A Holiday Gift For Golfers At Minnesota Golf Academy
By R.J. Smiley
FREE GOLF FOR THE ENTIRE MONTH OF DECEMBER! That’s right! Minnesota Golf Academy is giving golfers unlimited use of their indoor golf facility (Mon.-Fri. 7 am – noon) through the end of December, including driving range, putting green and chipping green. Plus a free session on the TRACKMAN!
You probably have the same questions that I had? When I was given the assignment to write the story of the “Holiday Gift To Golfers” from the Minnesota Golf Academy, I asked, “What is the Minnesota Golf Academy? Where is it located?”
Minnesota Golf Academy is the brainchild of Doug Tenpas, former mayor of Eden Prairie. Doug’s dream is to provide YEAR-ROUND GOLF to Minnesota golfers. Step one in this process is a golf practice and training center, that includes a driving range and putting green, with a second green (designed specifically to be receptive) for chipping, pitching and bunker shots. The current location is a warehouse in Eden Prairie, not far from the Vikings practice facility. The golf center contains four Trackman machines that analyze a golfer’s swing with computer-age technology. Feedback from Trackman gives today’s golfers information necessary to make slight swing adjustments to cure swing flaws and create more consistent ball flight.
Doug’s future vision for Minnesota Golf Academy is to add the golf training facility to an existing public golf course where golfers can have access to a 9-hole golf course (in season) along with a quality indoor/outdoor practice and training center that will provide a consistent practice product throughout the year.
With less than two years of operating history, Minnesota Golf Academy has made a big splash among Minnesota’s elite golf community. Not elite as in private club players, but elite as in golfers who are at the very top of their competitive game. The list of golfers includes 15 high school teams and 6 college teams that call this golf complex their winter home. If you walk into the MGA on any afternoon or weekend you will witness a group of high school players that expect to compete for the State High School title next spring.
Golf pros are welcome at MGA! Fifteen PGA teaching pros currently work with golfers to improve their game at the MGA. These teachers love the quality short game area where students can develop their touch with near real grass turf conditions. There is no charge to the pros; the only charge is for the balls their students hit.
On any given day PGA TOUR Pros can be found at the MGA including Clayton Rask and John Harris. Even current Minnesota’s favorite, Tim “Lumpy” Herron, will stop by to hit a few balls while he watches his son, Carson, hone his Herron family legacy skills.
The “golfer friendly atmosphere” at the MGA has made it a regular hangout for high school golfers and pros alike. “It is just a fun place to hit balls and BS with other golfers,” you hear golfers say.
Doug says, “We allow players to hit balls for an hourly charge, but we are really looking for members who (for $69 per month) enjoy unlimited use of our entire facility. New members are the reason we are giving the FREE MEMBERSHIP for December. Midweek mornings are our slow time and we want to give golfers, especially seniors, a chance to test drive our product. We want them to get used to coming, to feel comfortable here. We want to get to know them and see them several times each week. When we get to know our regulars, they will know that there is always a place to come hit a few balls and talk golf.”
With an early winter closing in on Minnesota, players who are planning a winter golf trip or extended stay to a warm section of the country should welcome the opportunity to keep their golf muscles loose and their putting sharp. With the chipping and pitching green and the Trackman golfers can go into 2015 without the regular “spring re-learning the game” hangover.