Up To Par: Preview Of Topgolf
Not to be outdone by its attention-grabbing navy blue neighbor to the south, Topgolf cuts a pretty darn impressive figure of its own from the approach on I-69 with a neon blue sign out front and soaring nets that hem in a massive driving range out back.
By the numbers, the airy sports and entertainment venue spans 65,000 square feet and employs 500 people. Think nightclub meets bowling alley meets golf course. Three levels of high-tech hitting bays—102 in total—accommodate golfers of all skill levels with electronic scoring via microchipped balls that provide instant feedback once whacked. The bays open onto the tee-line and are exposed to the elements, but individual climate controls in each station assure guest comfort for year-round use.
No need to pack your clubs; each bay comes equipped with a full set spanning all sizes, even covering kids and lefties. Simply wave your club across a sensor to release a ball, tee off, and watch the TV screen in each bay for scoring. The farther your drive, the more points you earn; landing a shot in one of the half-dozen oversized spaceship-like targets scattered across the range racks up your total even more.
Not for duffers only, Topgolf also appeals to non-sporty types with a full bar, a chef-driven menu, table service, live music, and free Wi-Fi. Don’t expect to find any boring club sandwiches here. The kitchen turns out some fairly creative dishes — kale Caesar salads; “mushi” (i.e. Mexican-themed sushi rolls made with cilantro rice, beans and spicy chicken); a prosciutto, artichoke, and olive flatbread; and elevated brunch fare, to name just a few examples. Whatever you do, save room for dessert, because you do not want to miss the “injectable” doughnut holes presented with giant syringes of chocolate, raspberry jelly, and Bavarian cream for DIY filling at your table. It’s the ultimate excuse to play with your food. Drinks cover a full range of beer, wine, and cocktails, with signature sippers like the Patron Paloma and the vodka-based Orange Dream leading the pack.
Year-round programming includes family-friendly events, social leagues, tournaments and lessons for all ages. Regular hourly rates run $25 to $45 per bay depending on what time of day or night you go. And with each bay capable of holding up to six players, splitting the cost with a group breaks down the price to make Topgolf a surprisingly affordable outing.
Topgolf opens October 13 at 9200 E. 116th St., 317-212-3488, Mon.–Thurs.: 9 a.m.–midnight; Fri.–Sat.: 9 a.m.–2 a.m.; Sun.: 9 a.m.–midnight.