10 Takeaways from GolfNewsRI’s Night at Topgolf Rhode Island
GolfNewsRI was given the really cool opportunity to spend a few free hours at the new Topgolf Rhode Island in Cranston on the Wednesday night before it officially opened.
The opportunity came courtesy of our friends at Group Chat Golf.
Going into it, I didn’t know what to expect.
Topgolf’s have been killing it across the country, both entertainment wise and financially.
So, I figured it wasn’t going to be a disaster, but you never really know. They just opened, tons of technology, shit happens.
Needless to say, I was impressed.
Here are my 10 Takeaways from GolfNewsRI’s Night at Topgolf Rhode Island.
10. The Facility
I’m sure everyone has seen it by now, but the facility itself is really impressive. Three floors, hundreds of bays, bathrooms and a bar on every floor.
And obviously, it is really cool all lit up at night.
9. Arrival at Topgolf
When I went to the Topgolf site for the groundbreaking last summer, I got a little confused as to where I was supposed to go and I think I did a couple of laps around.
Thankfully it is much easier now and obviously there are signs.
When we got there, we walked in and were greeted at the front desk by a nice woman.
I told her we were with the Group Chat Golf party and she told me exactly what floor and what bay numbers they had.
Each bay has a clear number that is easy to follow and the numbers even change color depending on where you are in your round.
8. The Service
The waiters and waitresses are always there for you. They literally stand within waving distance of their respective tables the ENTIRE TIME.
When you order food or drinks, they put it in the computer (5 feet away) and someone else brings it for them.
So there is very little waiting and wondering where the waitress/waiter went.
7. The Cold is Coming
Each bay has a massive heater above it to keep people warm year round.
This is probably stupid, but having never been to a Topgolf before, I didn’t know.
The restaurant and bars are all enclosed inside so when it’s cold out folks can still sit comfortably and eat or watch the games.
Again, this is probably a dumb thing, but it’s something I didn’t know, having never been.
6. No Grinding
If you are looking to work on your game and improve, Topgolf is probably not the best place.
I mean, if you really wanted to, I’m sure you could, the targets probably could help you in a way.
But overall, Topgolf is very much an entertainment venue, with drinks flowing, food being devoured, music blaring and sports games on the TVs everywhere.
5. The Food – YUM
At entertainment venues like this, golf or otherwise, sometimes you never really know what you are gong to get food wise.
In this case, the food was really really good.
My wife and I ordered the queso dip, which was awesome, and then we both ordered smokehouse burgers.
We were both impressed.
Someone else at the table ordered BBQ brisket sliders and those looked amazing and another person got buffalo wings.
You could smell the buffalo sauce, which is always a good sign.
Like any restaurant, I am sure they will come across issues and complaints at some point, but in our experience the food was really good.
So bays are booked in two-hour time slots and the prices vary depending on time of day and day of the week.
Morning is the cheapest ($40 per hour, per bay), mid afternoon ($52 per hour, per bay) is next and at night is the most expensive ($62 per hour, per bay).
Tuesday’s are half price.
So for example, a bay for two people at 10 a.m. is $79 Monday-Thursday, and $90 on Friday.
A bay at 12:30 p.m. on a Friday is $121, and a bay on a Friday night is around $150.
Plus any food or drink that you order.
So if you’re going out for a night with the boys, definitely pay attention to what you’re spending, as it can escalate quickly.
More info on pricing HERE
3. Game Time
The technology is really cool and gives golfers the ability to play any number of games.
Someone in our party of 3-4 bays said it’s “kinda like bowling,” and as we went along, it kind of was in a way.
So each bay has computer that you use to set up the game, players etc.. and then in front of you in the bay is a computer simulator where it shows your ball flight and where it lands, what target it hits and your score.
Now, there are multiple games you can play including Topgolf (the normal target game), Angry Birds, Quick 9, Top Score, Jewel Jam and others.
You can also play “real golf” if you wanted too.
We played the first hole at Pebble Beach and it’s just like playing on a simulator except you are not hitting into a TV screen.
There were 5-6 people at our particular bay so it was going to take too long, but I’m sure we could have played Pebble if we wanted too.
Mostly, we played the basic Topgolf game where you try and hit it at the targets and score points.
Each person gets five shots per round (4 rounds), and then the next person hits etc… And you can do whatever you want for those shots.
Change clubs, tee it up, hit different shots to different targets (obviously, some are closer than others), or whatever.
Or just take a driver and try to smash it into the back net.
2. Golf Clubs
You do not need to bring in your golf clubs.
Each bay is equipped with a set of clubs for both men and women that people can use.
Driver, pitching wedge, four iron, eight iron, six iron, three wood are all there.
Now, all the clubs (and balls) say Topgolf on them, but I would assume they were Callaway clubs since Topgolf is a part of the Callaway brand.
With that said, obviously, you can bring in your own clubs if you would like.
1. They Hype is Real
Listen, if I thought it was dumb or overrated, I’d tell you so.
I came away very impressed. I think Topgolf met and probably exceeded my expectations.
It will be interesting to see how they do and to see the financials after the first year, but I think they could dominate the local golf/entertainment scene.
For what it’s worth, (for the families and wives out there), my wife came with me and she had great time.
She wants to add Topgolf to our list of places to go and watch games.