It’s no secret that golf is having a moment, with tee times sold out at courses around the world as many (re)discovered the game during the onset of Covid. But even before that, making golf more accessible was a trend we were seeing, as different generations bring a different attitude to the game.
With new concepts for the gameplay itself, golf is no longer simply the domain membership at a fancy golf course with exclusive clubhouses at the end, nor is the game’s base exclusively made up of rich old white men.
In fact, there are a number of new concepts that remove golf from the course itself, none more famous than Topgolf, a sports arena that welcomes all comers to try their hand at the sport. But with such a unique business, the question of cost arises, and with Topgolf, the answer is tied to the type of experience you’re looking for.
What Is Topgolf?
Topgolf is a global sports entertainment company and a new way of playing driving range that was started by twin brothers Steve and Dave Joliffe in 2000 in Watford, UK.
Since that time, the company has exploded in value and growth, with over 70 locations worldwide and a multitude of different people trying to invest in the company. While competitors like Drive Shack have popped up, there’s no real competitor to the Callaway-owned Topgolf.
Why all the interest and investment? Topgolf brings the game to an environment suitable for anyone from adult parties to family groups, taking the pressure off individuals and disarticulating the experience from those around you – no more worrying about newbies holding up the group behind them.
In practice, Topgolf works very much like a driving range, where you stand on level platforms and fire shots down a closed-off range. Each of the golf balls is microchipped to a specific computer that is in your area, effectively assigning it to you and your shots.
The landing area at Topgolf has holes and greens that are shaped like giant dartboards with markings on them to identify them as such, and these are various distances from your platform.
The aim of the game is to get your ball as close to the bullseye on the dartboard as possible – the closer to the bullseye and the farther from the tee, the more points.
Once the 20th ball of each player is hit, the game is over, and you count up your points – or at least this is the traditional game…they have added new variations over the years.
Thanks to this game’s accessibility, shorter amount of play time than normal golf games, and the addition of snacks, drinks, and friends, (while remaining fairly competitive), Topgolf has become a favorite of many sports lovers.
How Much Does Topgolf Cost?
Now, for Topgolf, there are two fees: one for joining their membership program and the other for booking in playing Topgolf.
The first one needed is the membership, which is a one-off payment that is normally $5. Once that is paid you get a card that gets you to input your time and your Topgolf playing stats, and with this card you can keep booking time at the Topgolf arena.
The second payment is for the session itself. These payments are based on chunks of the day with morning, afternoon, and evening slots.
While this changes based on location it’s typically time-based per stall.
Typicaly prices, though varied by location, are $25 for the morning slots, which are often from 9am until 12pm, $35 for the afternoon slots, which are often from 12pm until 5pm, and then $45 for evening slots, which are often after 5pm.
However, these prices are not final and can change by region, so it is best to check with your local Topgolf venue before you go. For example, San Jose Topgolf mentioned that their prices could go up to $40, but Birmingham Topgolf said their prices could go up to $25, which is quite a drastic difference – you’ll likely have an idea of where on this spectrum you are depending on the cost of living in your area.
The price can vary depending on which floor you book your session for and which day of the week. The bottom two floors, 1 and 2, are considerably cheaper than floor 3, which is the priciest – people like nice views, after all.
From Monday to Thursday, the price tends to be lowest. With weekend prices kicking in on Friday.
This is important to note as the price difference can be dramatic, with a slot on floor 1 or 2 from Monday to Thursday being half the price of a slot on Sunday at the same time of day, so it can benefit you to do some site-specific research before you book.
An important note: you do not need to bring your own golf clubs (though you can). Golf clubs are free to rent from the Topgolf you are playing at, and typically are stationed at the stall when you arrive.
Topgolf is a fun take on an old idea. It takes a driving range and makes it more of an easy-going experience where no one is pressured to win and everyone can just relax (and, of course, eat and drink).
The price of Topgolf can vary depending on location and time of day, but if you do some research before going and book a time at off-peak hours, then can ensure it’s as affordable as possible.
If you are feeling the need for golf, but the fun of a party, then I suggest Topgolf as a good choice of venue.