TopGolf, the premier golf entertainment complex that mixes the game of golf with your local watering hole, is quickly becoming an important piece to golf's future. If you haven’t heard of it yet, let me run down what makes this exciting golf complex so unique.
TopGolf is one part driving range, one part bar and one part entertainment venue. The driving range is a 240 yard outfield with bullseyes set up all around on the ground. The closer you hit your ball to the center of one of the bulls-eyes, the more points you score. The driving range is unique because the primary goal is laid-back competition with your friends; refining your golf skills is secondary to having fun. Combining the fun approach to the driving range with all of the other amenities (top of the line food menu, live entertainment, and alcoholic beverages) makes for a great time out on the town.
(You can learn more about TopGolf by clicking HERE)
But why is this important to growing the game? Well, if you haven’t heard already, the millennial generation isn’t playing the game of golf at the same rate that previous generations played at the same age. As a millennial myself, I can attest to this fact. There are simply other ways that I would like to spend my hard earned time and money than wondering if I should use a 4 or 5 iron on my approach shot after missing the fairway for the 8th straight hole.
With TopGolf, I’m still wetting my appetite for the competition that golf provides, albeit in more of an informal, and certainly less frustrating, manner. I’m also getting the nightlife with live music and good food and drinks that I place a high value on. Essentially, TopGolf is bringing an upper scale, bowling alley-type atmosphere to the game of golf. Anyone can go to a bowling alley and find a way to have a good time. Why can’t the same be had for golf?
The key here, though, is that while I’m not solely there for the game of golf, I’m still practicing by virtue of swinging a club. The biggest reason I don’t play is because of how bad I am. If I’m indirectly getting better at the game in the process of having a good time, that only increases the chances that I’ll want to go out and play a round on a golf course. I have no desire to stand on a range a couple times a week to get my game up to competent standards. Maybe I will after I feel more comfortable with my swing after going to a TopGolf a couple of times? Who knows, but the possibility of me getting on a golf range and, later a golf course, can only increase through TopGolf.
Another way TopGolf is helping grow the game is through their own Junior Golfer program called “Topgolf for Good”. In a recent interview with Forbes, Erik Anderson, the co-chairman and CEO of TopGolf Entertainment Group, had this to say:
“Topgolf is always thinking of how we can help get clubs in the hands of new players, prepare them to transition to green grass and inspire them to enjoy golf in all of its forms, whether that's on TV, a mobile app or a PGA Tour event. Part of reaching the next generation of golfers means making the sport fun and accessible to everyone."
My man Erik! That is EXACTLY what I want to hear. The sport of golf needs to be proactively pursuing the younger generation. Relying on the game to sell itself is not working. TopGolf won’t be able to do it alone, but it’s definitely a great start.
So, Erik, when are you bringing TopGolf to Myrtle Beach?