So a press release come sliding across my inbox Monday about something called “TopGolf,” which is coming to northwest Oklahoma City in 2015. I’d consider myself a golf outsider – someone who can appreciate the game and who likes certain players, but has never really gotten into the game enough to play.
So I read. And it sounds like an extreme driving range mixed with Dave and Busters mixed with that crazy Japanese indoor wave pool I heard about as a kid.
Seems like a happening place. But what is TopGolf? And what will it mean for other golf attractions (and bars) in the Oklahoma City area?
What is TopGolf?
According to the handy feature above, TopGolf actually stands for “Target Oriented Practice” Golf. It’s not a grip-and-rip driving range so much as it’s a skills competition — the one in Austin is 215 yards long. There’s a chip in the ball that feeds shot information back to you on a personal video screen based on accuracy and distance. According to TopGolf’s website, it’s the same as if your crushing a regular Titleist or Nike off the tee.
OK. Smart balls. Neat. But here’s the thing – I don’t golf. I’ve driven golf carts, but I’ve never actually played a round or been to a range.
Here’s where surrounding businesses might have issues with TopGolf. It’s setting up to be a new-aged adult hangout, that’s also kid-friendly (see those neon targets).
It’s got a bar and restaurant and can host parties. Air conditioned bays to tee off in.
Translation: They’re making this extremely easy for a non-golfer to buy into.
The potential issues
What will it do to the surrounding businesses? How about traffic?
From Business Reporter Brianna Bailey’s story:
“The project is expected to have a $31 million fiscal impact on the local economy, according to numbers produced by TopGolf, which included direct sales tax revenues, property and business taxes.”
That’s good. But will it detract from public courses’ revenue? Will it create an extended traffic logjam at its proposed site (southwest of N. Western Avenue and John Kilpatrick Turnpike)? The Quail Springs area already gets its fair share of traffic. TopGolf would top it off.
All things to think about as another megaplex of entertainment descends upon Oklahoma City.