If you’ve never been to a Topgolf, you haven’t been getting out enough. What was born nearly 20 years ago as a renegade idea in Watford, England, has matured into one of the fastest growing brands in the golf industry, with 52 venues (and counting) in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia. Not that Topgolf is golf, exactly. Part high-tech driving range, part entertainment complex, it can be a lot of things to a lot of people. What it should always be is a good time. With that in mind, here are nine tips for making the most of your next (or first) Topgolf visit.
1. Reserve a Bay
What’s that thing you do when you want to play a golf course? Oh, yeah. That’s right. You book a tee time. At a Topgolf, what you do is reserve a bay. It’s a good idea, especially on weekends. (But it’ll cost you, too — up to $50.) If you’ve got a lot of people, Topgolf will set aside a space to accommodate your group. Plan accordingly, in fact, and they’ll even rent you the entire place.
2. Groove Your Swing
As long as you enjoy swatting golf balls, you might as well learn to do it better. Every Topgolf has onsite instructors, offering everything from individual lessons to group classes and junior clinics. There are even packages that combine coaching and gaming in one price.
3. Bring Your Own Sticks
Golf clubs are provided (including clubs for left-handers and junior), but you’re not required to use them. Entering a Topgolf with your own set of sticks slung over your shoulders is like dropping by a pool hall with your own cue or bringing your own darts to a bar: a sure sign that you’re a playah with your game face on.
4. Share a Bay
Golf is a social. So is Topgolf, all the more so when you join up with unfamiliar faces. On Friday and Saturday nights, starting at 7 p.m., your group of four or fewer can share a bay with another group. It costs $20 per person for two hours. You’ll be strangers at the outset but not for long.
5. Get a Student Deal
Not any college student can play college golf. But any college student can play college Topgolf. It’s best on Wednesdays, from 7-11 p.m., when a $15 cover gets you unlimited gameplay; $2 off all appetizers and drink specials; and a bay for you and your friends.
6. Download the Topgolf App
The app is a snap. You can book a reservation, track venue leaderboards and check out upcoming events and offers. You can also pick the programming on the TV in your bay and stream sound from what you’re watching directly to your phone.
7. The Whole Day is Half Price
That day is Tuesday, when the price is slashed in half on all game play. That deal is good for a limited time and participating venues. Check this site for more info.
8. Take a Trip to the Strip
Bet you’ve never seen a Topgolf like the one in Las Vegas. It’s the mothership, the largest and most lavish of all the company’s venues, with four floors of hitting bays; 5 bars; 2 swimming pools with cabanas; a concert venue; a private event space; and 200-plus high-def screens, in case you can’t find anything better to do.
9. Get Competitive
It’s not all hits and giggles all the time at Topgolf. There are also competitive leagues, on Mondays or Tuesdays, with rookie, intermediate and advanced tiers. Remember: it’s only fun until someone loses perspective, which isn’t apt to happen. Just sign up for the level that’s right for you.