades since they were first invented in the 1970s, Foley says.

  • Rain or Shine’s packages typically range from $8,000 to $20,000.

The feel: Hitting a ball using one of Rain or Shine’s set ups feels like you’re golfing, and essentially you are. You’re using a real putter, hitting a real golf ball and looking at a real-life golf course like Charlotte’s Quail Hollow thanks to technology from companies like Full Swing.

Related Axios story: A guide to the 2023 Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte

A person prepares to hit a golf ball using a golf simulator.
Photo: Emma Way/Axios
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