For the uninitiated, the Topgolf brand conjures up a high-performance center with video analytics, custom club accessories, and serious masculine faces contemplating details like swing path and dynamic loft. Topgolf’s newer facilities in El Segundo can be just that, if you’d like. But like the company’s 76 other locations around the world, it primarily offers a light-hearted introduction to the game where golf is the vehicle and good times are the destination.
As a 50-year-old weekend warrior athlete, although I hadn’t hit a golf club since the Clinton administration, I enjoyed my first visit to Topgolf much more than I expected. Not because I hit the ball better than anticipated, but because I felt no more than self-imposed pressure, which quickly dissipated thanks to the laid-back vibe that permeates the three-tiered, neon-flecked facility.
Think of Topgolf as a high-end driving range combined with a Cheesecake Factory; or Putt-Putt on groceries on steroids. The new venue in El Segundo, five minutes south of LAX, is the only Topgolf in the world with an attached golf course (more on that later), but you’re more likely to see a newbie grandma playing here than a aspiring golfer. pro in $300 stretch pants.
That was the case on a recent Wednesday, when the bays around me were filled with families, noisy office meetings, and at least one bachelorette party. Sometimes balls would shoot off the tee like white lasers. Most of the time, they would barely roll on the canvas, or not move at all after a fruitless swing swing. (Whoosh!)
Whatever the outcome, no one really cared. As long as the food and grog kept coming, and as long as everyone got a few turns grabbing and ripping.
With that in mind, let us give you a few tips before your first visit.
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