One of the reasons I love to visit Washington, DC is TopGolf. I always make it a point to get a few buckets of balls at TopGolf as I love target practice golf; especially inside 100 yards. Even though I wrote an article about how you should not hit off mats, this is the one time I actually enjoy it. I have learned how to strike down on my wedges and short irons and the TopGolf mats are soft and new. If you want to find soft mats to hit off these are a great option.
TopGolf has heated ports or terminals meaning you have the opportunity to keep the temperature around 70 degrees no matter how cold it is outside. Even though you may feel some colder air the temperatures remain moderate. This also helps to keep the mats from getting rock hard. Honestly, these are probably the softest mats I have hit off in winter or cold conditions. That said, I still strongly urge you to hit off grass tees when learning how to hit irons and wedges. Our good friends and partners at Midlothian, VA dentist’s office River Run Dental Spa have joined us at this location.
TopGolf also offers food and beverage while you hit some balls. There is a wait staff that walks around periodically to ask if you would like a refill or any other type of food. I have only had the burger at this TopGolf location but I found it to be tasty and affordable. I would not go to TopGolf solely for the food but you cannot beat a great burger and heated or air conditioned driving range ports.
The coolest feature of TopGolf is the points that can be accumulated by hitting the balls to targets. There are targets at the following yardages – 20, 50, 100, 150, 175, 200 and the back net which is around 225. The back net target is only about 50 yards wide so you have to hit a relatively straight long iron, wood, hybrid or drive to get the points; it is not solely about distance. Let me repeat that one more time, TopGolf is not about distance, it is about accuracy. How awesome is that? This is something most driving range “hackers” do not understand.
These individuals will swing as hard as they can to see how far they can hit a driver. In fact, the last time I went to TopGolf one of these “bombers” was in the terminal beside me. He was hitting the ball about 300 yards but only one out of every five drives would have even been in play. In fact, he hit multiple balls that went outside the entire driving range. I quickly learned that accuracy is much more important than length. If you play at TopGolf you will learn this as well.
I am a huge fan of the 100 yards and in game. I can completely dominate this part of the game on the course and at TopGolf. Admittedly, I am a terrible long iron player as I have a very steep swing. With this being the case, I can spin a 60 degree wedge about 30 feet on the green. There are many situations in which I will hit the middle of the green and spin the ball all the way back off the front.
At TopGolf you cannot see the ball spin back as you are hitting the balls into a target. Even though I cannot see the ball spin back, it is still awesome to hit the dead middle of the 100 yard target. The targets are all bulleyes and you can accumulate more points by hitting it to the exact middle of the bullseye. I would imagine the bulleyes are about 15 yard in diameter. This gives golfers quite a bit of room for error. The further away the bullseye, the more points you will get for hitting it.
The Alexandria TopGolf location is in Kingstown. There are plenty of entertainment options in the area for before and after a few buckets of balls at TopGolf. There is a movie theater, a ton of restaurants, a Safeway and Giant grocery stores and a few other shopping options. If you plan on taking the girlfriend or wife and she doesn’t want to hit golf balls or watch you smack the white ball around she will have other things to do within one mile.
I have heard that TopGolf is coming to several new locations including Atlanta, Tampa and Virginia Beach. Unfortunately, there are no plans for Raleigh or Chapel Hill in the near future. If Chapel Hill got a TopGolf I would end up spending way too much time and money at this place. I already spend 20 hours a week playing golf so it may be a good thing that the TopGolf in Alexandria is about 4.5 hours from where I live.
Have you been to a TopGolf location? Do you find it to be a fun environment? Do you think it would do well in your area?