Aaron Ressler stands in front of a golf simulator he’s opening in Bunkies Grille and Lanes in Blooming Prairie. -  Eric Johnson/photdoesk@austindailyherald.com
Aaron Ressler stands in front of a golf simulator he’s opening in Bunkies Grille and Lanes in Blooming Prairie. - Eric Johnson/photdoesk@austindailyherald.com

A new way to play; Blooming Prairie business opens golf simulator

Published 11:25am Friday, August 8, 2014

BLOOMING PRAIRIE — Seventy-six different golf courses are available inside in a building on Main Street in Blooming Prairie. Though they are only projections on a screen, they offer golf junkies a place to practice and work on their skill year-round.

“It’s like a normal round of golf,” said owner Aaron Ressler.

Ressler, owner of Aaron Ressler Golf Academy and Bunkies Grille and Lanes, is behind the new indoor activity that opened a few weeks ago.

Aaron Ressler takes a shot on the golf simulator at Bunkies Grille and Lanes. The simulator will give golfers the opportunity to not only practice but play courses from around the world.
Aaron Ressler takes a shot on the golf simulator at Bunkies Grille and Lanes. The simulator will give golfers the opportunity to not only practice but play courses from around the world.

He bought the building in late May from his brother, Mike. Bunkies has been in Ressler’s family for about 70 years, though it’s focus was on bowling and the restaurant.

Ressler decided to locate his golf academy inside of Bunkies, but said it was difficult to find the right place to rent. However, he is satisfied with how it turned out.

“It was the right timing,” he said.

Though Ressler grew up with a love for bowling, he was always more interested in golf.

“My life and passion has always been on the golf side of things,” Ressler said.

A readout appears after each shot on the golf simulator Aaron Ressler has set up in Bunkies Grille and Lanes.
A readout appears after each shot on the golf simulator Aaron Ressler has set up in Bunkies Grille and Lanes.

Though Ressler will run the simulator and academy by himself, he brings 18 years of experience with him.

After high school, Ressler worked at golf courses across the country, and even became a PGA professional golf instructor. Before returning to his hometown in Blooming Prairie, Ressler also taught at the Minnesota Golf Academy in Eden Prairie.

The Trackman golf simulator will analyze the shots being made as players hit them into the simulator. The simulator is used frequently on PGA golf tours.

“Many professionals use it, so it’s like free advertising for me,” Ressler said.

With the simulator, golfers can practice no matter what the weather is like outside. Ressler expects business to be slower while the warm weather is still around, but he thinks winter will be busier.

“We have four months of good weather [in Minnesota], so winter should be pretty busy.” Ressler said.

Ressler thinks golf veterans and beginners alike would enjoy the simulator.

“I don’t think there’s anyone who wouldn’t enjoy it,” he said.

By bringing the simulator to Blooming Prairie, Ressler hopes to introduce more people to the game he loves.

“I would like to get more people into golf,” he said. “I’d do as many [private lessons] as I could.”

One of Ressler’s goals is to introduce children to golf early on.

“I’m just trying to get clubs into their hands at an earlier age,” Ressler said. “If you don’t get into it young, you don’t get it.”

Ressler hopes to give 10 to 12 of the top junior players in the area lessons.

Groups can rent out the simulator for $30 per hour, though it would take multiple hours to play a full round according to Ressler.

The grand opening weekend is today through Sunday.

“It’ll be a work in progress, but all start-ups are,” Ressler said.


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