Thursday, November 16, 2017

Drive Shack Opening Soon in Orlando

You might want to cue "New Kid in Town", the classic Eagles tune as Drive Shack, a golf entertainment complex, recently announced it will open in Orlando in early 2018.

Similar to Topgolf, which debuted a 65,000 square foot facility in Orlando in October, Drive Shack features a high-tech, gaming-style driving range with hitting bays, restaurant, lounge, bar and meeting space.

Who knew hitting computer chip golf balls to shiny, lighted targets while noshing on fancy  appetizers and exotic drinks and craft beers would be such a big hit?

Millennials and casual golfers love Topgolf, which has 36 locations, so it'll be interesting to see if Drive Shack has the same strong appeal.

Currently under construction in the Lake Nona area (7675 Lake Nona Boulevard) near Orlando International airport, the 66,000 square-foot Drive Shack will encompass 90 hitting bays on three floors, a 220-yard range, pro shop, restaurants, bars and event space for up to 150 people.

Drive Shack officials haven't offered many specific details on the Orlando facility. 

A division of American Golf, which has 77 traditional golf facilities under its ownership and lease/management umbrella, Drive Shack is a new concept for the company. Orlando will be its first facility. Future locations include Palm Beach, Florida, Glendale near Phoenix, Raleigh, North Carolina and Richmond, Virginia.

Reportedly, the Phoenix Drive Shack will be situated near the University of Phoenix Stadium across the street from a soon-to-open Topgolf. I suspect Drive Shack is banking on the Burger King theory of locating near a McDonald's whenever possible. It should be very entertaining to watch the battle of the golf entertainment complexes in Phoenix.

While traditionalists might scoff at these glitzy, high-tech driving ranges, you can't deny they  introduce many people to golf who would never, ever, go near a golf course.

The Guru will see you at Drive Shack next year...