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Indoor Golf Course in Ankeny Gives You a ‘Virtual’ Driving Range

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ANKENY, Iowa - It may not be the real putting green, but a new indoor golfing range in Ankeny is getting people as close to the driving range as possible - without actually being there.

Backspin Indoor Golf, located at 106 S.W. State Street in Ankeny, opened just three weeks ago. But its management says word has traveled fast, and during regular business hours, the indoor golfing range has three to five of its golf simulators booked at all times.

"It's legit. It definitely is," said Matt Thomas, a manager at Backspin. "This is similar software to what Jordan Spieth has in his own home, so I tell people, if it's good enough for him, it's good enough for the average Joe."

Thomas is a golf pro who says working at Backspin is the perfect winter job. Take it from him - this is the real thing. Thomas says if you're thinking this is like Wii Golf, you'd be wrong. The projection screen, the computer, and the software make the virtual experience just like golfing on a real course. And with 95 courses, plus a driving range, to choose from, there's enough variety to keep even the most avid golfers from getting bored this winter season.

Five golf simulators line the small, indoor facility. A bar is located directly opposite the simulators, as well. Golfers use their own clubs and balls, and the impact of the ball onto the screen sends signals to the software that calculate how far and fast that ball is traveling in the virtual course.

"We've been pretty busy since we opened," Thomas said.

The virtual course is open Monday through Friday, with hours Monday through Thursday noon to 11 p.m., and Friday noon to midnight. Saturday hours are 10 a.m. to midnight, and Sunday hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.