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As a golfer, I’m always on the lookout for new ways to have fun with friends/family who may be non-golfers. I recently wrote about my experience at Tiger Woods’ PopStroke, a non-traditional putt-putt golf course. While both offer golf entertainment, they are very different from one another.
Living in Tampa Bay, I’m spoiled by the number of golf courses, golf entertainment complexes, and 365 days of warm weather. So I often questioned, why would golfers or non-golfers want to go to TopGolf? I understand if the weather conditions in your area don’t permit you to be outside or you don’t have a golf club you belong to. Then I totally get it.
In this TopGolf review, I’m sharing my two cents as a golfer and some feedback from the non-golfers in my circle. I’ll also explain what I found most interesting as a golfer and share some tips to save you a little cash!
What is TopGolf?
TopGolf is a modern, high-tech golfing facility that combines the traditional game of golf with a fun and engaging environment suitable for all ages and skill levels. Unlike standard driving ranges, TopGolf offers a blend of entertainment, food and drinks, competitive games, and golfing fun that is ideal for family outings or friendly gatherings.
While it’s suitable for all ages, I wouldn’t be comfortable bringing a toddler to a higher floor due to the drop-off. If you come with small children, I recommend getting a bay on the first floor. TopGolf also has a policy that anyone under 16 must be supervised by a guest 21 and older.
Golf Entertainment & Other Competition on the Rise
The golf entertainment scene is seeing fresh competition, with venues similar to TopGolf making their mark. Some familiar names, like Drive Shack, BigShots Golf, and Flying Tee, come to mind. The list goes on and on, especially with indoor golf simulators that require less space.
Heavy hitter, Bryson DeChambeau is also among the leaders of this shift, backing a new facility in Texas named “UnderPar Life.” Situated at the Hawks Creek Golf Course in Westworth Village, this venue aims to offer high-quality yet affordable golfing experiences. With a sizable two-story footprint of 16,000 square feet, UnderPar Life is equipped with 42 bays and a 500-yard range.
The PGA Tour also wants to get in on the action with a new league in partnership with Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy. The TGL League is set to debut in 2024, with plenty of big names lining up for this high-tech golf team.
What Do You Do at TopGolf?
The main reason most people come to TopGolf is to play golf. You’ll book a bay that offers golf clubs, full food and bar service, and plenty of golf games you can try. Seating is comfortable for a gathering, with couches and tables to utilize in your private bay.
The photos in this article are from the TopGolf St Pete. Ironically, they had heaters installed in the bays (since I was burning up after my first round). But they do their best with a/c climate controlled hitting bays. And being outdoors, there’s only so much they control.
One of the benefits of TopGolf is that you don’t have to bring anything with you besides your ID/cash. The golf balls and equipment are provided. But, if you like hitting your own golf clubs, you can certainly bring them. While I wasn’t overly impressed with their golf clubs, I reminded myself the goal was just to have fun!
⛳️ Pro Tip: The complete golf club sets are offered for men’s and women’s lengths with graphite shafts. The set also includes hybrids.
How Much is TopGolf?
TopGolf pricing varies depending on the location, time of day, and day of the week. Typically, bay rental costs are per hour, ranging from $25 to $55. Additionally, there are membership options that provide discounts, as well as promotional events where prices may be reduced. I touch on this more in my TopGolf Discounts section.
At TopGolf, participants play in a point-scoring golf game where players hit microchipped golf balls that track each shot’s accuracy and distance while awarding points for hitting targets on the outfield. It’s not just about golfing; you can also enjoy watching sports on their numerous TVs, indulge in a mouth-watering menu stocked with drinks and dishes, or even participate in social events and leagues hosted by the venue. Essentially, TopGolf is a social hub with something for everyone, even non-golfers.
You don’t have to love golf to love TopGolf. In fact, it’s an ideal venue for a date night or an outing with family members who might not be too keen on traditional golfing. The atmosphere is lively, with music and laughter creating a backdrop for a memorable time.
At TopGolf, the experience extends well beyond the driving range. Now, if you’re visiting here with non-golfers, you’ll want to remember these amenities.
Each location has its unique features; visitors can often enjoy panoramic views from multi-level complexes, making it a favorite spot for catching sunset next to the rooftop fire pits.
