Top Golf: Defining the Golf ‘Experience’

I’ve been to a number of driving ranges. They are good places to fine-tune a few weaknesses, let out some stress, but it’s not an easy place to rev up your competitive juices and get match-ready for your next round with your buddies.

As I read about another driving range facility being constructed in Austin, Texas, I yawned. Driving ranges are typically sterile, lifeless environments, devoid of atmosphere. There’s nothing ‘social’ about the run of the mill driving range; it’s a solo endeavor. Golfers pound balls at targets hundreds of yards away — not what you’d call a memorable, remarkable experience.

Topgolf makes your Dad's driving range look rather dull.
Topgolf makes your Dad’s driving range look rather dull.

Over Spring Break, the family was itching for something to do. A friend of ours knew my penchant for golf, so he recommended checking out Topgolf (@TopgolfUSA). I was skeptical, but the kids were overflowing with energy, so we boarded the family cruiser – destination: Topgolf.

I’ve taken my son to the driving range before. He usually hacks at a few balls, saying, “I am bored. Are we done yet, Dad? It’s too hot in the sun. Let’s go do something else.”

At Topgolf, I couldn’t pull the family away from the hitting bay. Everyone loved the fact that they could score points by aiming at distant targets. My son’s competitive fire was at a fever pitch.

It wasn’t just the golf that scored big points.

The cushions and couches provided a restful break spot from the action, giving us a bird’s eye view of the visually-stunning facilities. And the wait staff was unbelievably helpful introducing us to this new, family-friendly way to play golf.

Describing golf to the average person usually includes words such as stuffy, exclusive, slow. The skilled golfers know the thrill of aiming at a distant flag surrounded by water. The masses, though, lose a few balls in the woods and wonder, “Why am I out here wasting time and money?”

Everything about Topgolf, however, is relaxed, hip, cool – a true game-changer for a sport usually reserved for only those with big money and ample leisure time. From the free rental clubs to the delicious food (try the salsa!) to the free Microsoft Xbox games and billiards, Topgolf redefined golf from our family’s perspective. A 2nd visit is definitely happening soon.

Thank you, Topgolf, for making golf insanely fun for our entire family and for presenting a thrilling game to many who might not have given it a look.

Until next time,

Dan Naden


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2 thoughts on “Top Golf: Defining the Golf ‘Experience’

  1. Hey Dan, Reading your comments about your visit made me smile. As a golf professional that has worked at all types of facilities, I agree with your assessment about Topgolf. Working there is a blast and has proven to be a great experience for me as well. I love helping people improve their golfing skills and because the environment is relaxed and fun, it offers a great launch pad for people who want to try the sport. Thank you for your great post. I hope I can meet you in person the next time you and your family come to visit. All the best, Tina

    1. Thank you Tina for the kind words. It really is special what Top Golf is doing to democratize the game of golf. As you know, golf is an outstanding game, but many never get a chance to experience it for a variety of reasons (cost, time, availability of courses). Keep up the great work. Dan

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