SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Sanford Health has the cure for golfers' winter blues.
The nonprofit health care system on Dec. 6 is opening Great Shots, a year-round, $11.4 million, 54,000-square-foot golf and entertainment venue at its Sanford Sports Complex sports and entertainment development in Sioux Falls.
The three-story facility, similar to those of the Top Golf national chain, will feature 60 individual climate-controlled hitting bays, two restaurants and bars, event rooms and a kids activity center with climbing wall, a shrine to South Dakota golf stars and a Instagram-perfect selfie wall, featuring a golf cart and the word "Swing" splashed across a side wall in neon lights.
Each hitting bay can accomodate 10 people and is backed by tables and additional seating. Patrons can use real golf clubs to hit real balls onto a 250-yard-long, 90-yard-wide artificial turf field. The facility uses radar-based technology so golfers can track their shots. They can also use BigShots software to turn their golf experience into an interactive video game.
The bar inside the main entrance includes a full drink and food menu, has a liquor license, and features a wall-sized video board made by Daktronics in Brookings, that can display multiple television feeds.
"It's the largest in the state of South Dakota," said Jonathan Buckley, general manager of Great Shots.
The hitting bays, all outside, are warmed to room temperature in cold weather by three overhead banks of radiant heaters. If snow is in the forecast, an overnight crew will hand-pick balls of the turf to clear the range. The facility has several pieces of equipment to move and blow snow off the turf.
"It's a year-round facility and we're excited about that," Buckley said. "It gives the community something to do."
The venue will also be home to the Sanford Power Golf Academy and the Austad's Tour Fitting Experience. Troon Golf, a management service company based in Scottsdale, Ariz., manages Great Shots.
Individual memberships cost $175 monthly or $1,600 annually, and corporate memberships are available. The bays can be rented for $18-$45 an hour, depending on the day and time, with peak times Friday evening and Saturday and Sunday from noon to close.
Members of GreatLife and Sanford Wellness get a 50% break on the hourly rate while Sanford employees get a 20% discount. For more information about Great Shots, visit its website at greatshots.golf.