AboutGolf plans to expand its research and development facility with the establishment of a state-of-the-art campus in Ottawa Lake, Michigan, approximately 15 miles from its Maumee, Ohio world headquarters.

AboutGolf Labs, the Research Division of AboutGolf, will relocate its core staff of 12 engineers from its current Maumee headquarters. The new AboutGolf Research Park will include a specially designed 5,000 square foot indoor test lab, a 4,000 square foot demonstration building, a 350 yard driving range with indoor and outdoor hitting bays on artificial and various types of real turf, an outdoor test putting green, and a third building for general maintenance. The site features towering hardwoods that will line the test range. The buildings' designs are being influenced by the iconic hilltop clubhouse at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club.

“The site is ideally located for us logistically, one minute off Exit 5 of U.S. 23 between our Maumee headquarters and Ann Arbor, Michigan, where many of our top tech folks reside,” says AboutGolf CEO Bill Bales.

The proximity to Ann Arbor is crucial, not only because several members of AboutGolf Labs’ technical staff reside there, but also because of AboutGolf's long-term technology alliance with PlayData, LLC, a world leader in machine vision technology. Ann Arbor-home of the University of Michigan, one of the country's top five engineering schools-is one of the world's three machine vision technology epicenters and also boasts a labor pool of some of the nation’s most highly regarded engineers.

“One would think Maumee, Ohio, is an odd location for a high-tech business like ours,” Bales says, “but besides being the country’s leading location for freight transportation, we’re just up the street from Ann Arbor, the absolute best place in the world for us to tap into the technology resources that fit our specific needs.”

The new practice facility will replace AboutGolf’s first permanent field-test lab it opened this spring at The Legacy Golf Club in Ottawa Lake. The current field-test lab features four heated indoor/outdoor hitting bays, as well as the usual outdoor practice range facilities. The lab is shared with the Clare Batista Academy, where daily users focus-test the latest AboutGolf technology. Clare Batista is a top 50 female instructor.

AboutGolf has commissioned the design and construction of two key pieces of test technology for its new facility-a unique ball cannon that can be calibrated to launch golf balls at precise velocity and spin rates with precise spin-axis settings, as well as what promises to be the world’s most sophisticated and advanced club-swinging robot.

“This will be our answer to ‘Iron Byron,’ but we might call it ‘Titanium Tiger,’ ” Bales jokes.