By Jack Davis ’19
TopGolf is like the 21st Century bowling alley.
A visitor at the trendy, multi-story driving range can spend time with friends and enjoy outside activity. All while also improving their golf game.
At the turn of the millennium, TopGolf was founded in the United Kingdom.
Since then, it has expanded and spread across both England and the United States.
One proponent of TopGolf, Bryce Grove ’19, has been a frequent visitor, estimating his TopGolf excursions to be around 20 times in total over the course of two years.
“I do feel like it has made me a better golfer, because unlike traditional driving ranges, you need to focus on accuracy, not just distance,” Grove said in an email to The Roundup. “The arcade game aspect of golf TopGolf provides also motivates me to get better at golf. However, due to no game that tests putting, I have not improved at all in my putting compared to the rest of my game.”
Grove, who said that he golfs for leisure only, said that the experience generates interest in the sport for people who wouldn’t necessarily enjoy playing 18 holes of organized golf.
“I think that TopGolf is very good for the game of golf because it gets people interested in playing,” he said. “Golf is often not very much fun for beginners, and many people never play because they do not feel like they would have a good time at their skill level. I think TopGolf solves this because it makes golf enjoyable, and attracts an audience that probably wouldn’t ever play golf.”
Two competitive Brophy golfers—Jackson Vickers ’19 and Nate Anderson ’19—agreed with Grove that TopGolf enhances appeal in an otherwise unpopular sport.
Vickers said that TopGolf is an excellent and crucial addition to the sport.
“Almost everyone believes that golf is a boring game, made for old men, and TopGolf helps change that stereotype,” he said. “I think more people will be influenced to pick up the game because of TopGolf … this is a good thing for the sport. We need to find a way to help grow the game and TopGolf does that.”
Anderson concurred with Vickers.
“It’s a great way to get started with golf because it’s a fun, relaxed environment while still being competitive,” he said. “It is great for the sport because people that start at TopGolf and have fun are much more likely to continue playing golf later in life.”
However, both Vickers and Anderson don’t see the game as a viable option for improving their swing.
“TopGolf is for fun, not for getting better at golf,” Anderson said. “The best thing about TopGolf is going out with your friends and listening to music and having fun playing golf and not taking it seriously.”
Vickers said his favorite part about TopGolf is the variety of games, and that TopGolf is more beneficial to amateurs than competitive golfers.
“I would say that the majority of amateur or recreational golfers do improve from playing at TopGolf,” Vickers said.
“Actually, I would say that the worse you are as a golfer, the more fun TopGolf is, so I would encourage anyone to try it out,” he added.
Grove said that his preferred component to TopGolf is the atmosphere.
“Playing golf in the company of good friends while watching TV and eating great food is a very fun experience that keeps me coming,” he said.