Topgolf offers exciting alternatives for outings
New-style golf combines delicious eats, comfortable lounge
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When first approaching Topgolf Naperville (3211 Odyssey Ct., Naperville), one may think it’s just a typical golf range, but it’s far from that. The bright colors and large dome-like structure contrasted the hilly plains that surrounded the complex, and the grand staircase outside led into an immense welcoming area with helpful staff eager to assist incoming customers inside the clean cut building. With technological advances that push the brink of modern understanding, the game of golf becomes less intimidating for beginners and an interesting change for the Sunday tee-time regular.
Pulling into the parking lot packed with cars, I instantly thought that I would have to wait an hour for my chance to try the new-age golf experience. To my surprise, there were openings and I just had to go through a short five-minute membership registration ($5, one-time only fee) where I was issued a card that I could use to track my score during each visit. Before I knew it, I was on my way to a bay on the top third floor, which gave a complete view of the hitting area which features multiple targets of various sizes and distances. Each bay, which is similar to an alley for bowling, has either high top tables or a couch lounge for seating and is heated with lamps, which allows you to ditch your coat for mobility on cold winter days. Pricing for the bay is hourly, ranging from $25 to $45 per hour, which can be quite expensive just for a party of two, so the key with Topgolf is to wrangle all your friends into joining the new type of golf experience.
While playing, I forgot how impressive the technology of the game was. With one swipe over a sensor, a ball that is chipped with your information rolls out onto your map and then is tracked into the large playing area. It’s almost like magic. There are nine games available to play and I was able to try two of their signature games. The first game was Topgolf, where the more accurate your shot is in the target, the more points you receive. The other, Topscore, rewards you with the further you hit the ball onto the targets, the more points you get. The outing was not without glitches: our membership cards failed to work and we needed to get help, but it came quickly. Maintenance was nice enough to give us 30 minutes of extra time to play our fill of Topgolf. It may have been due to our newly claimed memberships that were not in the system yet, causing our games to crash multiple times.
A huge highlight of Topgolf is the food; it’s a one stop shop for fun and dining, perfect for a lovely but pricey date night. I put the order in right as we arrived to assure that there was ample time to munch. When considering dining at Topgolf, make sure to keep the amount of time remaining in your bay in mind. I chose the signature nachos with steak ($11), buffalo chicken flatbread ($10) and the sunrise burger ($12.50). The burger was by far the highlight of the night: the thick cut pecanwood bacon complimented the fried egg that oozed all over the juicy burger for perfection. With a side of tater tots, how could this dish get any better? The nachos, which were a fiesta in my mouth, paired perfectly with the steak and mimicked small quesadillas rather than nachos, which was a win in my book. The flatbread was not anything special because it was overall dry and lacked flavor. The sliced carrots and celery detracted from the flatbread and caused it to taste more like a salad than buffalo chicken, but overall the food was impressive.
Bottom line: Topgolf can come with technical difficulties that can be fixed, but overall delivers a new and exciting spin on the game of golf and offers mouth watering eats to accompany the experience.