Topgolf imitators opening in Texas, Florida

Topgolf’s success is spawning imitators across the U.S., with at least three companies planning to open similar facilities within a year.

The Dallas-based company has excited the golf world with interactive driving ranges that focus more on food, fun and entertainment than on golf. The company has grown to 30 locations, adding seven in 2016. Analysts estimate that Topgolf brings in $10 million to $25 million in annual revenue per facility, half of it from food and beverages.

The competitor with the deepest pockets is Drive Shack, a company that is building its first entertainment complex in Orlando. Drive Shack is owned by Newcastle Investment and TaylorMade Golf. Newcastle also owns American Golf, so it has a footprint in traditional golf course management. TaylorMade produces hard goods, including golf balls. Its Orlando facility will be a three-story, 66,000-square-foot dining and entertainment complex with 90 outdoor bays.

Most of Topgolf’s new facilities are about the same size – 65,000 square feet with 102 bays.

4ORE! Golf will open its own facility in Lubbock, Texas in May. Led by J.J. Killeen, who briefly played on the PGA Tour, the company hopes to follow the same model. It is building a 52,000-square-foot facility that will feature 60 tee boxes, 175 televisions and a training academy. Troon will manage the facility.

Players will be rewarded for hitting targets located on a seven-acre turf field. The two-story facility will use advanced doppler-based technology that will track the accuracy and distance of each shot and map the flight of the ball on a monitor for scoring.

Dave Shultz, who introduced REALiTEE Golf as a concept at the Golf Industry Show in February, has identified Summerlin, Nev., as the first location for his indoor golf experience. REALiTEE will mix simulated play with live play to deliver what Shultz says is a better experience.

His facility will be 110,000 square feet on three levels and will cost about $30 million to build. That exceeds the cost of a Topgolf facility, which costs about $15 million. Shultz needs to convince investors that the risk is worth it. 


Why consider Top Golf when an investor could build a 120 room hotel, 300 seat banquet facility, spa, conference center, olympic size pool, tennis courts, bocce, gym, golf teaching center near Williams College in Williamstown, MA for $45 million, and be free from any electric bill??

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