Burnsville Indoor Golf – The Win In Winter
By E. Nolan
Every year I tell people about my favorite places to golf: Ireland. Scotland. Oregon. Burnsville. I don’t get any raised eyebrows over the first three. But I do get a few questions about the fourth. “Burnsville… as in Minnesota?” Yes. Just south of the Twin Cities, between Valleyfair and where I35 splits into East and West. “Is Interlachen there – in Burnsville?” No. “What great golf course is in Burnsville?” Fair question.
The answer: Plenty of them.
Banff Springs. “Isn’t that in Canada?” Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill. “The PGA TOUR course in Orlando?” Bethpage Black. “The U.S. Open course on Long Island?” The Ocean Course at Kiawah. “Where Rory won the PGA Championship?” Yes. Plus Pacific Dunes… Pebble Beach… Pinehurst #2… the Old Course at St. Andrews…
By now they get it. “Oh. You’re talking about simulator golf.” Yes. Yes, I am. We don’t get year-round golf in Minnesota – not the real grass golf. We get six months of opportunity to play some of the Midwest’s best golf courses here – in our state. And then we get four, five and sometimes six months of indoor time where we can play the best golf courses in the rest of the world. Don’t scoff. If you haven’t played golf on a modern golf simulator – if you’ve written it off as a cheapened golf experience – you’re truly missing out. This isn’t the “simulator golf experience” of a decade ago. This is the simulator golf experience of today and tomorrow. You can say “it’s not real” all you want. My response to that is, for someone who doesn’t want to (or can’t afford to) spend thousands of dollars to travel the globe to warm-weather destinations every winter, places like Burnsville Indoor Golf are a “seasonal salvation” for the sport – with the best external elements of golf (camaraderie, fun, beauty and good food) and a game that (by any reasonable person’s standards) is plenty “good enough.”
What I love most about what I call Minnesota’s B.I.G. Deal (Burnsville Indoor Golf) is that their ownership has always put their studio at the forefront of the indoor golf scene. This side of the Mall of America, their dome (which also houses the popular Soccer World) is without question one of the elite indoor activity hubs in the entire Twin Cities. Literally every single winter it is one of my three favorite places to play in the Twin Cities, and I only say “Top 3” so you know I’m being honest. To clarify, I wouldn’t put any place in the area AHEAD of it, but the B.I.G. is so popular that sometimes (if you don’t plan/call ahead) you have to go elsewhere to play. (Don’t be THAT person.) Their NEW, state-of-the-art simulators are great, that’s true, but there’s more to this place than just their High-Def (superb resolution) golf screens. Burnsville Indoor Golf gives you plenty of space to play and hang out with your friends. Each of their five studios has a high-top table, barstools, big screen TV and plenty of room for your foursome to comfortably share.
Beyond the golf, the 19th Hole Sports Grill caters to each golf studio, and serves up burgers, sandwiches, pizza, appetizers and drinks. The abundance of space makes Burnsville Indoor Golf a great host venue for parties (from Birthdays to Bachelors) and all sorts of corporate events. They are flexible and very accommodating. Just tell them what you’re looking for and they’ll make it happen for you. (Including 20% discounts for large groups.)
You can book a simulator from 30 minutes to 4 hours. Four hours is plenty of time for a foursome to complete a round, considering wind, rain, travel distance to your next shot and physical on-course obstacles are no issue. You can bring your own clubs or they have rentals and their newly updated rates are fantastic. Early Birds can jump all over the Saturday-Sunday 8AM to 10AM special of only $20/hour. Otherwise, the regular hourly rate for Monday-Thursday is $30 and Friday-Sunday it is $36/hour. Plus, non “Snow Bird” Seniors can enjoy a daily special of $27/hour from 9-5 Monday through Thursday.
Read between the lines: Burnsville Indoor Golf is open 7 days a week – a spacious and warm venue with good food and plenty of opportunities for great fun. To play 30 of THE BEST GOLF COURSES IN THE WORLD you don’t have to spend money on travel or lodging, don’t have show up 3 hours early at the airport, or sit pinched in a middle airplane seat and you don’t have to worry about weather or daylight limiting your play time.
The B.I.G. is one of the best places in the world to golf, if you frame the experience the right way. And in a Minnesota winter… why wouldn’t you take advantage of that.