The windswept, coastal hillocks of the Old Course at St. Andrews and the seaside cliffs of Pebble Beach both come to life in the aboutGolf Simulators of The Golf Den. Showcasing massive, high-definition screens, the four simulators let golfers—armed with their own clubs or sawed-off curtain rods—play rounds at digital replicas of 40 of the world’s top courses. Players can also work on their swings in the practice modules, which feature systems of high-speed cameras that project the flight of each shot.
Before warping into digital Scotland for a round of 18, golfers can perfect their form with a lesson from one of The Golf Den’s CPGA-certified instructors. During lessons, the staff use V1 Video swing-analysis software to provide visual feedback for each shot, and FlightScope technology to track the ball’s trajectory. Guests in need of replacements for aging clubs or sand wedges that have taken jobs as firewood axes can browse The Golf Den’s inventory of Callaway clubs.
With the Edmonton skyline stretched across the horizon, players scurry past tall pine trees and stone retaining walls as they conquer the nine-hole course at Sherwood Golf & Country Club. The 3,136-yard layout combines challenge and charm with a creek that intertwines throughout the course and a waterfall that sends water crashing earthward, creating a prime opportunity for a between-holes shower. Players that manage to keep their shots dry may not be out of trouble, as glimmering white silica-sand bunkers stand as stoic beaches around slick bentgrass greens. The par 36 design ends with back-to-back par 5s, the last measuring just 473 yards, giving golfers a chance to end their round with a birdie or golf-cart barrel roll before heading in to have a beer at the clubhouse.
The kinetic clashing of metal clubs and tiny orbs serenades guests as they enter The Quantum Golf & Vibrafit Studio’s indoor facility, where golfers recess for year-round, muscle-building fun. The Vibrafit studio jumpstarts sleepy systems with full-body vibration that activates muscles in an alternating pattern, which tones abs without tearing joints or fusing all muscles together into a single flexed bicep. Guests strap themselves into the oscillating machine, adjusting amplitude and motion before beginning to develop stronger, more flexible muscles. During private lessons, instructors scrutinize swings to develop customized advice and lesson plans. Expert staffers further hone nascent skills with numerous high-tech devices, including a virtual golf simulator and the Tomi putting-analysis system, which harnesses laser technology to measure eight different putting parameters and the varying cuteness of dimples on every golf ball.
Monster Mini Golf welcomes guests of all ages with 18 holes of spooky, glow-in-the-dark fun. Fog machines, colorful lasers, and special effects lighting surround the custom-designed indoor course. Meanwhile, an energetic soundtrack of 70s, 80s, and 90s party music keeps spirits high as the visitors conquer each hole’s monster-themed obstacles and hazards. In between songs, the course DJ pumps up the crowds with interactive games and trivia questions, rewarding lucky winners with take-home prizes. Groups of family and friends can return to one of the private party rooms once they finish the course or they can visit Monster Mini Golf’s arcade and play on the glowing air hockey tables, skee ball machines, and other games.
Blair Oko draws on more than two decades of experience as a CPGA Class A professional as he presides over his eponymous academy—a 10,000-square-foot indoor facility in which experts help students up their game with the aid of technology. The instructors rely on video swing analysis, which helps them mentor pupils hoping to develop a swing powerful enough to launch a fallen meteor back into orbit. The facility also hosts four Full Swing virtual-golf simulators, which plunk players into more than 60 championship courses. After getting their fill of computer-generated feedback, golfers can practice their endgame on the indoor putting green or hone their swings on the indoor driving range.
Although mainly dedicated to golf, Blair Oko Golf Academy also invites hockey aficionados to polish their skills on a blade skating treadmill. After quality time with their 9 iron or skates, athletes can unwind in the facility’s lounge, watching sports on flat-screen TVs while sipping a beverage and snacking.