SOUTHINGTON — Happy’s Indoor Golf is coming to 22 Center St., located right across from the green downtown. The new business is a virtual golf entertainment venue that plans to open its doors in November, with operating hours of 1-9 p.m Monday through Friday, and from 8 a.m- 9 p.m Saturdays and Sundays.
The business aims to cater to both casual golfers and pro players, allowing people to practice their swings even when the courses close in the winter. With several private virtual golf spaces located inside, the simulators enable players to golf through thousands of simulated courses from around the world.
“We are golf addicts like a lot of people local to Southington,” said the owner, Daniel Sardilli. “And we thought that there wasn't a better way to spruce up the downtown and provide some entertainment if it wasn’t for virtual golf,” .
Sardilli, who works at the Sardilli Insurance Agency directly next door to the vacant storefront, saw an opportunity to service the community with a premier venue that’d use new golf simulation technology to make patrons feel like they’re on the course — something he likened to Topgolf, a multinational sports entertainment brand.
The price to play is $50 an hour, with around two hours of expected play for most groups to finish 18 holes.
Sardilli hopes that Happy’s will be able to service year-round an avid golfing community in Southington, which has three courses in the area, while also cutting out the need for a membership at a country club. “Golf is a very unique sport and there are a bunch of barriers to entry,” he said. His goal with Happy’s is to be welcoming to players of all skill levels.
Currently, Happy’s has a couple virtual bays that are able to accommodate up to six players each - with the ability to host even larger parties with a reservation. The courses will be projected onto the walls, with sensors that are able to accurately track the movements of players. No equipment is necessary, as Happy’s will provide rental clubs for customers, with specialized clubs that cater to children and left-handed players.
Sardilli warned that customers should call ahead during the winter months, November through March, as they may be busy and unable to accommodate walk-ins.
“We are definitely looking to provide an inclusive environment where anybody can feel welcome to come and play golf regardless of their experience level. Whether they have never picked up a club or whether they are a seasoned pro or a scratch golfer,” he said. With the flexibility of the simulators, Sardilli hopes to be able to offer introductory classes, as well as make the bays available for league play.
Unlike other virtual sports venues, Happy’s doesn’t have a menu to provide food and drink, so patrons are encouraged to bring their own concessions. But with the many restaurants along Center St., Sardilli is considering partnering with them to have their menus available at Happy’s, so players can have local Southington food brought to them — supporting several local businesses at the same time.
Town Councilor Chris Palmieri expressed his support of the new business, explaining that an entertainment venue like Happy’s could bring diversity to the offerings in the downtown area.
“Any type of diversification of what is offered down there I think is beneficial, and enhances the reasons for people to head downtown,” Palmieri said. “What I like about it is it's something different. It's not more of the same, so hopefully it'll encourage other new businesses to look at opening in the downtown area as well.”
Happy’s is one of several virtual golf simulators opening in the local area, including Back 9 Social at 805 N. Colony Rd. in Wallingford.
Currently Happy’s is holding a giveaway for four hours of golf time in their simulators at the Southington Apple Harvest Festival, with entry for interested participants available online.
“We're just extremely excited to get started,” Sardilli said.