During a visit to Asia in 2015, golf enthusiasts and businessmen Jose Vargas Sr., and Jose Vargas Jr., sampled the GOLFZON www.golfzongolf.com experience in a screen golf cafe in South Korea. As they were playing, they immediately saw the opportunity to invest and try to replicate this virtual golf culture in Mexico, knowing it was a perfect match for the burgeoning golf market in their home country.
This introduction to golf simulators led to a building relationship with their company, Side Sports, as GOLFZON’s Mexican distributor.
Just two months after their visit to Seoul, GOLFZON America CEO Tommy Lim visited Monterrey, Mexico to start a first-year trial. After an encouraging beginning and a first-year success, Lim returned to Monterrey earlier this month to finalize a new, long-term agreement. Side Sports is contracted to sell $6.5 million in GOLFZON simulators from 2018-21.
“We see GOLFZON’s presence here growing at a fast rate,” Vargas Sr., said. “Golf in Mexico is almost as expensive as it is in South Korea and there are only around 200 golf courses here, most of them private. Golf is rapidly growing and becoming more popular. We have two successful PGA TOUR events (OHL Classic at Mayakoba and World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship), new golf-related businesses are growing in Mexico and the combination of golf and entertainment with GOLFZON simulators is joining a wave of success as many Mexicans have a thirst to be introduced to golf.”
“We have had a great relationship with Side Sports and this agreement expands on one of the best operational experiences we have had,” Lim said. “Monterrey is one of the most developed cities in Mexico and building golf through the GOLFZON simulators has been very encouraging there and throughout Mexico. With that success, we know that Side Sports will exceed everyone’s expectations in the near future.”
Side Sports’ first location, Mulligan’s – Golf, Bar & Terrace (www.mulligans.com.mx ), opened in one of the most important commercial and condominium complexes in Monterrey in 2016 with five simulators. The site recently expanded to seven simulators and has a large food and beverage presence. There are now locations in six cities, including private homes, businesses, hotels, resorts and condominiums. Plans are being made over the next few years, starting with commercial sites.
“It was tough at the beginning because the experience on other golf simulators in our country was poor before GOLFZON,” Vargas Jr. said. “When we were about to open, I talked about the business with friends and family who thought we were a little crazy, they thought we were investing on a showroom and bar with something like a videogame and were really worried because recently other golf simulator businesses in Mexico had failed. Once people visited Mulligan’s and went through the whole experience, their perception changed completely. We have been in business more than 15 months, and the business and the experience keep getting better.”
GOLFZON has a presence in 46 countries with 5,500 sites around the world. It is estimated that 55 million rounds of golf were played on the GOLFZON system in 2017
Side Sports Mexico http://www.sidesports.com.mx/
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