Topgolf USA: I tested it !

In December, I was able to try out one of the Topgolf resorts in the United States. A gigantic structure, full service, a crazy atmosphere but also, as one can imagine, a real golfers factory. Review of this machine which is gradually conquering Europe and which is on the verge of ending up in Germany.

An evening at Topgolf

By chance of the agenda for this end of the year, I land in Atlanta and I find myself a few hours from the Georgian capital, Birmingham, Alabama. This city located in the south of the United States is home to one of the 70 Topgolf facilities. Note that the weather in Alabama is rather mild. Despite Christmas a stone’s throw away, the temperature during the day is around 20 degrees Celsius. I understand better why Topgolf can run at full speed here all year round.

On 3 levels, 102 bays can accommodate a maximum of 6 golfers each. Located on the outskirts of the city, we quickly see the high nets supported by pylons that frame the playing area.

It’s barely 5 in the afternoon and the parking lot is already full for a Tuesday. Climbing the entrance steps, you land directly on the souvenir shop. Before even going to the recording, everything is made to lighten your bank account. You can choose from accessories of all kinds, as well as Under Armor or Callaway polo shirts. The latter which has seized of TopGolf in 2020 .

Souvenir shops at the entrance.
I had to fall for cap.

After a quick check-in, head to the game bay. There is no time to waste.

I have not tested the strength of the threads.

You have to walk a while to get to the bay. I am struck by the size of the facilities. We are in the United States, which is more at the center. Space is far from a luxury. But still. I can distinguish different types of bays. Some are with high tables and bar stools. Others are with sofas and a large coffee table. I pass in front of the terrace on the roof with its brazeros.

I arrived. From this unobstructed view of the last level, the motorway interchange on my right feeds us some irregularly V8 sounds.

Baie de jeu Topgolf vue latérale.
Side view to become aware of the size of the installation

To avoid piecemeal transactions, an “account” is opened for the occasion. We pay an amount on which each consumption will be deducted. Please note that the amount is not refundable after the session. Be sure to follow along and don’t hesitate to order more if the session is about to end.

Now it’s time to play.

warm-up before the real session
Credit: Suzy C. A few warm-up swings without light.

It is only after dark that the place reveals its magical side.

Credit: Suzy C The targets light up and the place becomes magical.

Several game modes are available but the most popular consists of 20 balls to score as many points as possible. The more the ball lands in the center of a target and the further that target is, the more points will be scored.

Pro tip : For those who want to hit really far, there are detectors located at the back of the pitch. The more the ball lands in the center, the more points you score.

Clubs available. 2 flexes and 2 lengths to choose from.
2 flexes and 2 lengths to choose from.

The targets are quite wide, and even if you are with inexperienced players or even beginners, they will be able to have the point reward, thus participating in the party as it should be. And that’s when the magic happens. In a relaxed setting that is more like a trendy bar, everyone has a go at golf. No barrier, only laughter. With this relaxed atmosphere, you can even forget the basics.

Unlike bowling, here you must not forget to change (click) on the name of the player who will take the mat. Indeed, there is no maximum number of balls per round. You can hit 20 balls in a row. On several occasions, I found myself playing in the place of another player. Sometimes to his advantage, other times to my advantage.

A member of staff comes by very often to find out if you want something to drink or order some food. After all as long as there is money in the account …

We quickly get caught up in the game and the 20 moves we have are going at the speed of light. However, it is easy to pass the baton. Even though a beginner player may be overwhelmed by events and will only hit 2-3 balls in a row, he will easily come back to the mat, without suffering any comparison, to try again, to score points.

Observation round

I take advantage of the break time to look around me. I see groups of friends arriving, colleagues but also families who will spend the evening here. After all, all the ingredients are there to have a good time.

The swings are chaotic and out of sync, but we’re not here to pass the cards of a minor turn. Here, it’s about practicing and having fun together. Drinks and food only serve as a reminder of everyone’s needs; golfers or not.

Topgolf and Europe: soon in Germany

With only 3 locations in Europe, all located on the outskirts of London, and despite international recognition, Topgolf is difficult for us to access; continental Europeans.

Certainly, there is this crazy project of Fungolf in France, which for several years has kept us in suspense, but lacks materialization.

A little over a year ago, TopGolf Entertainment Group announced by press release that Oberhausen, a municipality bordering the Dortmund, Essen, and Dusseldörf triangle. On their Instagram account, the construction of the complex is progressing fast, even if the work has been delayed because of the pandemic. But according to their stories, everything will be to go in 2022.

From then on, I would pay them a little visit to compare and see if Topgolf Germany is up to Topgolf Birmingham in Alabama.

Photo Credits: Nicolas Bykoff (unless specified otherwise)



So, it's true. Topgolf is made for everyone to have a good time. I already want to come back.

About Nicolas BYKOFF

Writing about golf? Why not? After having spent nearly 20 years in the game, I am granting myself the right to write about golf. Don't agree? Contact me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.