At select venues, such as in Las Vegas, guests can take a plunge in swimming pools located on upper levels, complete with cabanas and lounges.
Additionally, most TopGolf locations are equipped with:
- Big-screen TVs for live sports viewing
- Pool tables or billards
Of course, every TopGolf location boasts a full-service bar and restaurant.
TopGolf Food Review + Drinks
TopGolf boasts a full food and drink menu with diverse items to try. They offer vegetarian and vegan dishes if you have anyone on a specialty diet. I found the portion sizes to be excellent value, and overall, the food has been consistent.
We’ve tried a few items, and some of our favorites are the pretzel bites, chicken tacos, and Top Golf Signature Nachos. I’ve also heard the burger is another good, reliable option. The injectable donut holes remained the undefeated champion of dessert options for me, and I recommend not missing out on those.
The TopGolf Bar offers beer, wine, and specialty drinks. Some of their unique offerings are the “GolfBags” a take-home golf bag-shaped mug filled with Boozy Cherry Limeade or the Blue Coconut Marg.
If you want to try out one of their signature cocktails, the TopGolf Tea or the Sand Trap Martini are good choices.
TopGolf vs Traditional Golf Courses
At first glance, a golfer might wonder, “Why swap the lush greens for a high-tech driving range?” Yet, TopGolf isn’t here to replace traditional golfing; it complements it.
Here are a few key takeaways from my TopGolf Review as a Golfer:
- No Waiting for the 18th Hole: Traditional golfing is a joy but also demands 4 hours on average. At TopGolf, you’re hitting one shot after another, perfect for squeezing in practice or unwinding after a busy day. You don’t have to worry about it getting dark outside – you can golf until late at night.
- Sharpen Your Skills: With various games available, like “TopChip” and “Quick 9,” I found myself honing my short game skills while having fun with various competitive games.
- Social Integration with Non-Golfers: Golf is for golfers – TopGolf is for everyone. At TopGolf, camaraderie takes center stage. Go with fellow golfers or bring your non-golfer friends/family. When you need to have a social day out, this is a good compromise that allows everyone to have some fun.
Check Out the TopGolf Discounts
While TopGolf can be pricey, you can save big if you plan accordingly. For example, on Tuesdays, they offer half-off golf. Check out their promotions page on the TopGolf website to find a deal that suits you. Also, active duty, veterans, healthcare workers, teachers, and first responders all receive special discounts with 10% off gameplay and event or room rentals.
Do I Need a Reservation for TopGolf?
While walk-ins are always welcome, TopGolf can get quite busy, especially on weekends or during events. To ensure that your group gets a bay, it’s advisable to make a reservation ahead of time through their website. This is particularly recommended for larger parties or during peak hours to avoid long wait times.
Is There a Dress Code for TopGolf?
TopGolf does not enforce a strict dress code, but participants are encouraged to wear comfortable attire that does not restrict movement, especially when swinging a golf club. I wore jeans and tennis shoes, as shown above, but I should have gone for shorts after realizing how hot it can get outdoors.
Final Thoughts: TopGolf Review for Golfers
Wrapping up my TopGolf review, it offers a space where golf enthusiasts like me can share our passion with friends and family, and some of the games level the playing field. TopGolf also offers things to do beyond golf, which makes it appealing.
For me, the blend of sports, technology, and social ambiance makes TopGolf an excellent choice when looking for group entertainment. Whether you’re there to play golf, dine, or simply unwind, it strikes a balance that’s hard to find elsewhere.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is TopGolf open in the winter?
TopGolf is open all year unless there is an extreme weather situation. It offers heating panels in the bays, so it helps if you’re in colder climates. Keep in mind you’re still outdoors in a covered area, so it won’t be completely climate-controlled.
Can Non-Golfers enjoy TopGolf?
TopGolf is designed for everyone, regardless of their golfing skills. For beginners, there are staff members who offer guidance and basic instructions on how to hit the ball. The games and point-scoring system is also designed to bring a fun twist that doesn’t solely rely on golfing expertise. It’s all about the experience, and finding fun together.
Is TopGolf a good place for a first date?
I haven’t dated in many years, but my single friends have found it to be a great place to interact. Since it’s all about an interactive experience, you can break the ice and get to know someone better. Plus, TopGolf services drink and food in a fun environment.