From Great Shots to ‘The Sanford Mile,’ Sanford Sports Complex enters new phase of growth

The approximately two dozen poles towering up to 150 above northwest Sioux Falls are symbolic in a way of what’s happening at the Sanford Sports Complex.

Things are reaching new heights – and many are taking notice.

That includes retailers, hoteliers and athletic organizations, which all are in conversations at various levels involving opportunities at the more than 400-acre development east of Interstate 29 near Benson Road and Westport Avenue.

But first, here’s the story behind the poles, which are impossible to miss.

They are part of Great Shots, the three-story golf entertainment business under construction at the Sports Complex. When done, they will hold massive nets enclosing turf.

“With three levels to the facility, golf balls will be going all over,” said Jonathan Buckley, general manager for Great Shots. “They’re (the nets are) to keep all the golf balls in play. You’re not going to score points hitting the road. And just like a driving range, you’ll see them all being picked up.”

Buckley joined Great Shots earlier this year and moved from Arizona, one of several states where he managed Topgolf venues. He’s now employed by Troon, the management company for Great Shots, which is a national manager and developer of golf courses and country clubs.

“I love it,” he said. “For the community of Sioux Falls, it’s exciting. Great Shots to me is like bowling and darts but for golf. You have a social side of things. You don’t have to be a golfer to enjoy it.”

The 54,000-square-foot building will include 60 bays on three levels. The technology is powered by Big Shots, which has other golf entertainment facilities nationwide that will be networked with Great Shots for interactive competitions.

“Anyone can play it,” Buckley said. “You don’t have to physically hit the ball into a target, so everyone can enjoy it no matter where you hit the ball.” View the rest of the story at SiouxFalls.Business.