NextLinks CEO discusses vision for golf arena in La Quinta

Dan Mechem, the chief executive of indoor golf experience provider NextLinks, has revealed that the company is exploring the possibility of opening an indoor arena in La Quinta, California.

NextLinks combines a simulated golf experience with real-life play and hopes to open dedicated arenas in the coming years.

The company allows players to test out their swing through virtual shots, before participants move to a real-life experience as they approach the green. The experience moves out of the simulator screen at a predetermined distance.

Mechem, together with NextLinks founder Dave Shultz, is planning to open an arena in La Quinta, with talks currently ongoing with the city’s planning commission. In an interview with the Desert Sun newspaper, Mechem explained that such an arena would be one of the first of its kind globally.

Shultz said: “That is going to result in about 40,000 square feet of short game play under the roof. And it is going to have 22 golf simulators in it.”

Mayor Linda Evans is also supportive of the plans. She said: “There is definitely interest, at least by the economic development subcommittee, of having this type of venue year-round in La Quinta and I’d like to be the first of its kind. I think it would be a great location with what we are trying to do with the Highway 111 corridor. It’s a pretty cool thing.”

The arena, which would be circular in design, would require approval from the city’s planning commission and the city council.

Mechem, a resident of La Quinta, added: “I have always been interested in an opportunity like this if the technology was right. Dave really has come up with something I think is incredibly compelling. And I think there is room in the market for more than just one player.”

Virtual golf experiences in sports stadiums and arenas have been trialled in the past. In 2018, Levi’s Stadium, home of the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers, opened a new Topgolf Swing Suite in a first for the league.

The suite was located within the stadium’s Michael Mina Tailgate loft event space and allowed visitors to play a range of interactive, virtual games.

Image: NextLinks