Golf Zone – Stay In The Zone, All Winter Long
By E. Nolan
As a golfer of any caliber, when you pull into the parking lot at Golf Zone, you are immediately in your element. Stepping from your vehicle you are surrounded by an outdoor, real grass, putting and chipping oasis. But that’s just a teaser to the real treat inside. In winter, it’s too cold out there and the golf ball doesn’t stop on ice anyway. But take a step indoors and that ice melts away. The warm smiles that greet you replace the chill, and paired with the aroma of fresh pizza, and all that laughter decking the halls. This is definitely the place for winter fun.
Golf Zone further introduces itself with an indoor putting course in the main lobby. Its putting surfaces are always immaculate, and typically packed, but the round moves fast and is a favorite to many of our metro families. The variety in the mini-golf allows for some difficult holes to easily blend with some more straightforward testers. It spells “family friendly” to a “y.” (There’s no “t” in either word.) But “guy time” and “family time” occasionally (if not regularly) need to be separated, and Golf Zone also has that down to a science. Sure, there are large banquet and hospitality rooms for parties, dinners and events, with all the amenities; it’s definitely worthy of your consideration. If you know any kids that love mini-golf imagine hosting their birthday party here, as a lot of families already do. (Wait, what kid doesn’t love mini-golf?) But beyond those banquet and birthday halls, is the true allure of this palace… full length, heated stall, and beer stocked, miles and miles of golf!
Owner Jeff Helstrom is proud of the publicity they’ve garnered at Golf Zone. “We’re a golfer’s winter dream, to be sure. Guys come here regularly to golf, drink beer and watch TV. We’ve got plasma TV’s in all the stalls (golf not bathroom), and there’s nothing like it in the Twin Cities.” What about the girls? “You bet. There are plenty of girls in here challenging and even upstaging some of these guys. It’s great for anyone!”
As we walked the domino line of stalls, we verified the true popularity of this Chaska gem. A dozen groups of two, and another dozen groups of three or four, were occupying a large portion of the stalls, and then there were lessons being offered in a couple others. Even with all of that action there was still another dozen stalls open for use. They definitely know how to pack in the fun. True to Jeff’s words, on any weekend visit there are college football and NFL games running nonstop on the screens. Beer is distributed regularly to the stalls, and the people just keep pouring in. A charming young server informed us that they can end up with waits on weekends because Golf Zone is the perfect combination of football (or basketball) and golf. (I could’ve just said “sports.”)
The driving range itself is, as already mentioned, full length. Bubba might be able to hit the back fence, but you probably can’t. (Yes, that’s a challenge.) Additionally, they have targets set up both out on the ground and in the air for you to take shots at, doubling the entertainment and reward value of accuracy. There were two groups we saw having a “dart contest” of sorts where the first person to a certain number of points didn’t have to pay for their next beer. That’s just the tip of the iceberg of the fun you can have on this range.
I asked Jeff if there was anything he particularly wanted the readers to know and he insisted that everyone simply come check it all out. “Bring your family. Bring your golf buddies. Stay an hour. Stay all day. We’ll keep you busy and happy. There are many great indoor facilities in Minnesota. But we don’t think anyone offers the golfer, or his/her family, as much as we do. We think that’s worth a lot.”
Jeff, I’m pretty sure our readers feel the same way you do. We think it’s pretty appropriate that golfers can find their “cloud nine” just off Flying Cloud Drive in Chaska.