Topgolf

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Topgolf
Formerly
Golf Entertainment International (now called TopGolf)
Private
IndustrySports Entertainment
Founded2000 in Watford, United Kingdom
FounderTechnology was developed by Steve & Dave Jolliffe of World Golf Systems
Headquarters,
Number of locations
52 (48 in the U.S., 3 in the U.K., and 1 in Australia)
As of Jan. 11, 2019
Area served
United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Mexico, United Arab Emirates
Key people
Erik Anderson, Executive Chairman, Topgolf Entertainment Group Dolf Berle (CEO)
William Davenport (CFO)
BrandsTopgolf, Topgolf Swing Suite, Toptracer Range, Toptracer, Topgolf Crush, Topgolf Tour
Number of employees
15,000+
ParentTopgolf Entertainment Group
DivisionsTopgolf, Topgolf International, Topgolf Media
WebsiteTopgolf website
Topgolf Media website

Topgolf is a global sports entertainment community headquartered in Dallas, Texas United States with locations throughout the North America, Australia, UAE, and the UK.

Overview[edit]

Topgolf operates 52 venues in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia, employs 15,000 Associates and serves 13 million guests annually. The Topgolf games can be played by all ages and skill levels, and the microchipped golf balls score themselves, providing players with instant feedback on each shot's accuracy and distance. Players aim for 11 giant dartboard-like targets on a 215-yard outfield. The farther the shot goes and the closer to the pin, the more points the player receives. Each Topgolf venue features climate-controlled hitting bays for year-round play, food, beverage, music and HDTVs on which various sports games are shown, such as football, basketball and golf. Topgolf also offers golf lessons, leagues, tournaments, concerts, and corporate and social events.

History[edit]

The Topgolf technology was developed in Watford, England between 1996 and 2001 by twin brothers Steve and Dave Jolliffe. The idea for Topgolf came from when the two brothers were practicing their swings on a driving range and began thinking of different ways they could improve their experience. The Jolliffes formed a company called World Golf Systems (WGS) and installed the technology in a driving range in Watford, England in 2001. WGS sold the range and licensed the technology to a UK development company, Baydrive. Baydrive developed two additional UK sites.[1]

The business that is today known as TopGolf emerged from Golf Entertainment International (GEI), the US licensee. This company was established in London in 2006 to create a compelling customer experience and to bring the technology and the experience to the United States. GEI was formed by Richard Grogan, David Main and Eric Wilkinson. GEI transformed the early Topgolf experience to also include food, drinks, music and new games. GEI developed its first sites in Alexandria, Virginia, Dallas, Texas and Chicago, Illinois. It then acquired both World Golf Systems and the UK licensee. GEI changed its name at that point to name of the game: TopGolf.[2]

Today, Topgolf serves millions of guests annually and has the world’s largest digital golf audience.

Richard Grogan was the Company’s Chairman and Chief Executive from its formation until 2012. David Main spearheaded its US development. Eric Wilkinson was the Company’s finance director. Other investors joined the Company as it developed these first sites — significantly among them was the Callaway Golf Company and the WestRiver Group. This allowed not only the US development but the consolidation of the varied operations as well. Thomas Dundon became a significant investor in 2011. By 2014, WestRiver Group was TopGolf’s lead investor. WestRiver was founded and is run by Erik Anderson, and Erik Anderson is currently the Chairman of Topgolf.

In 2016, TEG created three new divisions. Topgolf, the golf entertainment venues in the U.S. and U.K., Topgolf International, the division focused on Topgolf's international expansion, and Topgolf Media, the division focused on enhancing the Topgolf experience through advanced digital media, strategic partnerships and sponsorships. Additionally in 2016, Providence Equity Partners made a sizable minority investment in TEG.

On June 23, 2016, it was announced that Village Roadshow Theme Parks would open a venue next door to its popular theme park, Warner Bros. Movie World, in Oxenford, Queensland in Australia. This will be the first Topgolf venue outside the US and the UK.[3]

As the company expanded, Callaway Golf Company (NYSE: ELY) became an investor in 2006 and in 2011. Also in 2008, the company was incorporated as Topgolf International, Inc.

In 2017, Topgolf created a new television series titled Who Will Rock You, where eight of the best unsigned bands across the country compete for $50,000 and a Topgolf tour.

Pricing[edit]

Depending on the venue, guests are charged per hour or per game. The U.K. locations and venues in Alexandria and Wood Dale are the only venues that charge per game. Guests are required to have a membership which allows them to play. Information such as high scores are linked to this membership. Membership is a one-time $5 cost that includes free club rentals on every visit.

Locations[edit]

Picture of tees at Topgolf in Las Vegas, Nevada

There are currently 52 Topgolf locations, 48 in the United States, three in the United Kingdom,[4] and one in Australia.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mayo, Ashley. "Topgolf is about to get even better after its latest acquisition, World Golf Tour - Golf Digest". Golf Digest. Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  2. ^ "Ownership History | Topgolf". Topgolf. Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  3. ^ "Movie World to bring Topgolf to Australia in 2017". News.com.au. Retrieved 2016-06-23.
  4. ^ "Topgolf will develop multimillion-dollar, three-level center in Overland Park". Bizjournals.com. Retrieved 2016-04-08.