Cincy golf scene going vertical at Top Golf

India Kirssin | Managing Editor

Topgolf, a new golf and entertainment center, opened in West Chester in July, bringing golf, food, music and fun to Cincinnati residents. The new location is the 27th in the nation, but the first in Ohio, to give golfers and nongolfers alike a new way to play golf.

Topgolf is a driving range with a twist. Participants can choose from nine different games, all centered around hitting the ball into one of the bullseyes for points. Each golf ball has a microchip in it that helps track where the ball goes and how many points a player gets. The closer to the center of the target a player hits the ball, the more points they receive. Their points then pop up on a touch screen scoreboard located in their bay-or tee off area. Games focus on precision, speed, points and more.

Normal driving ranges are set up like regular golf courses, players hit for accuracy and distance, but not for points against others and not into gigantic, colorful targets. The concept of Topgolf has opened the game up to people of all skill levels because of its multiple difficulty levels, competitive nature and fun ambience.

Matt Barkelew, Operations Manager for Topgolf, said the company draws in more nongolfers than golfers because of the excitement and curiosity surrounding Topgolf.

“70 percent of our demographic does not qualify themselves as golfers – a golfer being somebody who golfs once a year at least,” Barkelew said. “The great majority of our guests are coming in and want to experience what we offer.”

Barkelew said the company’s goal is to foster a fun environment.

“Topgolf is a global sports entertainment community creating the best times of your life,” Barkelew said. “We want to create entertainment value off of a concept and a culture more than anything.”