Never too cold to golf
Golf Zone co-owners K.C. and Sue Choi in a similator at Golf Zone in Mundelein. | Joel Lerner~Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 23, 2013 8:22AM
MUNDELEIN — Golf doesn’t have to end because temperatures drop below freezing.
Using technology from South Korea, Golf Zone in Mundelein has four simulation rooms that project courses while motion sensors monitor stances, body angles and speed.
“Indoor golf simulators are real popular in South Korea because there is a lack of land to make outdoor courses,” Golf Zone co-owner Sue Choi said.
Golf Zone is also popular with locals who cannot afford to join country clubs and spatrons who cannot get to the green before the sun goes down.
“We are packed on the weekends,” Choi said. “We are sometimes open until midnight waiting for games to finish.”
Located next to Menards on Townline Road, near Route 45, Golf Zone is open from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. daily; 8 p.m. being the latest customers can tee off.
The shop also has a short driving range and offers club repair services.
“It’s mostly a six-month business, but we still get quite a few people in the summer because the local courses are so busy,” Choi said. “Stevenson High School brings its golf teams here in the summer.”
Golf Zone has been open for just over a year, enough time for Choi to decide she wants to stay and grow the business. She said customers travel from as far as Highland Park to use the simulators.
Business picked up, Choi said, when she announced that customers can bring outside food and drinks to their simulated games.
A similar venue opened in Niles a few years ago, but Choi said it didn’t last long because the owners were not golfers and couldn’t effectively show customers an appeal to the sport.
Co-owner Andy Sons has a finance background but was always interested in golf, and six months ago he passed the entrance exam for the Professional Golfers Association (PGA).
Golf Zone is also open to golf tutoring. Sons has many pupils, but outside tutors are welcome to rent space.
Choi is a Libertyville resident who has golfed recreationally for about five years. She used to own a travel agency more than 20 years ago before she decided to stay home and raise her two daughters. Her husband owns a Mexican restaurant in Waukegan, so small business ownership is not new to her.