Oh yes, I’ve heard my share of whining traditionalists who say Topgolf is overrated and won’t help grow the game of golf. Hey Doug Downers, I don’t care what you say, I love the place and I think it’s a fantastic way to showcase the great game of golf. Will Topgolf translate to more millennials playing golf in the future?
Only time will tell, however, everytime I visit Topgolf I see people of all ages (and lots of millennials) smiling and having fun with a game that many people think is just too difficult to enjoy. Here are 10 reasons you must visit Topgolf: 1. Everybody Is Welcome–Arguably, the biggest reason why people don’t play golf is the intimidation factor. For those who’ve played the game for decades, it’s difficult to to comprehend the anxiety non-golfers feel when they arrive at a golf course for the first time. Quite frankly, at Topgolf these neophytes don’t have to worry about “serious” golfers smirking or making fun of them (whether those behaviors are real or imagined). 2. Even Non-Golfers and The Clueless Have Fun–People who don’t know a golf ball from a croquet ball can have fun at Topgolf without all the angst and pressure. So what, if it takes a few Margaritas, Moscow Mules or Blue Moons and some chicken and waffle sliders to get people swinging a golf club. In many cases, these are the same people who would never even go near a golf course. Geez, about 40% of Topgolf customers have never played golf. You can drum up all the “Let’s Play Golf” programs by all sorts of well-intentioned golf organizations, and they still won’t get non-golfers excited about the game like Topgolf. 3. Easy way to Play Games–Each 6-person hitting bay has an easy-to-use touchscreen that allows you to play seven different point-scoring golf games. Everything from driving to chipping. One of the best games for groups that have both beginning and experienced golfers is the “Top Scramble”, where players split into teams and the best score on each ball is used as the score for the team. “TopDrive” is popular with the grip it and rip crowd who want to see who’s longest off the tee. 4. Terrific Technology–Players hit golf balls containing computer microchips that track each shot’s accuracy and distance while also awarding points for hitting large, medium and small targets set on a giant outfield. It’s like playing some come-to-life video game, but much more fun and interactive with other players. In Orlando, which opened October 20, 2017, they have Topgolf Toptracer technology, which allows you to trace the track of your shots just like you see on television network golf coverage. 5. Light Shows and Colorful Targets Create a Positive Vibe–The targets are bright and colorfully lit and you get that same sense of fun and frivolity you experience at a state fair or theme park. I don’t care if you’re a two-year old tagging along with the folks or an 82-year old who just wanted to finally see what this golf thing was all about, the colors at Topgolf will excite you. At night, they have fun and dynamic light shows that are inspiring. 6. Fab Food–While golf is certainly a big draw, I think one of the secrets to Topgolf’s overall appeal is its well-prepared, innovative food. The magnet is a chef-driven, full-service restaurant and all sorts of interesting and delicious apps and entrees. While the Guru is shanking balls off the tee, some of my favorite things to nosh on are the Bacon Mac “N” Cheese Spring Rolls, Pepperoni Flatbread and the Sunrise Burger (with a fresh egg on top). Make no mistake, food is not an afterthought at Topgolf, but an integral part of the overall experience. 7. Epic Bar and Drinks–The Guru is known to hoist a few, especially after playing a great round of golf. I’ve also visited my share of pubs, bars and lounges around the world and I’m a big “Happy Hour” guy. That said, hopefully I’ve established some sort of credibility when it comes to great bars and libations. I love Topgolf’s upscale, rectangular shaped, full-service bar. It has sort of an upscale “Cheers” feel to it as well as good craft beer list, a wine list (you can order by the glass, bottle or even can) and some creative cocktails. While my go-to drink is a Ginger Ale and Jameson, a couple of my fave Topgolf Original Cocktails are the Topgolf Tea (Tito’s Vodka, Superior Rum, Bombay Sapphire Gin and fresh lemon) and the Tipsy Palmer (Deep Eddy Sweet Tea Vodka, Absolut Citron, freshly brewed iced tea and fresh lemon). 8. Employee Enthusiasm–With all the luxury appointments and smiling and laughing people enjoying golf, it’s no wonder the employees always seem to be in a good mood. Gotta feeling they’ve got a pretty good training program, too. 9. Topgolf U Lessons–They’ll even teach you– in an non-intimidating way– how to play golf if you get the bug and want to give the game a go and eventually tee it up at an authentic green grass course. There are excellent classes for beginners, junior and ladies. For intermediate and advanced golfers, there’s a 60-minute skills class focusing on proper swing technique and mechanics. 10. The Topgolf Crush Series–This is where they bring the Topgolf concept to major stadiums and arenas around the nation. There are giant targets on the field or court and players hit from elevated tee bays. It’s a high-energy, festival-style experience with excellent music, food and drink. Among the previous Crush locations are Austin, Kansas City, Nashville, Orlando and Seattle.