The cold weather has officially arrived in Calgary, which would normally mean the end of golf season. But, thanks to these five golf lounges that opened over the last year, you can practice your swing all year round — and you can share a few drinks and snacks with friends while you’re at it.
Freestyle Social Club
This relaxed-yet-swanky lounge is located inside Hotel Arts and lives up to the hotel’s reputation as a great spot for a night out with friends. Freestyle Social Club has a laid-back vibe and features indoor golf simulators, a menu of large and small plates, and elevated but approachable cocktails.
The club’s golf simulator rentals start at $65 an hour (for up to four hours), and you can play as though you’re at a driving range or on a full, 18-hole virtual course. There is also the option to book lessons with a PGA coaching professional ($125 per hour). Or, you can pair up with a partner and participate in the club’s golf league — the next one starts January 9, 2023, and runs for 12 weeks ($1,200 per team).
As for the food on offer, sharing is the name of the game. Chorizo cheese fundido with shishito peppers is a classy take on the usual nachos, but there are a variety of other creative options to try as well, including the kimchi sausage-stuffed squid and the foie gras funnel cake. For drinks, golf and beer are always a great combo, and Freestyle serves plenty of local favourites. The Hotel Arts Group is known for great cocktails, too, so be sure to try one of the golf-themed drinks, such as the creamy Wimbledon Classic with vanilla vodka, strawberry and passionfruit, or the Laidback Luxury, a prosecco-based cocktail with tea-infused gin, almond and peach.
119 12 Ave. S.W., 403-206-9565, freestylesocialclub.ca
Go Go Golf
Go Go Golf is a premium golf lounge serving southern Calgary. This spot has six simulators for rent (three are public and three are in private rooms), as well as great food and drinks to enjoy.
Simulators here feature 150 courses from around the world, meaning you can travel anywhere from the comfort of this indoor facility. The private rooms are great for golfing with friends or celebrating special occasions. Prices start at $44 an hour for off-peak hours, or $57 an hour for busier times.
The drink menu at Go Go Golf features a few kinds of beer from Eighty-Eight Brewing Co. on tap, plus domestic bottles, ciders and other alcoholic beverages. The food is classic pub fare, with options that include chicken wings, pretzels, flatbreads and nachos — all great for snacking on between swings.
10135 Southport Rd. S.W., 587-349-4943, gogogolf.ca
K Golf is a casual spot for working on your swing while enjoying some delicious Korean street food. Bookings for the simulator start at $45 (with discounts for women and seniors at certain times during the week).
The snacks you can eat while you golf are what makes this spot special. Korean favourites like bibimbap, Korean-style chicken wings and Korean corn dogs are all on offer here. Pair your food with a bottle of Soju, and you have a great way to spend a night out with your golfer friends.
11850 Sarcee Trail N.W., 403-730-2417, kgolf.ca
Known for its indoor/outdoor setup, Launchpad Golf recently opened a second location in the Calgary area; the newest spot is in Heritage Pointe and features a driving range mixed with virtual golf that tracks the ball using a high-tech camera system. The new location also offers plenty of game modes — you can compete with friends in the long-range drive contest, try your hand at target practice or play on a virtual golf course. Prices start at $60 to book a booth for up to six people. There are also leagues available to join, where teams of four compete over eight weeks.
A night at the golf lounge wouldn’t be complete without some tasty snacks, and Launchpad has plenty. You’ll find a huge menu of bar fare here, with burgers, sandwiches and pizzas on offer, as well as shareable items like wings and nachos. There’s also an extensive drink menu with cold and hot cocktails (the latter a welcome addition for wintertime golf sessions), beer and wine, and a selection of local craft brews.
Stop by the newest location in Heritage Pointe, or check out the original Rocky View location.
34122 E. Harmony Trail, Rocky View; 31 Heritage Pointe Dr., launchpadgolf.com
This spot specializes in two things: sports simulators and Korean fried chicken. Simtopia has golf simulators that allow you to compete with friends on realistic courses from around the world. It also has ski simulators, so you can practice your turns while staying within city limits. Simulator sessions start at $40 (golf sessions are one hour, ski sessions are 30 minutes), or you can buy a four-week membership that gives you up to eight sessions per week — memberships start at $400.
Once you’ve worked up an appetite, Simtopia has two eateries to choose from: Chicken Heaven and Common Grind Coffee Bar. At Chicken Heaven, grab some crispy Korean fried chicken, which comes in a variety of flavours and styles, or try one of the other Korean dishes on the menu, such as a b-bop rice bowl or the spicy tteokbokki. Common Grind serves all kinds of espresso-based drinks, plus non-coffee options like smoothies and juices, as well baked goods and other small snacks. Both restaurants are open to the public, even if you aren’t using one of the simulators.
340 50 Ave. S.E., 403-276-2777, simtopia.ca