While the midwestern state of South Dakota is perhaps best known for being the home of the nationally treasured Presidential rock sculpture and the largest river in all of North America, not to mention a slew of other famous national parks, historic landmarks, and museums, South Dakota also flaunts a rich, naturally diverse landscape that's been well-preserved throughout the years. Topographically speaking, the state is divided into three regions: the deep canyons and flatlands of the Great Plains to the West; the gently-rolling hills and lakes accenting the farmlands of the East; and the Badlands region in the southwest, which is marked by a range of small, steep hills and deep gullies.
It is among the largest in all of the United States, and yet, one of the least populous as well. Having said that, it should come as no surprise that it has more golf courses per capita than any other state in the country, closely followed by its northern sister, with nearly 130 golf facilities scattered all over the state. With the numbers on their side, golfers are bound to find a course to suit their personal tastes and preferences. Among its finest offers are The Golf Club at Red Rock by Ron Farris, the Dick Nugent showpiece at Prairie Green Golf Course, the Patrick Wyss-designed The Bluffs Golf Course, and David Gill's very own Meadowbrook Golf Course.
All things considered, the Mount Rushmore state has always been a lively and prolific vacation destination that beckons not only to golfers but to all kinds of travellers as well, to come and visit this idyllic countryside paradise. However, one significant downside to South Dakota is its continental climate which, while allowing residents to enjoy all four distinct seasons, also makes for some terribly hot and humid summer days and long bouts of harsh, chilly winter weather. Such playing conditions would certainly make it difficult for players to endure a few hours out on the course and complete even a single round.
Fortunately for locals, South Dakota also has plenty of first-rate indoor golf facilities and virtual golf centers all over the area to alleviate their golf-related worries. Now, residents (and visitors) can keep their game strong well through the off-season, no matter what the weather is outside, with so many different establishments that provide state-of-the-art technology and virtual simulators so photorealistic that you might forget that you’re actually playing indoors.
Listed below are some of the best and most popular virtual/indoor golf facilities in all of South Dakota.
Virtual Indoor Golf Facilities in South Dakota
Location: 5301 W 57th St., Sioux Falls, SD 57106
Setting our list off in motion is Sioux Falls City's very own premier indoor golf studio, Golf Addiction. Located in the southernmost corner of the state, this establishment is actually one of two branches. The other one is situated in Fargo, North Dakota. Golf Addiction is a relatively new but promising sports brand which is looking to expand its horizons across the country. Nicely furnished with five of the latest About Golf PGA Tour simulators, it's no wonder that Golf Addiction has risen above the ranks so quickly and quickly became one of South Dakota's most beloved virtual golf centers in such a short time.
Each simulator provides patrons with breathtakingly realistic 3D visuals that faithfully recreate the look and feel (thanks to the accompanying simulator bay technology) of some of the world's most difficult championship courses. A game can even be enjoyed with friends and family, as each game bay can accommodate up to 4 players at a time. Just make sure to bring your own clubs to be able to enjoy your favorite sport all-year round.
To those looking for something more than just a recreational game, however, there are also four certified teaching professionals on-staff at Golf Addiction who offer private lessons to truly take your game to the next level. Not only that, they have several golf leagues and tournaments which guests can participate in as well, and an on-site snack bar and casual diner to satiate your hunger or cravings.
Rates are at an hourly rate, not per person, and you will be charged according to the time you reserved, not the actual time used. With a relaxing ambiance, a cozy indoor environment, well-maintained equipment and an accommodating staff that adds to their already-wonderful amenities here, locals and visitors alike can't go wrong in playing a few rounds at Golf Addiction to satisfy their golfing fix.
Sun-Thu 10:00 - 10:00 pm
Fri-Sat 10:00 - midnight
Location: 11 E Kemp Ave., Watertown, SD 57201
Next up on our list is a representative of Watertown, a major city situated along the eastern region of the state: Golf on Kemp. It's remarkable for being South Dakota's very first - and to this day, only - indoor golf club. However, the praise doesn't end there.
This indoor golf course is fully equipped with a number of Full Swing simulators that provide players with instant feedback on every swing, informing them of essential data points such as ball flight and swing angle, all in real time. Each simulator can accommodate up to 4 golfers, with different rates applied depending on the number of players and hours reserved.
Once you're done teeing it up on the game bays, you and your golf pals can enjoy their cozy indoor facilities at the on-site bar where you can grab a few bites of their delicious homemade pizza and have a few glasses of beer to cap off a great day.
