- By Todd Luck
- Posted Thursday, May 9, 2019
Softgolf Holds Grand Opening at Tanglewood
Softgolf held its grand opening on Tuesday at Tanglewood Park, which is the only place in the world to play this large format golf game.
Softgolf has been at Tanglewood, next to the dog park, since March 16 and has attracted a variety of players including Boy Scouts, couples on date nights, senior citizens and families who range from golf novices to highly skilled golfers.
Softgolf President/CEO Ray Baldorossi Jr. told attendees at the ribbon cutting that getting Softgolf to where it is today is a dream come true.
“Our mission is to bring people together,” he said. “Get them away from the high tech devices, get them out, get them active, build some real memories, just have some fun. It’s a good stress relief activity.”
He said Forsyth County was very responsive in his search for a home for Softgolf, helping him eventually find Tanglewood, which is home to two championship golf courses. He said he couldn’t ask for a better location and Tanglewood’s staff has been very supportive.
Softgolf uses 4 ? inch foam balls that are hit with large faced clubs into 12 inch holes. It uses the same fundamental skills as traditional golf, but is designed to be more forgiving and easier to play. This makes it accessible for less experienced golfers and those with limited physical abilities. Games are $12, which includes tax.
It uses three clubs: Putter, Cleek (similar to a 3 iron) and Skupr (similar to an 8 iron) that use the same swing as traditional golf clubs. Clubs are available for players who are three feet or taller (six years-old and up) and available for both righties and lefties. The game can also be played at night due to a glow in the dark ball, along with illuminated clubs, flag poles, holes and scorecard stands.
Baldorossi Jr. helped conceive of the new sport. He was playing golf with a plastic ball in Orlando, Fla. when it landed next to a 4-inch bouncy ball. He had struggled with the plastic ball, but when he hit the bouncy ball, it really flew.
His father, who was an aeronautical design engineer, asked him to hit it again and went it even further. He discussed with his father how cool it would be to play golf with a bigger ball and together they came up with the concept of Softgolf.
It took five years of research, developing prototypes and receiving patents before his parents, Raymond, Sr. and Blanche Baldorossi, opened their first Softgolf operation in 1979 in Delran, NJ. It served the Greater Philadelphia area for 10 years, holding a World Softgolf Championship every year.
He and his father built a machine, that included recycled washing machine parts, to cut balls by hand from a long cylinder of foam.
Since then, he’s created a highly durable ball that can be used in all kinds of weather and temperatures and glows in the dark.
Softgolf is currently open Sunday-Thursday 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Friday 12-10 p.m., and Saturday 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Later hours are available Sunday-Thursday by appointment.
A World Softgolf Championship will be held at Tanglewood Park on Sept. 15. Qualifying rounds begin on May 18.
Softgolf has also opened a local chapter of the Stand Up and Play Foundation, with plans to raise money for a paramobile unit that will let wheelchair users and people with impaired mobility play golf.
For more information or to reserve a game, visit www.softgolf.net.
View more pics from the opening.