Practice Year Round at an Indoor Golf Facility

This past week­end, my wife and I made the four hour trip from our home in north­ern Wis­con­sin to Min­neapo­lis. Most of the week­end was spent attend­ing a trade show for my wife’s busi­ness. Even so it was a nice get­away and we did find time to have some fun.

I found time Sat­ur­day after­noon to have a great time at Inside Edge Golf, an indoor golf facil­i­ty in Eden Prairie, MN. It was my first trip to such a facil­i­ty. I had pre­vi­ous­ly inter­act­ed with @insideedgegolf on Twit­ter, and since I knew I was going to the Twin Cities, I jumped at the chance to check it out.

Inside Edge Golf has nine about­Golf PGA Tour sim­u­la­tors. Sev­en of the sim­u­la­tors are Clas­sic mod­els, one is a Widescreen (5 feet wider screen than the Clas­sic), and one is a three-screen Sim­Sur­round. Each sim­u­la­tor has incred­i­ble 3D graph­ics and offer the choice of over 50 world famous cours­es to play. Inside Edge Golf also has an 1800 square foot putting green.

I knew I would not have a lot of time but still want­ed to expe­ri­ence both a sim­u­la­tor and the putting green so ear­li­er in the week I reserved a half hour on a Clas­sic Sim­u­la­tor and a half hour on the putting green. Inside Edge rec­om­mends reserv­ing sim­u­la­tor time three to four days in advance, espe­cial­ly for week­end times.

The sim­u­la­tors are incred­i­bly easy to use. The staff at Inside Edge was extreme­ly friend­ly in explain­ing the sim­u­la­tor and answer­ing any ques­tions. I first warmed up with a few shots in prac­tice range mode. It was my first time on a sim­u­la­tor so obvi­ous­ly I was going to play an actu­al course, but if I had the abil­i­ty to vis­it Inside Edge on a reg­u­lar basis, I could see myself reserv­ing sim­u­la­tor time for the sole pur­pose of hit­ting balls on the range. The sim­u­la­tor records all of the impor­tant data such as club­head speed, ball speed, ball spin, pro­ject­ed tra­jec­to­ry and dis­tance. The instant feed­back after every shot is instru­men­tal in improv­ing your results. Lessons are even avail­able on a sim­u­la­tor from an on staff PGA pro­fes­sion­al.

As I men­tioned ear­li­er, there are over fifty cours­es to choose from. I chose TPC Scotts­dale, prob­a­bly because it was fresh in my mind from the recent Waste Man­age­ment Open. I only had a half hour so I wasn’t able to get a whole round in but was able to fin­ish 11 holes. Any­thing with­in 12 feet of the hole is con­sid­ered a gimme. This speeds up play and makes total sense since the strength of the sim­u­la­tor is the analy­sis of full swings. On the floor of the sim­u­la­tor is an area with a tee, a short car­pet mat which is the fair­way, and a thick­er mat which is the rough. Where you place the ball to hit depends on where you are on the screen. Play­ing a round on your favorite course is real­is­tic enough to help you work on your full swing. Since you are charged for how long you use a sim­u­la­tor, I did find myself rushed to fin­ish holes. I’m sure this being my first time had a lot to do with this and one would feel less and less rushed the more they used a sim­u­la­tor. Inside Edge offers league play which be a great way to break up the win­ter and keep your skills up until spring.

After the sim­u­la­tor, I spent some time on Inside Edge’s 1800 square foot putting green. It fea­tures both flat and break­ing putts along with var­i­ous lies off the side of the green to prac­tice chip­ping. There is even a mini-flop wall to per­fect your flop shots!

I rec­om­mend any­one with­in an hour’s dri­ve of an indoor golf facil­i­ty such as Inside Edge Golf to take full advan­tage. You have the abil­i­ty to work on your game through­out the win­ter, on rainy days, and at night. Unfor­tu­nate­ly I do not live close enough to an indoor golf facil­i­ty so I will be doing the next best thing and build­ing a sim­u­la­tor in my house before next fall.

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