BOSTON GLOBE BUSINESS PLAN – KOHR Golf Center

KOHR GOLF CENTER

BY CINDY CANTRELL | GLOBE CORRESPONDENT

After following his father’s footsteps into professional golf, Bill McInerney Jr. of Natick discovered that his real passion is coaching.  To help others reach their golfing potential, the award-winning instructor launched KOHR Golf Center in Natick last month with business partner Oliver Segal of Wellesley.  Open to the public, the year-round driving range and practice center features 14 bent grass target greens, 61 hitting stations, three USGA practice greens and bunkers, a golf fitness gym, private lessons, clinics and group practices, memberships, an ELITE Junior Academy, and club fitting powered by Cool Clubs.

Q. What inspired you to switch from competing to coaching?

A. I took more pleasure in helping others get better and reach their potential than I did in shooting low scores. Then my life changed when I received a letter from a young man that I had taught years before. He thanked me for helping him with his golf game, but the main focus of his letter was how I was able to give him more confidence. I went from a primary focus on golf’s fundamental skills to using golf as my vehicle to build confidence, self-esteem, and make stronger people.

Q. What makes your golf center special?

A. Typically, you go to a driving range and see a few flag sticks sticking out of a flat field. The KOHR Golf facility looks more like you are playing golf holes and hitting to real greens with bunkers. This makes hitting golf balls and practicing golf super fun, as it gives our guests an experience that simulates on-course play.

Q. How does it appeal to all levels?

A. One of the reasons the sport isn’t growing is because it takes four or five hours to play, but here [you] can enjoy a golfing experience without having to go to a golf course.We have real greens and real cups, so beginners and youngsters can feel what it is like to knock a shot into a hole and more experienced players can compete with their buddies. It’s really like playing games within a game.

Q. What is your vision for the company?

A. This facility is one that will contribute to growing the game of golf. People who come to KOHR want to come back.

Kohr Golf scores as a haven for the game

NATICK – Sitting in a cart as the mid-morning sun illuminated the verdant Kohr Golf grounds, Bill McInerney spoke of the importance of the game as a driver for self-confidence, personal growth and teamwork.

McInerney, Kohr’s CEO and co-founder, has recently opened the Speen Street-based facility and academy, offering a haven for all things golf.

The Natick land was a golf facility before, McInerney said, but it was not well-maintained. He said, when he was looking for space of his own, this was a natural fit.

“I live on Pond Street, so I’ve been driving by this space for 14 years,” he said. “It’s such a beautiful piece of land.”

Kohr offers practice opportunities that normal driving ranges simply don’t, McInerney said. Its greens look like golf course greens. It has bunkers. Golfers can even hit from uneven lies, so they can learn how to best make shots from a slope.

All this helps reduce the massive time investment required by golf. McInerney said he believed one reason people leave the game is because it can take an entire day to play a round; at Kohr, all the game’s situations can be simulated in a fraction of the time.

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