SPORTS SUNDAY: Junior golfers take advantage of free practice time thanks to DJGA, Suite Shots partnership
"It really gets the love of the game going," said Fargo South golfer Evan Booth about the free Suite Shot range bay use sponsored by Dakota Junior Golf Association
FARGO — Area prep golfers are used to waiting through this spring thawing out period before they can tee off on their seasons, but while courses remain covered in snow, getting practice in the off-season has never been easier.
Bay 105 at Suite Shots in south Fargo is full just about every afternoon with youth and high school golfers taking advantage of the free practice time sponsored by the Dakota Junior Golf Association.
“Being able to come out here and play in a fun environment stress free. It really gets the love of the game going,” said Fargo South senior golfer Evan Booth.
Wintertime practice for area golfers has come a long way.
“Last year I worked at the Fargo Country Club and they had a net in the back, and I was kind of just hitting into that," Booth said.
“Our high school was how many balls can you hit into the stage curtains, and that's all you did," said DJGA director of golf Chris Geiss. "That’s why the level is growing, right?"
For golfers like Evan, who are warming up for their final season of high school golf, before heading to play in college, these hours in bay 105 are invaluable.
“Usually I've never gotten this many swings in the winter, so being able to hit this much is a big difference,” Booth said.
“The nice thing about Suite Shots is that you're able to see the ball flight right now. You're not hitting into a simulator," said Suite Shots PGA pro Jim Bigelow. "Seeing ball flight at this time of year going into the golf season is pretty important."
This setup isn’t just for state placers and varsity golfers.
“We want to help the competitive ones who are part of a team right now to compete. We want to teach the ones that are maybe football and hockey players that don’t have time for golf," Geiss said. "It’s been just great to develop a full look at new people.”
“Kids every day that I’ve never seen before, a little younger. It’s just great to see them," Booth said. "It's expanding the game of golf."
Until the fairways and greens are actually green again, local prep golfers will keep finding ways to work on their game.
“Right now if you’re able to focus on your swing and just get your mechanics down, once you get on the course it will just be so much easier," Booth said.
The opening date for High School golf in North Dakota is April 10. DJGA and Suite Shots are organizing a simulated tournament for later next month.