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 »  Home  »  Magazine Departments  »  Company Profiles  »  For AboutGolf , It's All About Technology
For AboutGolf , It's All About Technology
By Tom Landers | Published  08/24/2006 | Company Profiles | Unrated
AboutGolf Indoor Golf Simulators
AboutGolf Limited knew it could create unsurpassed high-tech software, but the speed in which the company has become one of the golf industry's hottest commodities has taken even AboutGolf a bit by surprise.

"We knew we had the capability to create ground-breaking technology, but the fact our business has grown so quickly is, quite frankly, amazing," says Bill Bales, AboutGolf's CEO. "And we're drawing continued growing interest because we're updating and improving our technology every day."

AboutGolf Limited's story is one of perseverance. The 18-year-old software company—a subsidiary of Friendly Software—has produced Greg Norman Ultimate Challenge Golf, Microsoft Golf and World Tours, the world's most widely-distributed golf simulation. AboutGolf reinvented itself as a dot-com company, then, in 2003, when the Maunee, Ohio-based company's shareholders were ready to burn their stock after the dot-com crash, AboutGolf reinvented itself as a golf simulator company. Today, AboutGolf is the leading national and international producer of indoor golf launch monitors and swing simulators.

Today, AboutGolf is the leading national and international producer of indoor golf simulators and is emerging as the prime mover in golf launch monitors and other high-end game improvement technology.

More than 40 percent of AboutGolf’s sales are to major retail stores who use the company's simulators for club fitting or teaching, and AboutGolf owns more than 80 percent of the current North American golf retail-store simulator market. In fact, the company's next-generation simulator is redefining the market from one of big video games where snow-bound users get their golf fix indoors to the ultimate game-improvement device, which includes new distance-learning functionality and shaft fitting in green-grass, as well as, off-course locations.

In just the past few months, AboutGolf has further increased its business substantially.

AboutGolf has become the North American distributor of South Africa-based EDH Sport's  FlightScope, the world's most accurate, portable indoor/outdoor ball tracking technology capable of tracking golf shots for up to 300 yards. A derivation of FlightScope is used in AboutGolf simulators.

Parmasters Golf Training Centers has also recently chosen AboutGolf's simulators as Parmasters’ exclusive game-improvement golf simulator technology. Parmasters has just opened its first semi-private golf training center, in Memphis, Tennessee. Parmasters will utilize AboutGolf's indoor simulators for club fitting, teaching, league play and social rounds, and Parmasters’ members can use the simulators to play more than 30 fully three-dimensional, real-time courses, including Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill and Caso de Campo’s Teeth of the Dog.

Golf Galaxy saw the tremendous potential of AboutGolf back in 2003 and is one of their original clients. Golf Galaxy has their simulators in several stores across the U.S. with plans to add six more Golf Galaxy locations in 2006 to bring the total to eighteen plus an additional twenty in 2007.

PGA Tour Superstore started out by purchasing the two Martin's Golf stores in Myrtle Beach, changing to Martin's PGA TOUR Superstore. They added one sim in each store. Less than a year later they added one more to each store. At the same time they built their first ground-up store in Roswell, GA. They put in 6 sims. Two weeks after opening they cleared out two nets with other technology and had AboutGolf add two more sims. A year later for their new Kennesaw store, they increased to 10 sims. A month later AboutGolf installed 10 in the next new store in Duluth, GA. In this store they have made room for future expansion to 12 sims. In Roswell, they use half of their sims for open club tryouts--usually a line three or four deep for each sim. Four sims are used for paid teaching and club fittings---where they book over 1000 paid fittings/lessons per month. It can take as much as over a month to get in for a fitting/lesson.

Edwin Watts Golf has recently chosen AboutGolf's indoor golf simulators to be a major component of the Edwin Watts retail-store experience in five of its 60 U.S. stores, with more planned. Edwin Watts Golf will utilize the AboutGolf indoor simulators’ cutting-edge technology to ensure accurate custom fitting for each golfer's game, utilizing the simulators' precise measurements of ball speed, spin and launch angle.

If AboutGolf continues to make golf-industry inroads at its current torrid pace, even its simulators' FlightScope technology might be hard-pressed to track AboutGolf's growth.

"AboutGolf as a company is dedicated to the ongoing development and ultimate perfection of simulator and other game improvement technology", states Bill Bales.  "We have a very strong ongoing commitment and large investment in ongoing R&D for simulator tracking, simulator software, launch monitor tracking, and other game improvement technology and we've got many initiatives that will advance golf learning technology and change how people practice, take lessons, and get clubs fit."