Mar 19, 2024 - News

The indoor golf bar bonanza swings into action in Denver

The interior of Hangar Club, a golf simulator bar in Denver's Lowry neighborhood. Photo: Courtesy of Hangar Club

Fore-get traditional golf courses.

State of play: Golf simulator bars are popping up across Denver and beyond, acting as a hole-in-one for avid and amateur golfers, and the entire family.

Why it matters: As the trend tees up in popularity, it could act as a sustainable alternative to water-guzzling golf courses and a solution when the weather turns cold or rainy.

Zoom in: Denver has seen a surge in indoor golf bars over the last few years, like the Local Drive, the Back 9 and X Golf DTC.

  • The newest addition to the scene is Hangar Club, a 22,000-square-foot venue in Denver's Lowry neighborhood, in the former Lowry Air Force Base.
  • The indoor entertainment space features 10 enormous simulators with private hitting bays and seating areas.
  • It also has a central bar slinging specialty cocktails and draft beers, plus a kitchen serving up sandwiches, salads, flatbreads and other shareables.

By the numbers: At Hangar Club, an hour on a sim — roughly the time it takes one person to play 18 virtual holes — can range from $45-$75 per hour, depending on the day and time, which is mostly in line with its competitors.

  • There are more than 200 courses and 48 tour venues to choose from, plus numerous family-friendly games.
  • Walk-ins are welcomed but reservations are encouraged. Golf clubs, balls and tees are provided.

🏌️‍♀️ My thought bubble: I visited Hangar Club over the weekend and had never been to a place quite like it. Even though I'm no golfer (and whiffed the ball more times than I'd like to admit), I had a lot of fun.

Reality check: If you order a few drinks and a couple of appetizers like my husband and I did, be prepared for a bit of sticker shock when you close your tab.

  • We ordered four beers, olives and guacamole and ended up paying $256, including tip, for the whole two-hour experience.

The big picture: Golf bars are having a moment nationwide.

  • More than 6 million people hit golf balls in a simulator within the past year, up 73% compared to pre-pandemic levels, according to a National Golf Foundation report published in November.
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