Top Golf


As usual I’m late to the game as I attempt to write about Top Golf several years after it has hit the mainstream.  I just happened to be in Ohio, doing my Ohio thing, and from my hotel parking lot I saw poles and nets that shot up high into the night sky, almost disappearing into the clouds from my perspective.  Immediately I thought driving range but, as my mind calibrated the ridiculous height, I thought…Top Golf! For what else could it be!?

I checked in to my room, did a little bag toss onto the bed, and a quick Google search. Yup, Top Golf.  I GPS’d it and it is a 3-minute drive.  3 minutes later I stood below the great and mighty poles.  Telescoping poles one hundred feet high.  I’m in awe as I stone-gaze 3 levels of hitting bays, 34 stalls to each level, and flood lights too many to count.  It was busy!  I had to park perpendicular to the 175 yard marker making it quite a walk from the truck.  I figured it takes less time to walk my kids to school than it did for me to get to the counter but, I was buzzin’, floatin’, ready to lay eyes on it.  I was a Top Golf virgin about to understand firsthand what everyone before already knew.

There were four employees at the counter. Who should I make eye contact with, I wondered?  Someone speaks. “Hello”, they say.  “Hi”, I reply.  I stumbled through the chit chat until I understood everything.  It’s half price Tuesday. That’s nice!  There is a 2 hour wait for the top level, a 40-minute wait for the second level, but they can get me on the first level right away.  The top deck certainly hosts’ the best views, making it easier to see all the targets, but I’m not fussy, down I’ll go.

Scott, the range attendant is there to greet me.  Cool!  He kindly shows me what is what with the machine and the screen, points out a couple of games I should try, shows me where the clubs are, then introduces me to my waitress.  This is all too cool.  I quiz Scott on a few things. He tells me that the clubs are made by Callaway and that they are a big investor in Top Golf. He tells me the facility is 4 years old and then hits me with a mega fact bomb that Top Golf employs almost 300 people at that one location!  I couldn’t believe it but then I looked around and I notice it – food and beverage craziness.  To my dismay I realized that golf was not everyone’s primary objective here.  Aghast, I nervously tried to limber up a little while looking around.  There were many people not even hitting balls, or they were at least taking their sweet time while they finish a fry or bury a beverage.  Okay, okay, I get it.  So, I order a beverage to try and blend in.  Nobody knows I’m a golf junkie with a habit to feed! Stay cool, McCartney.

The golf was interesting and new.  There were microchips in the balls and big, brightly coloured, lit up targets out on the range.  Hit the target and earn the points. Extra points the closer to the middle of the target you are, and even more points when you get the targets farther out on the range.  Okay, cool, I understand.

I had fun blasting balls and racking up points for an hour.  I had nobody to play against so that was kind of lame as it didn’t register as just practice either.  I understand it is more of a place to go for date night or the hot spot for a business lunch when your team is trying to get the creative juices flowing.  It has a high energy atmosphere and allows the all too important release of energy that many other entertainment platforms can’t match. 

I’m glad I took advantage of the opportunity and gave it a whirl.  If there was one down the street from me, I’m not too sure how often I’d go but I’m cheap and have young kids and a wife, so my pleasure comes from 8 hours of sleep. But, if I were younger, wealthier, or in a business that thrived off a good old-fashioned meeting of the minds, then this might be more suited to me.  I would however like to say thank you to Top Golf for breaking the mold, taking a chance, and bringing golf to more beginners than anyone likely ever has, all while making the game super fun and giving it that cool image that it so rightly deserves.

Thank you, Top Golf, for a fun experience and for growing the game I love. 

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