Avid golfers in the area run into the same problem every year in North Dakota. Long summer days slowly turn dark and frigid, and impending winter halts most outdoor activities and sports.
By Frank Turner
Luckily, golfers in Bowman looking to improve their golf swing throughout the season have a new option, simulated golf.
In June, the Bowman Lodge installed a new, high-end PGA golf simulator to broaden their community involvement and reach.
Bowman Lodge General Manager Gene Anne Kulseth said that she hopes the simulator will provide another reason for more people from the local community to step into the lodge. Along with the membership gym and indoor pool, Kulseth hopes the Bowman Lodge can provide more winter activities for the community when North Dakota freezes over.
“In summertime there is tons of stuff, but in the winter you can get really limited in the activities you can do,” said Kulseth. “We want that this new simulator to provide our hotel guests and community members a new amenity.”
So how does it work? Inside the lodge, golfers get to swing a real golf club and hit a ball in an enclosed area and the simulator does the rest.
Both camera and laser equipment in the simulator capture how the golfer swings their club and then recreates the shot on a screen, like a videogame. After, the simulator records a video on how the golfer hit the ball and gives indicators like ball speed, the angle of the shot, and how many yards the ball would have traveled on a real golf course.
The simulation even allows golfers to experience famous golf courses from around the world, like Pebble Beach.
Looking forward, the Bowman Lodge hopes to start their own winter golf league using the simulator.
“It would be just like the league at the country club,” she said. “The simulator would keep track of the league and at the end of the year we would have prizes.”
In addition to golfing, the machine has different games for all ages including soccer, baseball, football, a hunting simulator, and even zombie dodge ball.
The machine is open to both the community and Bowman Lodge visitors. People interested in using the simulator can rent the room for $25 an hour and multiple people can use it at the same time.
“It’s an just another addition to the hotel,” said Kulseth. “My main focus is that it gets used by the community. It’s just another thing to do for the community.”