Golf simulators, axe throwing, baseball simulators, duckpin bowling, darts, pool tables, shuffle board, cornhole, foosball, Golden tee arcade, and ping-pong, not to mention a full-service bar and kitchen… the newly rebranded Inside Golf & Games has all the ingredients for a great time!
“We view ourselves as being a staple in family entertainment for the community,” said Mike Schmid, co-owner of Inside Golf & Games. Along with co-owner Payton Roberts, Inside Golf has expanded their offerings to create an establishment unlike anything else in Ames and Central Iowa. They credit their ability to expand to the community that has continued to support their business.
“The people that live in Ames are amazing people and without their support, through good times and bad, we wouldn’t be here today.”
Inside Golf opened in 2018 at North Grand Mall in Ames and instantly provided a premium golf experience with the comfort of indoor simulators. “We entered this market during a time when only the most invested and advanced golfers were participating,” said Schmid, acknowledging that it was a niche market. “The first few years, we built our customer base around golfers and their families. With every new investment and update, we expanded our market to include a range of new customers.”
The addition of axe throwing in the summer of 2021 was a formative moment for the business. “Although we did not know exactly how that would impact our business, we quickly realized how it attracted a new demographic and changed the overall trajectory of Inside Golf,” said Schmid.
Each week, more people were experiencing a new attraction to Ames. “The excitement around this entertaining sport quickly spread and soon enough, local businesses were contacting us to host their team building events and holiday parties,” said Schmid. “That is when we knew we had a valuable offering for the community of Ames and wanted to invest further.”
As Inside Golf and Axe Throwing became an outlet for more than just golfers, Schmid and his team continued to brainstorm how they could expand the business to truly make it a place for everyone.
They added more space for dart boards and additional pool tables. They booked more corporate events and expanded their axe throwing lanes to fit larger groups. “The additional lanes were filled every weekend,” said Schmid. “After quickly growing our customer base and filling up every weekend we knew we had to do more!”
A partnership with Time to Roll, a local start-up restaurant located within North Grand Mall, formed to create additional food options. After one full season of this partnership across the mall, Inside Golf acquire Time to Roll, and in the process added a new partner to the company, Payton Roberts.
This acquisition of a full-service restaurant inspired the newest expansion of Inside Golf and the addition of more premium activities that includes Baseball Simulators and Duckpin Bowling.
They were fortunate to be able to acquire additional space in North Grand Mall, across from their original location. As this expansion was taking place and they were quickly becoming a premium family entertainment center, the idea of rebranding surfaced as a way to showcase all they had to offer.
“In honor of our original customer base, we wanted to stick with Inside Golf but felt we needed to expand our brand to include everything else,” said Schmid. “We landed on Inside Golf & Games to communicate that we are more than just golf; we offer something to Play, something to Eat, and something to Drink for everyone!”
Thanks to a great partnership with North Grand Mall, they are working to connect their two separate businesses with a patio / common space concept, making it a perfect space to congregate. After hours, their wing of the mall is home to mini games, including cornhole, ping-pong, with more to come. With an exterior entrance and one of the few active locations open later at night, they are a perfect night out with their range of activities.
“Ames needs more family entertainment and things-to-do, and we have been so fortunate to be able to offer just that to the people of Ames.”
Inside Golf & Games is located at North Grand Mall
304 Main St.
Ames, Iowa 50010
Phone: (515) 232-2310
About the Ames Chamber
Centrally and conveniently located in the heart of the Midwest and Iowa, Ames is known for its healthy, stable economy, flourishing cultural environment, and the world-renowned Iowa State University.
With over 700 members, the Ames Chamber of Commerce strives to make Ames a better place to live, work, and do business by strengthening the economic vitality and the quality of life in the Ames community.