Wausau Pilot & Review
Editor’s note: Business of the Week is a sponsored feature that shares the stories of locally-owned and operated businesses in the Wausau area, highlighting the products and services they offer and the ways they contribute to the metro area’s unique flavor. Learn how to feature your business by emailing email@example.com.
This week’s featured Wausau-area business is 4 Seasons Golf of Wausau, which allows golfers to stay in form all year round. Shane Saari opened the business in December 2019 at 151411 Robin Lane in Rib Mountain, a building formerly occupied by Ethan Allen. A former educator, Shane had a dream of starting his own business and this was a perfect fit. 4 Seasons Golf has full swing simulators and 84 simulated courses, perfect for golfers of any level. Beginners can sign up for lessons with one of three golf pros, while more experienced golfers will find unique challenges on realistic simulated courses all winter long. With a sports bar on site and 13 other simulated sports including football, baseball, dodge ball, hockey and soccer, 4 Seasons Golf of Wausau is a great choice for a day or evening of fun with coworkers, family or friends. Everyone can have their share of the fun! Shane also hosts a number of tournaments and league play as well – no matter what the weather. Read on to learn more and find out how to keep up your golf game all year long.
Q: When was your business established, and how did you choose the name?
A: We opened on Dec. 6, 2019. I had written about four or five business names I liked and ultimately my wife and I chose ‘4 Seasons Golf of Wausau’ as it fit best with what we offer. Our main mission is to offer the greater Wausau area a place to play golf in the winter months so that golfers can keep up their swing. We offer leagues, open tee times and occasional tournaments. Our other objective is to give families and friends a place to go to have fun and unwind with our 13 other simulated sports that we offer.
Q: Tell us about your business. What makes it unique?
A: We are the only business in Wausau that offers indoor golf on the industry’s best simulators from Full Swing. We offer leagues, open tee times and tournaments. We have a sports bar with a great selection of domestic and craft beers and other malt beverages along with pizzas from Portesi. Each bay has its own TV so you can throw on the game while golfing. We can also accommodate business and corporate outings, birthday parties, bachelor parties and more. We offer lessons from three different golf pros and have something to offer for every level of golfer with a driving range and more than 100 courses to choose from. There is nothing in the Wausau area that offers the services we do for golfers. On top of that, we have 13 other simulated sports for children and adults. This is just a great place to come in and unwind, and have a blast doing so.
Q: What are you most proud of accomplishing?
A: After 18 years in education with a secure job I left to start my own business, which is something I have always wanted to do. It’s been a tough two years. When we opened we were only open for four months before being shut down because of the pandemic. Having no income and doors shut after four months is a very scary position to be in. When we were able to open it was summer and golfers were out on the course. We don’t keep regular summer hours – in fact, we are essentially closed – so that was a long time to wait to get customers back through the doors. Even when fall came around at the end of our first year we noticed there was still a large part of the population that was reluctant to go out, and we respected that, letting them know we would be here when they felt comfortable. Through all of that we are still open and operating and have the best customers in the world. We pulled through as a start up business in one of the most difficult times for small business in this country. That makes me proud.
Q: How have you changed and evolved over time? What’s different now from when you first started?
A: I’ve been very interested in my first two years in feedback from league members and customers. If they have asked I have tried my best with the resources I have available to me to accommodate. We changed up a lot of what we did in our first league vs. what we do now. There have been a number of customers that have been in every season of league since we opened. I may never be able to repay people like that for what they have done for this business. Their support and help with feedback to make this place the best it can be is essential. Our summer hours through this second summer have basically become nonexistent. We tried in that first summer but quickly realized it was more cost effective to be closed. We are thinking about closing fully for summer with early fall hours, then expanding hours in winter and early spring. We will continue to listen to the feedback from our customers and continue to make the changes that will make this place the very best it can be, which may include expansion.
Q: What kinds of challenges did you face, and what are your hopes and dreams for the future?
A: Great question. I honestly feel I am still overcoming challenges and I have been since before I opened. I was turned down at every bank in the area at first when trying to get a business loan as a startup. I had some crucial players help as early investors and the rest was, well, let’s just say strategic, gutsy financial decision making. Overcoming financing, the pandemic, finding good qualified help, learning a solid business strategy, marketing, taxes, payroll, hiring an accountant and lawyer, budgeting, etc. It has been and still is an uphill climb, but I did it on my own and that – regardless of where this business ends up – is a success story in my book. My goal would be to eventually expand and get my own building to add a few more bays and maybe some more food options and a few surprise ideas I’m currently working on. One step at a time.
Q: Is there anything that is currently going on the public should know about?
A: We are currently taking signups for winter league, which starts on the week of Nov. 29. The Wednesday men’s league is currently filled already but there are a few spots left on Tuesday and Thursday nights. We have just a few spots left for our women’s league and there are a number of openings in the couples league on Monday nights. Leagues consist of two person teams. For more information email Shane at 4seasonsgolfofwausau.
Connect with 4 Seasons Golf of Wausau
4 Seasons Golf of Wausau – 151411 Robin Lane
On Facebook as 4 Seasons Golf of Wausau,