18 holes in Oak Park?

Village resident plans to open virtual golf business in early 2011

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By Marty Stempniak

Staff Reporter

A landlocked community such as Oak Park is probably the last place you’d expect to play a round of golf. But an Oak Park entrepreneur plans to change that sometime early this year.

Sidney Strong is opening a new golf business in Oak Park in late January in the former home of a Blockbuster franchise at 200 Lake. Stinger Golf will offer village residents the chance to play 18 holes right here in Oak Park. Rather than cross expanses of green grass, customers will putt and drive through simulations.

Stinger will have five private rooms available for groups of up to six to tee up. Nine holes will cost $15 per person, while a full round of 18 holes runs $25. Golfers will play full holes, from driving through putting, as the business makes use of an advanced simulator. At the same time, they’ll be hitting real balls off tees, according to Strong.

“It’s not like a Wii game, nothing like that,” Strong said.

Customers are encouraged to bring their own clubs, but Stinger will also have a set on hand to borrow. The business will offer a small assortment of golf supplies, such as T-shirts and gloves, and will sell sports drinks, too.

Strong, 59, quit his job working at an office equipment company in October in order to retire and pursue this venture. The 12-year Oak Park resident is an avid golfer and models his business on a similar one in Niles.

“Getting close to retirement age, I’ve worked for other businesses my whole life, so I wanted to get my own business and do what I want to do,” Strong said.

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Elin Nordegren from oprf from Oak Park  

Posted: January 6th, 2011 8:56 AM

Love it. This is exactly what our community is missing. We need more golf options in op/rf. The rates at the driving range on Madison are simply outragous. It will also be nice to play without a kid from the westside picking up my ball before I can even get to it at Columbus. Good luck Sidney, I'll see you when you open!!

T Woods from Oak Park  

Posted: January 5th, 2011 8:53 AM

An interesting idea, and a decent location for a venture like this. Best of luck, Sidney. I'll be sure to stop in when you open.

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