TUALATIN, Ore. — The pandemic sent interest in golf to new heights. It was something to do socially distanced, outside and active. But now that it's wet and cold, there are two new indoor places to play, even with the kids if you want, in Tigard and Tualatin.
10120 SW Washington Square Rd. Tigard
Put SIM Golf on your family's list of things to do. Next to Washington Square in Tigard, this spot has it all from golf, games, putting green, food, full bar and 17 TVs. Computer simulated golf has taken off around the world. It's just starting to hit the Northwest hard. At SIM Golf, you can play 100 real, mapped courses from around the world.
"I'd say Pebble Beach and Bandon Dunes have probably been the most popular," said owner Nick Kassab.
SIM Golf was born out of the pandemic as an idea of how to play more golf and also something to do with his three kids.
You rent one of their six bays by the hour between $35-$55, depending on the day and time. There's also stuff for kids. At each bay is a computer where you can choose what game you want to play on the screen.
"We can play soccer, zombie dodge ball where all these zombies in the screen are coming at you, and you're throwing soccer balls at them as fast as you can. It's a blast. We also have frisbee golf, baseball, hockey, soccer golf, bowling and more to come," said Kassab.
Or you and a friend can hop on the state of the art putting green called PuttView that Tiger Woods and pro golfer Bryson DeChambeau both have at their homes, that light-tracks your ball for different challenges and competitive games.
The food is good too. From a burger with burnt brisket ends piled on top, to tacos and great flatbreads. Even the cocktails are top notch, like a smoky maple old fashioned.
"Kind of early on in the night, it's a little bit more of a family vibe with some kids," Kassab said. "Later in the night, the lights come down, the music goes up, you get more couples, guys coming in having a good time. The vibe is just killing."
For more information: SIMgolf.com
7059 SW Nyberg St. Tualatin
In Tualatin, X-Golf is here. It opened its first location on the west coast, with more locations opening in Camas and Beaverton. You already know one of the owners. Mike Barrett — face of local commercials and former play by play announcer for the Trailblazers — is part owner.
"I'm still involved with bringing Major League Baseball to Portland and that is my main thing where I spend most of my time," said Barrett. "This [X-Golf] was a couple of friends and I did it as kind of a side gig," Barrett told KGW as he showed us around.
X-Golf has 50 courses to play on eight bays, as well as food, drinks and sports on TV. There are golf groups who usually walk the greens, indoors and warm on a rainy day. Others are hitting balls with their Apple AirPods in, listening to a work call. Or friends are taking the day to have fun and drink some beer.
"With the virtual technology, you kind of lose yourself in the golf course and it kind of feels like you're there," Barrett said. "You can play a lot of courses that maybe you wouldn't get to ordinarily play. The technology is as deep as you want it to be, so people who are very analytical. There are those stats there for you to analyze your swing. But then we get a lot of people too, who come in, and it's just a date night and they want to hit some balls on the range or play a few holes."
X-Golf's technology means that at each bay, you tap a button on the floor with your club that plops a golf ball out. It rolls down to a tee that pops up out of the floor, and you can hit another button with your club to raise or lower the tee. Once you hit the ball, it slides down the screen and rolls down into a catch basin in the floor, similar to how a bowling ball feeder works. There is no bending over, ever.
"You can come in here and play 18 holes and never touch a golf ball. You've got the auto-feed, the auto-tee. It actually speeds up your round by a lot," said Barrett.
Bays rent for $45-$65 per hour depending on the day and time. Military and first responders always play for $35. Leagues and X-Golf tournaments are coming.
For more information: XGolfTualatin.com