Las Vegas’ Topgolf is more than a driving range

I tried for a month. Connecting to Topgolf’s corporate headquarters press department to arrange a story at its new flagship location in Las Vegas, 4627 Koval Lane, was tougher than I thought it would be. So I headed down the corner of Harmon Avenue and Koval Lane to check it out under cover.

All the comments I’d read about Topgolf seemed to be company press releases, so I was determined to cover the venue from a guest’s perspective. To be honest, I had a negative attitude to begin with.

Here goes.

Getting there was extremely easy. Topgolf is behind the MGM Grand with the entrance off Koval Lane. Parking spaces were plentiful. You walk up to floor level two to check in. The check-in desk is to the left. Pricing is clearly stated. There are 108 climate controlled golf bays available on three floor levels. Impressively, each bay is outfitted with plush couches, cocktail tables, golf clubs and computers that keep track of every shot by way of microchipped golf balls. It’s like a driving range but much nicer. Bay rental is by the hour and accommodates up to six golfers.

Pricing is determined by what level you choose to play, what day of the week you play and what time of day you play. For example, play levels 1 or 2 between 8 a.m. and noon on Monday through Thursday, and the bay rental cost is $30. Playing on level 3 boosts the cost to $45. Premium pricing kicks in on Fridays and Saturdays between 5 p.m. and closing when the cost of a third-level bay rises to $90.

It’s a fancy driving range. Big deal. No, no my friend. When the Jolliffe brothers got bored with their “normal” driving range, they began brain storming. They wanted a place to work on their games and also have the time of their lives. Why not? And why couldn’t they know exactly where their practice shots landed? Why couldn’t they have competition? Why couldn’t you have drinks with your best buddies, or Friday night poker, or a Sunday tee time, or playing Wii with the kids? Why not have the best date you’d ever had. Why not?

First, the golf part. The range itself is about 225 yards deep. On it are six circular targets, each separated into smaller targets. Next are microchipped golf balls that are able to be tracked and analyzed for distance, accuracy and location. Add computers at each bay able to measure the ball flight, analyze swing characteristics and that have score keeping abilities. Finally, there are seven golf games that a maximum of six players can choose from to add the competition aspect to the sport. These games award points for chipping accuracy, driving distance and shot accuracy.

The rest of the story is the facility. The best way I can describe Topgolf is to picture a four-level luxury backyard. All four levels are climatically controlled and wide open to the great outdoors. There’s Luxury outdoor seating and backyard games such as corn-hole and beer-pong inviting you to play. Of course, there are open-air bars on every level to enjoy with a cooling breeze. Of course, if you want TVs, just glance at the enormous media wall visible from three levels.

Want a pool? How about two of them, one on level 3 reminiscent of a day club. Private cabanas? No worries. Or how about a more private pool on level 4, complete with an executive board room.

Every luxury backyard has an event center. Topgolf’s is next to the bar on level 2, a concert venue capable of holding up to 900 partygoers.

What else? Oh, yeah, being on the MGM Grand property allows for bar top games of skill for those inclined to risk a penny or two.

Oh, I forgot. Need to place a wager on an upcoming sporting event? Voila, a compact sports book is on level 2.

Of course, there is a play area for kids.

And probably the best part is the food and beverage part. From a chef-inspired menu, you can choose from breakfast items, wings, tacos, burgers, flatbreads, cheese plates and even a cabana menu featuring lobster, jumbo shrimp and king crab legs.

And the booze … wow. I’ve been around the block a few times, but it’s the first time I’ve seen this. No, not the $595 Dom Perignon, not the $695 Grey Goose magnum or even the $495 Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon. Get this: a case of 24 domestic beers, only $155.

I liked hanging out in a great backyard. Well done, Topgolf.

John Asay is a longtime golfer and local freelance writer.

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