An Addison Township couple is one step closer to opening a new business that capitalizes on this area’s abundance of golfers.
Last week, the Oxford Township Board voted 6-0 to approve the issuance of a new Class C liquor license – which allows for the on-premise retail sale and consumption of beer, wine and spirits – for Birdies Indoor Golf and Bar, to be located inside the Oxford Crossing strip mall, adjacent to the Meijer store.
Thomas Morrissey, 40, is the liquor license applicant and business owner. His girlfriend Megan Heslip, 42, will be a full-time manager at Birdies.
The township’s approval is actually a recommendation that gets forwarded to the state Liquor Control Commission (LCC), which ultimately, has the final say over whether the license is granted.
Birdies Indoor Golf and Bar will be housed in an existing 5,173-square-foot space and contain six Full Swing golf simulators designed to offer patrons the ability to play the sport year-round in a temperature-controlled environment.
Morrissey and Heslip feel this type of business will do well in Oxford because based on the research they provided to the township, there are “at least 26 public and private golf courses within a 25-mile driving radius.”
“That’s a lot of golfers,” Heslip said.
She told this reporter golfers will be able to use the simulators for both recreational and educational purposes.
On the recreational side, golfers will be able to play famous courses from across the country and around the world.
And they will be able to do so no matter what’s happening outside, be it raining, snowing or windy.
“In Michigan, your golfing season is very limited (due to the weather),” Heslip said. “(Being able to play on indoor simulators) just helps extend the season.”
On the educational side, the simulators utilize two types of technology that provide users with accurate ball tracking data.
This feedback is designed to help golfers shave strokes off their game by improving their swing and ball striking muscle memory along with refining shot decisions and club choices, according to the Full Swing website.
“It can be a teaching tool,” said Heslip, who noted they’re hoping to bring in golf pros to give lessons.
In Birdies’ liquor license application to the township, it was noted the closest indoor virtual golf facilities are located 40 minutes away in Birmingham and Clawson.
To help round out the golfing experience, Birdies wants to have a full-service bar – the floor plan for which depicts 10 stools around it – and a kitchen that provides light dining options including hot dogs, deli sandwiches, chips and snacks.
Birdies will have a capacity of 35 to 40 patrons, according to Heslip. Each of the six simulators will be able to accommodate four golfers at a time, for a total of 24, Morrissey said.
It’s anticipated Birdies will have five to seven employees, including the owner.
As for when Birdies will open, that depends on whether or not the LCC grants the liquor license.
“We’re not going to start anything until we have that,” Heslip said. “We’re not even going to start construction until we have it.”
According to documents submitted to the township as part of the liquor license application, Birdies plans to open daily at 9 a.m. and stay open until at least 9 p.m. or 10 p.m.
“During our peak season (October-April) we will consider later hours (until 12:00 a.m.) to ensure we are available to our clients,” the application stated. “During our off-season (May-September) we will consider shortened hours or even (closing one) day a week (possibly Mondays).”