By Christine Graf
The Bunker, a Guilderland-based business that offer golfers the opportunity to use golf simulator technology in an indoor, country club-like setting, has plans to open additional locations in Clifton Park and Malta.
Owners Troy Miller and Burl McCutcheon will invest approximately $1 million to get both sites up and running. Because there are tenants currently occupying both existing spaces, exact addresses will not be released until next month, they said.
According to Miller, both are centrally located near exits 9 and 12 of the Northway.
Miller is the owner and broker at CM Fox Real Estate and also owns Troy Miller Construction. In his free time, he is an avid golfer.
“I’ve been in the development world, and when golf and my past development work collided, out came the Bunker,” he said.
The 4,000-square-foot Guilderland location opened at the end of 2019 in the CM Fox Real Estate building at 2390 Western Turnpike. Before being temporarily shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic, business exceeded expectations and plans for expansion were already underway, he said.
Construction in Malta and Clifton Park will begin this summer and both businesses are expected to open in the fall. Each 6,000-square-foot space will feature seven TrackMan 18-foot widescreen hitting bays.
“TrackMan technology is kind of the Rolls Royce of simulation. They are used all throughout the PGA, and pro players use it,” said Miller. “The technology has finally gotten to the point that it’s very accurate to what you would be doing outdoors. Everything is identical to the outdoor game.”
The simulators have a price tag of approximately $20,000 each and feature dual radar technology that tracks “launch to landing and everything in between.” Tracking parameters include ball flight, club path, face angle, swing direction, spin loft, spin rate, and curvature. TrackMan simulators also allow golfers to play virtually at some of the world’s top golf course.
According to Miller, unlike most indoor golf businesses, The Bunker has the look and feel of a country club. It is furnished with plush sofas, leather club chairs, a marble-topped bar and flat screen televisions
“Indoor golf has been full of very warehouse type space, and we have turned it into basically an indoor country club. We have fireplaces, high-end mahogany finishes—it’s really like a country club that’s open to the public.”
The Clifton Park and Malta locations will have similar design features as well as larger kitchens with more food options. They will also have summer offerings that are not available in Guilderland.
“We’re doing open-air concepts. There will be garage doors that open and connect the bar to the inside and the outside. We’re really focused on having a year-round business,” said Miller.
The Bunker in Guilderland employs six and Miller anticipates hiring 15 workers for each new location.
Simulator bays rent for an average of $50 to $60 per hour, and the cost can be divided by multiple golfers. Golf instruction, leagues, and programs for kids are also available. The Bunker can also be rented for private parties.
For more info, visit getinthebunker.golf.