Topgolf to compete with BigShots in smaller markets

Topgolf announced today that it has developed a new scalable venue design that will allow it to open in smaller communities, outside the major metropolitan areas its existing facilities serve.

“This will be a smaller footprint and flexible design that allows us to scale the number of bays,” said Devin Charhon, Topgolf Director of Real Estate. “The size of the venue will be market- and site-dependent, but what will remain consistent is market-leading Toptracer technology paired with an environment that delivers memorable guest experiences. We look forward to announcing the first locations in the coming months.”

Topgolf’s expanded strategy means there will be more competition in the growing golf entertainment market. ClubCorp acquired BigShots Golf earlier in the year and announced it would focus on smaller facilities in mid-tier markets.

“Topgolf has validated a new market,” said David Pillsbury, CEO of ClubCorp at the PGS Show in January. “We are aiming at an underserved market. We will let Topgolf and Drive Shack slug it out in the larger markets.”

BigShots is aiming for 30 to 60 bays, with each facility costing $8.5 to $12 million. Its first facility is in Vero Beach, Fla., where it sits on 10 acres, and has been very successful.

By comparison, Topgolf’s existing facilities have cost $15 million to $50 million, and need a minimum of 13 acres.

 ClubCorp is taking a franchise approach to help expand BigShots as quickly as possible. It is charging $125,000 for a franchise with an 8 percent royalty and a 2 percent marketing fee.

 

Topgolf operates more than 50 golf entertainment centers, featuring high-tech driving ranges with food and beverage services. It was founded in 2000 in Great Britain, with the first U.S. site opening in 2005 in Alexandria, Va.

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