Go4Golf indoor golf simulator lounge and instruction facility is set to open in early June at 1101 El Jobean Road, Unit 2, next to Zoe’s Sweet Kitchen in Port Charlotte.
The location will offer indoor putting and chipping greens and two golf simulators for up to six people each at an hourly rate of $45. The software’s simulators include thousands of courses, including mini games for children.
Originally from Maine, Damon and Jana Gray have been living in Florida for the past decade. After relocating from Orlando to Port Charlotte, they opened their first business inspired by Damon Gray’s love for golf.
He graduated from Golf Academy of America-Orlando and since has worked in the golf industry at events such as the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Bay Hill and Tiger Woods’ Hero World Challenge and at venues such as Grand Cypress Golf Club.
“My initial dream was to have an outdoor driving range where I can give the kids’ lessons and clinics,” he said. “I really want to gear it towards the families and kids alike. The problem I was finding is that a lot of golf courses, the members don’t really like to have kids around the ranges and stuff like that, or even golf courses in general, they don’t really accommodate the kids. It kind of morphed into what this is going to be now.”
With the Grays keeping their own three children in mind, they identified a need for more activity-based options in the area, especially for children and teens.
Gray describes Go4Golf as a one-stop shop. As a master club fitter, he will offer club fittings along with swing analyses, lessons and youth clinics. His plan is to add two more simulators and eventually incorporate leagues at the facility.
Gray was first introduced to golf simulators while in college and attributes much of their current popularity to golfers who were stuck in their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic and the rising cost of rounds at golf courses.
With Go4Golf, he hopes the convenience of simulators and an indoor facility will allow those who have shied away from the game to begin to embrace it.
“This is a place that you can go, and you don’t even have to be a golfer,” he said. “There are people who want to try golf, who want to play golf, but they’re worried about being embarrassed on the golf course. That’s what I really want the niche of this place to be, a place where you can just come in and have fun and not have to worry about anybody judging you.”
The facility will also have a bar lounge area serving beer, wine and prepackaged snacks. It will serve as a type of waiting room and accommodate plans for future birthday parties and private events that can be hosted on-site.
“Even though Port Charlotte is getting so populated, as far as the sports community goes, it still has that small town feel to it,” Gray said. “We’ve come from Orlando where it was just crazy. When we came out here, it felt more like home. I want this to be one of those places where you know the owners, where you walk in, and you know me by my first name, and I know you by your first name.”