Customer Profile:

Element Indoor Golf

When business partners Bradley Wohlers and Laurie Barger set out to fund their innovative small business idea – the young entrepreneurs faced immediate rejection. “We went through a lot of meetings with SBA lenders, and to be quite frank, we were laughed out of some meetings,” said Wohlers.

The Mahtomedi, MN native admits, their idea is different – but it had the potential to disrupt the entertainment market in the East Metro area of the Twin Cities.

The idea developed over time as Wohlers, an accomplished amateur golfer, realized the options for indoor golf practice was limited. Following his graduation from the University of Wisconsin-Stout and a few years in the workforce, the then 26-year-old set out to open a state-of-the-art indoor golf facility. He joined forces with his partner Laurie Barger, a Monticello, MN native with a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and another Master’s Degree in Leadership. The pair created a thorough business plan, developed accurate financial projections and sought funding – eventually meeting 21st Century Bank’s Blair Oklobzija.

“They were passionate and knew what they were doing,” said Oklobzija, our Senior Vice President of Commercial Lending. After diving into the pair’s business plan and financials, 21st Century Bank determined an SBA 7(a) loan was the perfect fit. “This provided a lot of flexibility for them. Most of the loan went to buy equipment, but we provided them with working capital and nice terms to get them up and running,” said Oklobzija

These loans are backed by banks and the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) and provide flexible financing options for individuals with limited credit history or businesses that do not qualify for a conventional loan. The SBA 7(a) Loans are popular for startups, giving business owners access to working capital for furniture, fixtures, leasehold improvements and more.

Since January 2019, Wohlers and Barger have run the business side-by-side, often working 12- to 15-hour shifts alongside 8 employees. They pride themselves in providing the best tools, technology and resources to get golfers “In [their] element, against all elements.” The small business features top-of-the-line GOLFZON Simulator Technology, with options for all ages and experience levels. Between the technology investment and its fun, group-friendly atmosphere – the business is already seeing success.

Customer Profile: Element Golf


4255 White Bear Parkway
Suite 2100
Vadnais Heights, MN 55110

We invite you to learn more about our business development services to fit your small business banking needs.

Contact our Business Development Team
21st CB footer logo

Send Us An Inquiry

21st century bank logo



For a business account, please complete the following:

For account and/or loan applications, please contact Customer Service or visit a branch location.

Disclaimer: Do not share confidential, privileged, or sensitive information via unencrypted email. As with any information submitted over the internet, there is a risk that the information could be intercepted, viewed, or retrieved by a third party. For your protection, please do not include personal information, such as Social Security numbers or account numbers, in email messages.

21st Century Logo

You are about to leave 21st Century Bank to visit an external website. 

If you trust the source, you can proceed to this website, or click “Go Back” to return to where you were before. 

Would you like to continue?