Minnesota Golf Academy – Stay On Track (Man) This Winter
By E. Nolan
Just a couple quick turns off of Highway 169, in Eden Prairie, this renovated warehouse is a golfer’s dream. It’s possible you haven’t yet heard about it, if you don’t watch TV, listen to the radio, get out of bed if there’s snow on the ground, read, or attend golf shows… otherwise I’m sure you’re already a regular here, right?
Let’s say that you’re not. Let’s say you don’t know about the heated, completely indoor, 10-stall driving range… about the 11,000 square foot Short Game Practice Area with an enormous chipping green surrounded by 2,500 square feet of turf and even a large sand bunker. Let’s say you’ve never heard of the TrackMan Swing Analysis system that all the PGA pros are using now (that you would have in your own home if you made their kind of money). They have three of those systems here, and they’ll show you how to use them so you may never need to ask a golf professional for a lesson again.
Managing Instructor, Aaron Ressler, had many great things to say about his accessible teaching staff, and the incredible first year they’ve had here in this building. But it’s easy to tell that his love for the game is most solidly reinforced by the TrackMan systems. “Listen. Once you learn how to read what they’re telling you, you can sit and watch your swing on the screen and see exactly what you’re doing. You may need a little advice from time to time on how to adjust minor things, but all of our instructors will help you with those little things for free. The machine will teach you everything else. There isn’t better teaching technology in the industry, and to have three of those machines here for anyone to use… how do you beat that?” Not sure you can.
Here’s how they work. There is a radar box set up behind you as you hit balls. It tracks everything: swing speed, launch angle, direction, fade, slice, etc. It records everything you do and displays the results on the screen next to you. As you hit more shots you can adjust accordingly to get closer and closer to what the system determines is the best resulting swing for you. It’s great for a quick tune-up, lengthy lesson, or just for making sure your game isn’t straying “off course.” At $60/hr for TrackMan’s tutelage, you’re going to walk away with results and visual evidence of all you were doing right. (Bonus: In a language you can understand.)
I was drawn away from my verbal tour, by the incredible technology, but let’s get back to the Academy. On top of the range and short game areas, there is also a large putting green, a snack area with televisions, a weight room/workout area for the increasing fitness aspect of the sport, and a pro shop. They do custom clubfittings here and everything else they can do at any golf shop in town. I’d venture to ask why anyone would go to a national chain store after seeing what Aaron and the guys can do for you here.
Another huge benefit to the Minnesota Golf Academy is that they open their doors to all golf professionals and club pros to teach their lessons here. When winter slams most doors shut, relegating many pros to teaching into a small net in their shop, those “in the know” come here, and bring their pupils to a stadium environment infinity times better for instruction. (I’d equate it to the difference between shopping for clothes at Kwik Trip vs. the Mall of America.)
I asked Aaron to define the Minnesota Golf Academy in 33 words. “We’re here for golf teams, for schools, and just for people who love practicing and improving at the game they love. (12 more words Aaron). Even if you’re not sure it’s for you, stop by and let us show you the TrackMan system. Let us give you a tour.” (You went way past 33.)
Since he’s exceeded his permitted word limit I’ll finish it off for him. Everything you’ve ever wanted in a practice facility is here, indoors. It’s new. It’s heated. It’s awesome. Come check them out.
Right Aaron? (He just nods.) Well said.