Location: 5300 N Ditch Rd, Sioux Falls, SD 57104
Westra Golf Academy is another of Sioux Falls' popular indoor golf establishments. Specializing more on educational virtual golf than recreational rounds, the Westra Golf Academy is among the best the state has to offer in terms of indoor golf learning centers and training facilities. It was established in 1997 and is located inside Ultimate Golf & Academy.
Westra Golf Academy (also known as The Golf Hit) prides itself on its simple, easy-to-learn teaching methods that aim to enhance a golfer's swing, power, and course management. It is owned and operated by Chad Westra, a professionally trained golfer with over 25 years of experience under his belt. Chad, among others, also offers private lessons to those interested in receiving professional instruction to complement their logistic-based learning from the launch monitors.
Other amenities include an outdoor driving range, an 18-hole miniature golf course, and an impeccably conditioned short game area for outdoor practice (all located in the larger Ultimate Golf & Academy complex). Club repair facilities are also available, for re-gripping, re-shafting, extensions, and adjustment of lie angles, to give the patrons of Westra Golf Academy the perfectly calibrated clubs to suit their particular needs.
Mon-Sun Open 24/7
Location: 600 W 27th St, Yankton, SD 57078
The pride of Yankton, Fox Run Golf Course is an 18-hole municipal golf course, designed by distinguished local architect Patrick Wyss, with outdoor practice facilities (a practice putting green, chipping green, sand bunker, and driving range) and an indoor virtual golf center. Being a city-owned property, it offers all of these top-notch amenities at incredibly affordable rates.
Fox Run Golf Course hosts several golfing leagues and tournaments, as well as regular private and group lessons to satisfy a wide spectrum of golfers and all their needs. They also have junior programs and camps during the summer. All in all, Fox Run Golf Course is a solid indoor golf facility that provides plenty of indoor and outdoor amenities, as well as excellent service from their friendly staff, all at a bargain price. Whether you're a budgeting golfer or not, a visit to this facility is sure to be a pleasant surprise.
Mon-Sun 7:30 - 10:00 pm
Location: 23645 Clubhouse Drive, Rapid City, SD 57702
Hart Ranch Golf Course is another 18-hole course in South Dakota that has its own indoor golf facility. This privately-owned but publicly open golf resort is situated in the state's booming golf bed of Rapid City. It was first launched in 1984 and features a 6,841-yard layout designed by course architect Patrick Wyss.
It is home to a newly unveiled virtual golf center that's open all year round and boasts of a spacious simulator room with cutting-edge technology that can transport you to any of their 15 world-famous championship courses available for play. There's also an indoor driving range setting for golfers who want to warm up first or simply get a few swings in if they're pressed for time. They have two PGA professionals on-staff who offer private lessons and host weekend golf clinics with video-based practice sessions. Hart Ranch Golf Course also provides event spaces that can be rented out for private occasions, a first-rate outdoor practice facility, and a full-service restaurant.
In summary, golfers of South Dakota should definitely pencil this down as one of their must-visit indoor facilities as Heart Ranch Golf Course offers so much more than a simple game of golf. While relatively new, it has already earned a place among the best indoor/virtual golf facilities in the state.
Mon-Sun 10:00-7:00 pm
Location: 2621 S Spring Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 5710
A unique entry on this list, Great Life Suburban Lanes is actually a popular bowling alley located in the heart of the bustling Sioux Falls City in eastern South Dakota. More than that, however, it also has an adjacent indoor golf studio which features some of the latest and most advanced virtual golf simulators in the industry.
Great for golfers of all ages and backgrounds, the facilities at Great Life Suburban Lanes offer players with an authentic indoor golf experience within the cozy and comfortable indoors all throughout the year. They have a total of four high-definition golf simulators, all equipped with high-tech launch monitors that instantly assess and break down a golfer's swing according to their shot distance, clubhead speed, ball speed, and much more. Here at Great Life Suburban Lanes, players can choose from among some of the greatest championship courses in the world to play and practice on.
The largest of their golf simulators is the Horizon, a virtual reality center that boasts of a projector with impressive resolution and a 17-foot curved screen to truly immerse golfers in the game with its photo-realistic 3D graphics and high-definition surround sound. Also impressive is The Signature, another simulator model, which is designed especially for competitive golfers who want to fine tune their game. It offers highly accurate analytics to aid in the journey to greater self-improvement in terms of your golfing skills.
