Topgolf has enjoyed a plethora of success since it first began in 2000.
Over the years, the company has expanded across the world (more than 81 locations) and become a model for many companies providing a similar product.
In this article, we will dive into the comparisons between Topgolf and its competitors, which also include traditional golf courses and classic driving ranges.
Topgolf Main Competitors
Some of Topgolf’s main competitors include Drive Shack, X-Golf, BigShots Golf, and Urban Golf.
Topgolf vs Traditional Golf
Topgolf and traditional golf are two completely different aesthetics.
Traditional golf is played on a course where players have the option to play either 18 holes or just nine. Players pay a green fee in order to play, which can vary depending on the quality of the course.
Golfers are provided with a scorecard to write down their scores and move from the tee box to the fairway, rough, and greens. The hole is completed when the ball is sunk into the cup.
Just about every golfer knows what is mentioned above. At Topgolf, you’ll find a decent amount of people who wouldn’t understand the sentence. That’s what makes it so unique.
Topgolf is a product that provides entertainment. It caters to passionate golf fans and to those who’ve never swung a club in their lives.
You can hit as many balls as you want from the mat in your bay, and balls will automatically be dispensed compared to a golf course where you’re supposed to use one ball for the entirety of the round.
Instead of having to bring a full bag of clubs to a course, at Topgolf, you can use the ones they provide and aren’t required to adhere to a dress code.
A restaurant and bar are in the establishment, and workers bring you beverages and food to couches and tables at your bay.
Players can purchase a bay for a certain amount of time and can invite up to six people to hit balls with them and split the cost. Topgolf fees include a one-time $5 membership which is required to play upon your first visit.
📢 Need To Know: Topgolf bays can range from $30-$60 an hour, depending on the day and time. Golf courses will also vary in price depending on the same factors.
Topgolf vs Standard Driving Ranges
Topgolf is basically a “high-tech” driving range. Both have similarities, but Topgolf caters to people who don’t play golf.
Most driving ranges allow people to purchase buckets of balls in different sizes for different prices. Instead of paying for “time,” you’re paying per ball.
When you run out of balls, if you wish to hit more, you’ll have to buy another bucket. Both options will vary in price depending on how many balls you want to hit or if you’re in a group.
Topgolf is more of a social venue, while the range is aimed more at practice. Many golfers go to the range alone, whereas Topgolf promotes bringing groups of friends to play, eat and drink.
Golf ranges will either have normal grass to hit off of or mats. Distance markers and sometimes other objects will be placed on the range.
Targets at Topgolf’s range are different colors with pins and nets you hit into.
The ambiance at Topgolf is louder and more vibrant, with music playing and bright lights. A range is quieter and more than likely does not have music playing.
Both types of places are suited for any level of golfer and can be used for practice, but beginners might feel more comfortable at Topgolf seeing other novices struggle to hit the ball.
📢 Need To Know: At Topgolf, the balls are equipped with Toptracer technology so you can see your swing speed and distance immediately. It offers electronic games to select where scores are kept electronically.
Topgolf vs Drive Shack
Topgolf and Drive Shack offer a very similar product where you’re required to rent a golfing bay for a certain time in order to play.
You can also invite up to six players, and costs will change depending on what time and day you go. At $45 an hour on peak times during weekends, Drive Shack is slightly lower in price than Topgolf.
Topgolf offers more games to choose from and has more locations spread across the globe. There are only four Drive Shack locations in the United States and four games currently offered.
Drive Shack focuses on golf instruction with lessons offered by coaches. Topgolf also offers lessons but is centered around entertainment.
You can also see your performance and have stats tracked at Drive Shack since they use Trackman technology.
Both have restaurants and offer beverages on the premises.
Topgolf vs X-Golf
X-Golf is an indoor golf facility that uses simulators. It isn’t a driving range. There are more than 100 locations across the United States and Canada, but it isn’t worldwide like Topgolf.
The high-end simulators use camera systems, lasers, sensors, and gaming software to provide statistics to users.
The program used at X-golf measures the ball’s speed, direction, launch, and spin as well as its impact and the path taken by the club as it executes over 6,000 computations each second.
