TopGolf: A Driving Range On Crack

More than 95% of the people in my life hate golf.

I probably need new friends, but I kind of get it. Most of them just despise watching it, but can be convinced into a round of putt-putt if the offer is particularly enticing (i.e. if I’m paying).

But there’s now a solution to all the haters: TopGolf. I found out about this place prior to really diving into my love of the game, and even then it sounded like fun.

For those who are unfamiliar, TopGolf is the non-golfer’s driving range. They’ve done for golf what Brunswick did for bowling- made it accessible to every skill level.

It’s a multi-level driving range with a full bar and menu where you can “rent” clubs for free. When you first visit, you get a card; this card allows you to get micro-chipped range balls that track your stats and allow you to compete with both your friends and the general public at that location.

Photo: Phoenix TopGolf

The layout is set up to facilitate the different games they have in their system; everything from simply hitting the “bullseye” for points to aiming for specifically colored targets.  You don’t have to be good, you just have to get the ball off the mat. And even hitting poorly still usually results in points, since the targets are placed closely enough to tempt success on a roll.

You’re looking at about $7 per game, but that can last you half an hour. The food is actually pretty good and some of the drink specials might convince you to make a night out of it.

The locations offer lessons and leagues, as well as corporate events and get-togethers. And the locations are open year-round, with heaters and fans to regulate temperature. If you live in the Midwest like me, this is either awesome or REALLY terrible (I’m in the latter camp; I don’t do well in the cold, yet my coworkers decided to go when it was five degrees outside because “what else is there to do in this weather?” ANYTHING ELSE, guys. Anything else that takes place indoors)

Photo: TopGolf

The concept is revolutionary and as such, more and more locations are popping up all over the country. The creators were even interviewed for Golf Digest.

If you live near a location (or have a weekend trip coming up), stop by. But be warned- my last trip was on a rainy afternoon and we STILL had to sit out a three-hour wait. Have a back-up plan or an appetite, just in case.

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