Once you're done grinding at the hitting bays for a great game of indoor golf, munch on some of the tasty snacks and ice-cold drinks available at Great Life's very own retro-themed snack shop, The Barrel. Located by the bowling lanes, The Barrel serves a wide variety of delicious snacks, appetizers, sandwiches, pizza, and sweets. Speaking of bowling lanes, guests can also head over to the bowling complex and play on any of their 10 available lanes for a fun-filled, exciting game. There are even bumpers for kids to enjoy, as well as individual and group bowling lessons for nervous first-timers.
Other amenities offered by Great Life Suburban Lanes include a pro shop that sells high-quality bowling balls, bags, and shoes; a wide variety of regular golf and bowling leagues that guests can sign up for; memberships that allows access to the bowling alley, indoor golf studio, fitness center, and swimming pool; event spaces that can be rented for private occasions; and a number of party packages that provide hours of bowling (with shoe rentals), golf simulator use (with club rentals), food and beverage with dessert, and even catering by request. Truly, Great Life Suburban Lanes delivers on its promise in being the best "year-round family entertainment destination" in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Mon-Sat 12:00-10:00 pm
Location: 23694 Stratosphere Ln., Rapid City, SD 57702
Ending our list of South Dakota's leading indoor and virtual golf options is the 18-hole miniature golf course of Rapid City known as Putz N Glow Mini Golf. As the name implies, Putz N Glow is an indoor black light course, which sets itself apart from the competition with its Rock ‘N Roll theme transporting players all the way back to the 50’s to the 90’s.
Entertaining for the whole family and welcoming to players of all ages, Putz N Glow was specifically designed with both kids and adults in mind. It features an assortment of excellent, well-crafted holes that will delight golfers with its fair challenge and fun neon obstacles as they make their way along the track to classic hits and old-school rock staples. Fantastic artwork comes in spades here at Putz N Glow Mini Golf; all throughout its 8,000-square foot area, you'll find bright fluorescent murals of timeless icons of rock and roll like KISS, Pink Floyd, and so much more. As an added treat, there are interactive spinners on several holes that elevate the game in terms of both difficulty and excitement.
More than just another miniature golf course, Putz N Glow provides a number of other enjoyable games like Finder's Keepers Gemstone Panning which is a scavenger hunt for hidden gemstones inside a make-believe mine, and Miner's Maze - an outdoor human maze adventure where you go up against the clock to find the gold and win. Other amenities include an on-site snack bar that serves refreshing cold beverages and plenty of light and tasty treats like soft pretzels, nachos, hot dogs, and candy bars; and a quaint little gift shop that sells gift certificates and a wide array of nostalgic paraphernalia like KISS pillows, tie-dye shirts, neon fedoras, and even lava lamps that look like they came straight from the 70’s.
If this sounds like something you or your kids would enjoy, don't hesitate to contact them now and inquire about the different birthday party packages they offer. Putz N Glow has great event spaces available for rent and a friendly staff who will be more than happy to assist and accommodate you in planning for your special day. All in all, Putz N Glow Mini Golf checks all the boxes when it comes to great, family-friendly fun. So don't pass up the chance to come and visit if you ever find yourself in Rapid City.
Mon-Sun 10:00-10:00 pm
While South Dakota might not be the first state that comes to mind when thinking of premier golf destinations in the country, this hidden gem might just rise above the ranks soon and surprise you. It would certainly be deserving of the honor, with its widely varied landscape of canyons, hills, plateaus, and lakes inspiring the creation of more than 100 golf courses spread all throughout the state.
Perhaps one of the reasons, however, that the Mount Rushmore State has never reached the golf destination heights that it deserves is its fickle continental climate that sometimes brings unfavorable weather conditions upon golfers, be it the scorching summer heat or the freezing cold of winter. Thankfully, South Dakota provides the perfect alternative to appease its residents and visiting golfers in the form of indoor and virtual golf facilities.
Now, players can enjoy a game of their favorite sport no matter what the weather, with state-the-art technology bringing some of the greatest courses from all over the world right at their fingertips, to be enjoyed in the comfortable indoors along with numerous other amenities and services offered. The entries featured above are quite diverse, as you might have noticed; some of them are purely indoor training centers (such as Golf Addiction), while others are golf clubs with a virtual golf studio (like Fox Run and Hart Ranch), and one is an indoor miniature golf course (Putz N Glow).
While indoor/virtual golf is a relatively new industry in the state, South Dakota is sure to have more in store for its golf-loving inhabitants to tide them through the off-season. With that in mind, make sure to keep an eye out on this promising state as it offers many more great things to come.