Players can play many different virtual golf courses around the world or use the simulator as a driving range.
While Topgolf is more of a family-oriented open space, X-Golf is more private and closed off. There will usually be fewer youth seen at the establishment.
Both companies provide drink and food options, but X-Golf’s menu will be limited.
Topgolf vs BigShots Golf
BigShots Golf offers nearly the same services as Topgolf with its open driving range, food and drink services, and ball-tracking technology.
At BigShots, reserving a tee box during the day costs $30 per reservation per hour if you wish to play during the week until 5 p.m. After-hours reservations cost $40 per reservation per hour and are thought of as premium times.
There are many more venues offered in various locations by Topgolf. BigShots currently only has eight locations.
Bigshots also have simulators where you can play different courses virtually. Nine or 18 holes are offered as well as a virtual range and other games.
Topgolf’s facilities are much larger and have many more bays. Bigshots facilities cost around $8.5 to $12 million and sit on about 10 acres.
In contrast, the current Topgolf locations cost $15 million to $50 million and require a minimum of 13 acres.
📢 Need To Know: In 2024, there are 12 total Bigshots (11 in the U.S. and one in the U.K.).
Topgolf vs Urban Golf (UK)
Topgolf provides a multi-level driving range with target-based games, while Urban Golf concentrates on indoor golf simulation experiences with lifelike golf simulators.
There are more than 60 championship golf courses offered on Urban Golf’s simulators as well as games and a virtual driving range.
Urban Golf is broken up into sections with bays such as “Amen Corner” and “Mexico” for different experiences and courses to play on the simulators.
There are also huge watch parties for professional tournaments including the Masters and other major championships at Urban Golf.
The atmosphere in Urban Golf is more like a speak-easy mixed with golf. There are leather couches in the main area with dim lights.
Both venues serve food and drinks. Urban Golf focuses more on craft beers and cocktails.
There is a private room called “The Bunker” with a large curved screen as well as elite clubs and balls which is more expensive than renting a traditional bay.
Urban golf offers lessons but distinguishes itself from club fitting services.
Professional fitters can help you find the right gear and have it tailored to your style and body type.
Both venues play music, but Urban Golf has a DJ.
📢 Need To Know: There is only one Urban Golf location and it is in London.
Topgolf’s Competitive Advantage
Topgolf stands out among its competitors thanks to its unique features, pricing strategy, target market, and marketing strategies.
Topgolf is one of the only venues to offer the combination of high-tech golf, a mix of games, a full-service restaurant, and a children’s area.
Since Topgolf is owned by Callaway and owns Toptracer technology, customers can purchase gear and feel comfortable knowing their stats are being provided right to their fingertips.
The pricing strategy at Topgolf makes it more expensive for one player to play alone. Especially on weekends.
The hourly bay price entices clients to invite friends and bring in larger groups. This helps bring in more revenue.
Target market and marketing strategies
Topgolf targets people of all ages, families, and those who aren’t even fans of golf. Having a marketability towards families helps compared to normal golf courses.
Children don’t have to be quiet when people are hitting and there is a kid’s zone with arcade games as well as pool tables and plastic darts.
This enables the youth to play (while being supervised) while their parents participate in Topgolf.
This marketing strategy brings in another category of customers compared to other venues which are more so focused on strictly golf and adults.
Future Outlook For Topgolf vs Competitors
As the golf and entertainment industry continues to grow and shift, more and more new companies will start to pop up offering similar services.
Topgolf already holds an advantage over competitors with its early start (2000), large-scale locations, and a high number of amenities.
When Topgolf conducts its next market analysis, one area the company might change is its prices. Especially if they’re losing clients to a rival.
All the venues listed above are slightly cheaper but haven’t grown to the level of popularity yet.
Are Topgolf and Toptracer the same?
Topgolf and Toptracer are not the same. Topgolf owns Toptracer technology which measures distance, height, and ball speed. Toptracer is used at courses and ranges around the world such as at St. Andrews, where The Open Championship is held.
What makes Topgolf unique?
Topgolf’s state-of-the-art facilities, large sizing, and target audience make it more unique than other electronic golf facilities.