Recently, MDG visited Premier Sports Simulators in Shelby Township. Located on 23 Mile and Hayes, the venue includes a full-size soccer field, baseball cages, martial arts studio, physical therapy rooms and even a Tropical Smoothie Café!
Around the back is where you can find Shawn Kungel and his team with Premier Golf Simulators. Boasting over three decades of experience and teaching in the game, Kungel has worked diligently to create a place that allows people to enjoy and improve on the game of golf all year round.
Opened in October 2019, the facility offers 2200 square feet with a state-of-the-art setup. Three hitting bays – each equipped with a Full Swing Golf Simulator with e6 software – fill the space along with a putting green and ample seating for parties and gatherings.
The simulators are not limited to golf either. A multitude of sports and activities are available in each bay including virtual hockey, lacrosse, rugby, soccer, bocce, cricket and carnival games. Football fans can go through a ‘QB challenge’ with moving targets or attempt to kick a field goal and a bat and tee can be brought out for a home run derby. A replica Colt 1911 pistol can also be synced up to the simulator for a fast-paced target range.
“We’ve tried to make this a place that’s perfect for a number of people,” Kungel explained. “We’re great for parties of all kinds: birthday, bachelor, networking, Christmas, retirement, whatever else you can think of. And with the way we have it set up, you can have you and your friends playing 18 against each other on one bay while right next to you is your kids playing ‘Zombie Dodgeball’ and having a blast. Obviously, the focus is on the golf but we try to offer a little bit of everything.”
To his latter point, Premier Golf Simulators offers 84 real-life courses including notable tracks like Bethpage Black, Firestone, Pebble Beach, Pinehurst, Spyglass and Torrey Pines. A full round can be played and multiple formats can be utilized such as bingo/bango/bongo, stableford, stroke play, scramble, alternate shot and more. Mini games that emphasize driving distance, short game shots or putting are also available along with arcade style setups like aiming for glass windows to shatter or chasing around the cart guy on a range.
However, the star of the show is the technology embedded within the simulator itself. The same setup used by the likes of Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth and Gary Woodland to constantly tweak their game, the Full Swing Golf Simulator has four sensors that track the ball before it hits the screen. Elements like spin axis, velocity, backspin, sidespin, ball speed and much more are immediately available to the user. Additionally, a 700 FPS overhead camera tracks the swing itself, telling the user exactly where the ball comes off the clubface as well as metrics like swing speed and launch angle.
“This is the very best simulator out there, no question,” Kungel said. “It is by far the most realistic on the market and the instant data you’re seeing is unmatched compared to what other simulators have on the market.”
Aspects like wind and weather conditions can also be changed as well as green softness and pin placements. The overhead camera allows for the simulator to easily track both right and left handed players on a hitting surface that is roughly 3 feet by 3 feet.
Kungel and his staff provide clubs free of charge but players are certainly allowed to bring their own bag. Additionally, one very unique aspect to the setup when compared to most other simulators is that players can play their own ball. Kungel has helped players fit themselves for a golf ball in a very similar way that people are fitted for clubs.
“Using your own golf ball is huge. You can track the spin rates of different brands and see what works best for you. You’re not forced to use some battered range ball that is not going to respond the same way,” Kungel remarked.
Kungel loves to help golfers in any way he can, calling upon his 30 years of experience. His father ran Romeo Golf Course for decades and Kungel worked there as a kid before instructing at Henriksen’s Driving Range for over 20 years. He turned pro in 1987 and played on several mini-tours, winning five tournaments. He also worked at Golf Channel, doing programs with Rocco Mediate. He offers private lessons for all ages and handicaps at the facility, and thanks to the simulator, every single shot by a player is recorded and stored in the system, so progress and improvement over time can be monitored.
Club grip replacements and repairs are also offered and eventually there are plans to add a consignment program and full club fitting.
“I’m just passionate for golf itself and everyone that works here is as well,” Kungel explained. “Our goal is to be a 24/7 facility that has a country club feel. But, anybody can come out and play whether you’re looking to get a lesson or just have a good time hitting with some friends. You can bring your kids too and they will have a great time. We do take pride in offering a boutique style setup where we have golfers running it, not bartenders like other places out there. We want people to have a place to enjoy themselves no matter the time of year or temperature outside.”
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Established in 2019, BRAND25 Media is a premier comprehensive digital marketing agency based in Royal Oak, Michigan. Founded by former 97.1 the Ticket personalities Mike Sullivan and Kyle Bogenschutz, Brand25 Media is a full-service solution that serves businesses around the country through social media upkeep, SEO strategies, influencer marketing, podcasting, blog creation, graphic design and recruiting outreach. Through targeted tactics, Brand25 replaces the usual salaried position of a digital media manager, growing alongside partner companies to both bring awareness and build trust in their brand. Named after the fact that the average American spends 25% of their day surfing around their smartphone, Brand25 helps to not only tackle today’s problems in a digital world but also be a true answer for companies looking to be present, have presence and gain prestige online.
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Also, BRAND25 is the parent company of Metro Detroit Golfers, the state of Michigan’s largest online golfing community. For more, visit https://metrodetroitgolfers.com
(written by Timothy Pontzer)