A Look at Golfinity — The Largest Indoor Golf Performance Club in the U.S. Finds Home in Austin
An insider peek into Golfinity and beyond
By Lauren Jones
Photos by Juan Valdes
Aaron Berman never expected to have the life he does. The Tacoma, Washington native — who made his way down to Texas in 2010 — was in elementary school when he was first introduced to golf. While his parents were never golfers, a key fact in his journey, he grew up just one mile from a public golf course with a great program for kids. What was initially a playground morphed into his first job, passion, and eventually, his career — Golfinity.
There are many barriers to entry when it comes to golf. It’s expensive and some may say elitist, yet Bergman wants to change the way the game is viewed, and also how people train for it. He received a degree in Professional Golf Management from New Mexico State University, and at 21, went to Bhutan where his love for coaching bloomed.
“I was essentially an ambassador, traveling to different villages and using golf to make connections,” he says. “I gave lessons to the royal family and was one of twelve foreigners living and working in the country at the time.” What was initially a six-month post-grad experience turned into a three-year international stay.
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He then went to Nepal at a time of unrest — the royal family had been murdered by the crown prince, and Maoists occupied the country — and discovered Shiva Ram Shrestha. The teenager, who had been working as a caddy at a local club, showed incredible talent. Bergman trained him and he went on to become the first Nepalese to win on the Indian Tour. From there, Bergman hosted a golf television show in Thailand, and in 2010, came back to the States and founded Golf in Schools, an after-school program that now serves 85 schools in Central Texas.
“Golf is a vehicle to share valuable life lessons,” he says. “It has the power to transcend culture and class, and is a great tool for bringing people together.” Education has always been at the core of Bergman’s golf career, and his love for the sport has continued to grow. While he was serving Texas youth, he realized he was undeserving the community as a whole, and yearned for a space where individuals and families could come learn, practice and improve their game.
“I never wanted to play golf indoors or use technology, but I was pushed into it out of necessity,” he says. By 2015, golf simulators became credible enough that they were no longer just for fun but excellent for providing data for coaches and students. And while this level of tech is typically only available to the pros, Bergman has made golf and the ever-evolving simulation programs available for all at a reasonable price point at Golfinity, with monthly memberships for both individuals and families.
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Recently opened in Northwest Austin, Golfinity is the largest indoor golf performance club in the U.S. with 20 state-of-the-art golf simulators that provide real-time feedback with Trackman launch monitors and a virtual green with Puttview technology.
“We have a system that does 3-D mapping of people’s swings,” he adds. “It empowers students to understand when they make a shot and why the ball goes the way it does.” Golfinity’s premise is to increase access to the game, welcome the curious and help golfers improve their game faster than if they practiced on a traditional range.
“I’m really excited to be a part of this space. In 2023, there will actually be more off-course golf participation than on as the definition of a golf experience is changing,” he says. Plus, technology is moving so quickly that each year new information is available.
In addition to Golfinity’s impressive golf bays and emerging programming, visitors can enjoy food and drinks in between shots and lessons in the performance theater. Plus, it’s more than equipped to handle large groups and parties. Whether you grew up golfing, are a seasoned player or are new to the sport, Golfinity will help you improve your game in no time.