Golf is having a bit of a resurgence at the moment, and one of the reasons is a swathe of fun, new, beginner-friendly formats that allow anyone, especially wannabe first-time golfers who might be intimidated by traditional golf courses, to have fun swinging a club. One of the most popular high-tech golf franchises is Topgolf, with locations in the US, UK, Australia, Mexico, and even Dubai!
You play Topgolf by hitting golf balls into large targets on a driving range to score points. The closer to the center of each target you get, the more points you score, with the longer distance targets scoring more points as well.
Topgolf combines the relaxed, dynamic evening at a bowling alley with the scoring system of darts and golf gameplay – what’s not to love! Topgolf ranges are always lit and heated, and to make it even better; you can usually order food and drinks straight to your bay.
As well as acting as a traditional driving range, if you simply want to practice your golf swing, Topgolf also offers a bunch of different games you can play with your friends, even if they’re non-golfers, which we will explore in more detail below.
HERE’S HOW TOP GOLF WORKS
This is the traditional Topgolf game and easiest for beginners to get into. In normal Topgolf, all of the targets are in play at any time, and you get points for hitting into any of them.
The technology behind Topgolf is cool. The golf balls are microchipped and linked to your user account. Before you hit, you have to scan a ball, which puts it into play. The ball is then tracked to which target it ends up in!
Many of the Topgolf locations now also come with tracer technology on their screens. This means you can track exactly how far your ball goes, both in the air and on the ground.
The tracer technology also tracks launch angle, ball speed, and curve in the air. This allows more serious golfers to get a really good feel for their game and how they are playing.
Each Topgolf location is slightly different, but the general layout of targets goes like this:
- RED TARGETS: 20-30 yards
- YELLOW TARGETS: 50 yards
- GREEN TARGETS: 75-100 yards
- BROWN TARGETS: 115-130 yards
- BLUE TARGETS: 150 yards
- GREY TARGETS: 175-190 yards
- BACK NET: 215-250 yards
The potential point values you can score get greater the further you go back, with the highest points coming from hitting the middle of the target.
There are also bonus points available on certain shots. If you hit the middle of a section multiple times in a row, you can get double points on the next shot, allowing for huge scores – a bit like scoring multiple strikes or spares in bowling!
This is an accuracy test of your short shots. You have to hit all nine sections within the yellow target to win points!
Once you have completed the challenge, you move on levels two and three. Here, points are multiplied, but you start to lose points if you hit the same target twice in later levels!
This game is similar to Top Pressure but with more variety of shots.
You hit five shots towards the shortest red targets, five towards the yellow targets, and ten towards the green. You gain points for hitting the right targets, but if you get it into the wrong one, you’ll have to take points deductions!
This game is great for beginners who can’t hit the ball very far and want to work on accuracy, and also for experienced golfers looking to dial in distance control on their short game!
We’ve already spoken about how Topgolf combines golf, darts, and bowling. Well, here’s another game added to that list: snooker!
Like in snooker, where you have to pot a red ball first, you have to hit a ball into a red target in Top Break. This allows you to move on to hit a colored target, with the further targets being worth more!
This is a fantastic strategy game for the better golfer but might become frustrating for beginners.
Top Shot is a slightly more advanced version of Top Chip, used to work on your distance control. It calls for you to hit four consecutive distances (five shots each).
Depending on the target you start at, you can pick your difficulty level, with red being the easiest. This is an excellent test of ball-striking ability and control and is a perfect way for golfers to challenge themselves to deliver under pressure.
GIVE IT A GO!
Topgolf is a fantastic way of playing golf, whatever your skill level. There’s no excuse not to check one out with over fifty locations worldwide.
For beginners, it’s a fun, dynamic, and low-stress environment to develop the basics of how to swing a golf club. For more experienced golfers, it can be a great way to get out of your head about your game and enjoy the process – while also honing in on accuracy and distance control to improve your scoring!