Van Dermark said that events are designed to provide a more party-like atmosphere, where golfers play on an LED lit, 9-hole, par-3 course using special glow-in-the-dark balls. The experience is enhanced with music, beverages and contests.
“It’s a great way to have a night out that’s not at a bar,” he said. “I think we need more night time experiences that are fun, and where you can get out and do things as opposed to going out to a nightclub.”
Van Dermark said that events are set up to accommodate up to 100 players on the course with groups starting and ending at the same time. He added that rounds typically last under two hours.
Timothy Smith, general manager of The Loma Club, said that a par-3 course made sense for Glow Golf, because of the timeliness of games, less-complicated greens, lack of need for a golf cart and the lower skill level required. He said that it’s easier to play 1,280 yards on a 9-hole, rather than 6,500 yards on an 18-hole golf course.
“It’s meant to be more of a social activity,” he said. “Josh has put together a golf festival with competitions, prizes and plenty of decorative lighting.”
Events are scheduled to happen once per month, with the next one planned for June 24. General admission tickets include a round of golf, and two glow-in-the-dark golf balls.
According to Van Dermark, the genesis of the Glow Golf idea came one Friday evening after work, while trying to schedule some time to play a round of golf with friends. Unable to find a time that worked for all, the group thought of buying glow-in-the-dark golf balls and sneaking onto a course to play, but luckily for them, they couldn’t find the product at any of the local sporting goods stores.
“That saved us the trouble of having to trespass or get a drunk in public ticket,” he said. “But it got me thinking that if I’m looking for it, other people must be doing the same.”
Van Dermark said that now more than ever, people are conflicted with just being too busy working. He added that it’s hard sometimes to find time for personal enjoyment, so he set out to flip the golf world upside down and try to throw a party at night where people can play golf.
“Glow Golf may not be the cheapest version of night golf there is, but it’s actually the best,” Van Dermark said. “Our mission is to get rid of the pretentious nature surrounding golf, and make it a fun accessible thing for everybody.”