Kolpack: hitting outdoor golf balls at 30 degrees? It was ‘Suite’ – InForum

Fargo

For someone who has played top golf courses in Scottsdale, Tucson and Dallas, today was the test. The temperature barely reached 30 degrees, snow was still visible on the green artificial turf and the nasty winter of 2022 lasted until mid-April.

It was the perfect way to test the climatic conditions in the outer bays of Suite Shots, the new golf entertainment complex that opened in South Fargo two weeks ago. Since the ground-breaking ceremony for the project in October 2020, it has been the No. 1 question that potential sponsors have asked themselves.

Will it be warm enough in winter?

I wore a long-sleeved t-shirt with a light fleece vest. After a few shots, the vest was a bit warm. Take a seat on the couch in front of the batting area and it feels like a heated seat in a car.

Suite Shots can be seen on Thursday, April 14, 2022 at 3400 James Way S., Fargo.

Michael Vosburg / The Forum

Give the brains behind the operation an A plus.

“We were here when it was 5 below zero and no wind and we said, ‘Yes, it can be done,'” said Mark Johnson, CEO and director of golf.

An easterly wind blowing at this temperature could be a challenge, meaning more than one fleece vest could be required. On the other hand, golfers in the Red River Valley have played in poor conditions and don’t seem to care.

It’s golf, man.

“Fantastic world class facility,” said Kyle Mack, a former long drive champion preparing to hit a bay. “If you see a ball flying out here, that’s a much more accurate representation.”

The back net measures 340 yards from the third and top deck. So far, no one has flown over it, and the software let Suite Shots staff know if they had.

Get another entertainment option that takes Fargo-Moorhead another step up as a vibrant metro area. This place is not small; Over 180 employees have been hired, with a few more to come.

Last Saturday before it opened at 10am there was a line from the front door to the parking lot. At 10 a.m

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Mark Johnson, CEO and Director of Golf, will introduce a staff favorite golf game, “Go Fish,” on Thursday, April 14, 2022 at Suite Shots, 3400 James Way S., Fargo.

Michael Vosburg / The Forum

“We didn’t expect that,” Johnson said.

The technology of ball flight differs from Topgolf, which has a chip embedded in its golf balls. Suite Shots, which has partnered with Topgolf for part of the facility, uses six cameras searching for movement in all bays on all three levels, tracking a ball for the first 65 yards.

“Then the math does it,” Johnson said.

A degree in computer science would be helpful to understand everything. In my limited recordings, it seemed pretty accurate.

The snow during the night actually gave the employees practice in clearing snow. In this case, with so little rainfall, they pressed it against the back net. For heavier snowfalls, it must be removed by raising the south net just high enough to allow the equipment to offload snow off the lawn.

“They’ve done it in Denver, Salt Lake and the Twin Cities,” Johnson said.

The place is about more than hitting golf balls. The ground floor caters to the more serious player with five indoor simulators and an indoor putting green that uses a technology called “PuttView” that tracks putting performance.

The highlight is the Learning Academy, the workplace of Lucas Johnson, a former Fargo Shanley and North Dakota State player and Mark’s son who is a PGA Associate Professional. It includes skills development, the latest video technology, club repairs, and men’s and women’s locker rooms for those who desire membership.

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Lucas Johnson explains some of the Learning Academy’s services on Thursday, April 14, 2022 at Suite Shots.

Michael Vosburg / The Forum

Want to use the winter months in Fargo to get better? Here’s your ticket. This spring, with local golf courses not yet open, high school golf teams have been regular visitors, and the Driving Challenge and Approach Challenge screen games, which measure length and accuracy, are as fair as it gets.

We haven’t even mentioned banquet and/or meeting rooms, multiple bars, and an outdoor terrace.

I hadn’t swung a racquet in months. On Thursday I got an approach to within 10 feet at Pebble Beach.

It felt damn good.

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Cayden Thompson works in the planning department at Suite Shots, 3400 James Way S., Fargo on Thursday, April 14, 2022.

Michael Vosburg / The Forum

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Jeff Kolpack arriving from a second floor suite at Suite Shots, 3400 James Way S., Fargo on Thursday April 14, 2022.

Michael Vosburg / The Forum

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Jeff Kolpack notes an 84-yard shot that landed less than 11 feet from the flag at Suite Shots, 3400 James Way S., Fargo on Thursday, April 14, 2022.

Michael Vosburg / The Forum

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Suite Shots has flexible meeting space including this room seen on Thursday, April 14, 2022 at 3400 James Way S., Fargo.

Michael Vosburg / The Forum

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