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November 2019

Golf Ball Company Joins Growing Entertainment Market

By Steve Eubanks

OnCore Golf, a Buffalo, New York-based golf ball company that patented the first hollow metal-core golf ball, has just announced its entree into the widening world of golf entertainment.

OnCore Buffalo will be a $30 million entertainment complex along the Buffalo River that, if the artist renderings are accurate, bears a remarkable resemblance to TopGolf.

The big difference will be the other sports options the company plans to offer, including virtual baseball, basketball and hockey, as well as a wave machine for surfing. 

The eight-year-old company boasts of being the first in roughly 100 years to “cause the USGA to rewrite the rules governing golf ball construction, paving the way for our hollow metal core golf ball to be deemed USGA conforming.” OnCore’s initial product, the ELIXR outperformed expectations as a premium price-point ball.

This venture is a departure for the company, but one that fits its trailblazing culture.
“We’re very excited to be able to bring this kind of golf and sports entertainment experience to an urban setting – the result of engineering and technology innovations that have been years in the making,” said OnCore Golf co-founder Keith Blakely. “In doing so, we hope to elevate interest in golf among a broad demographic and to enable partnerships with organizations with similar goals.”

While the facility, which will be located on seven acres of Kelly Island on the river (about half the footprint of a TopGolf), will have a three-tier driving range, just like TopGolf, and include radar technology, just like TopGolf, it also will be connected to a 120- to 160-room hotel. In its entirety, OnCore Buffalo is expected to create up to 500 jobs when it opens.

According to the company, virtual reality glasses will be available so that golfers can hit balls at everything from space aliens to Pokemon characters on the range. The First Tee of Western New York will also be housed there at no charge. 

The projected opening date is mid-2021, but OnCore already has plans for future facilities in cities like Knoxville, Tennessee; Columbus, Ohio; Pittsburgh; Las Vegas; Phoenix,; New York; Denver and Washington, D.C. With a smaller footprint, they can conceivably get closer to the heart of towns than their competitors (although seven acres in Washington is still a big ask).

“We feel that this facility is going to be one of a kind and a revolutionary standard going forward,” Blakely said. “It allows us to build in urban centers rather than far outside city centers.”




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