Nearly 37 million Americans played golf on a course or elsewhere, like golf simulators, in 2020, according to the National Golf Foundation.
And in North Dakota, where the winds blow and the snow piles high — it’s no different. Golf simulators have increased in popularity in the Magic City.
Ron Merrit, the executive director of the Minot Park District, says there were talks of opening a golf simulator for years.
“We were talking about adding one out at the Maysa Arena a long time ago,” said Merritt. “In 2019, we started talking about it for this facility and in the year 2020, we added one into our budget during the budget process. So then we bid it out last year and were able to install it.”
Meritt adds it’s common for public parks and rec to have one.
“They have them in Bismarck, in Williston, in Dickinson, and now we have one here in Minot in the public park,” said Merritt. “We like golf simulators because people can play golf during the off-season.”
X-Golf Minot is another place that offers both experienced and inexperienced golfers a chance to participate in the sport inside.
“Have fun golfing while it’s winter outside and keep with your game going and keep your game sharp if you’re into golf,” said Damyn Boyce, the assistant manager at X-Golf Minot. “Or just even having fun with the family.”
Merrit agrees golf simulators allow people to enjoy the sport in the winter and adds that it keeps them active.
“Some people still enjoy doing things outside and it’s nice to see snow,” said Merritt. “We’ve got outdoor skating rinks and other things that are being used, but there are also people that like to do things inside where it’s warm. And they still wanna be active and stay healthy and this gives people one more opportunity to do that.”
And, Boyce says it has a lot of other benefits too.
“You can play 18 in less than an hour, even more,” said Boyce. “Cause I know a couple customers came in and played 27 holes in an hour, just by themselves. So, a lot quicker and don’t have to do all the walking around like you do on the golf course.”
If you’re looking to either learn how to golf or want to continue golfing through the winter, there are a plethora of options for you to choose from.
Minot Country Club brought in a golf simulator at the end of last year, but it is limited to members only.
The oldest simulator is at Lucky Strike Lounge.
And Whiskey Nine, a bar and restaurant expected to open in the next few weeks, will be the newest location to get them installed.