You don’t need to see “Happy Madison” to believe golf can be for younger, more hip audiences. Golf is no longer just for your grandparents and sports fanatics — a new entertainment venue gives the sport a modern, high-tech twist for customers of all ages and skill levels.
Topgolf Baton Rouge will open off of Siegen Lane near I-10 at 9 a.m. on Jan. 11, according to the venue’s website. The three-level, 55,000-square-foot venue is the company's 52nd location worldwide.
The location will feature 72 climate-controlled hitting bays, full-sized restaurants and bars, a private event space and a rooftop terrace with a fire pit. Topgolf venues feature flexible event spaces with year-round programming for children and family-friendly events, social leagues, groups, golf tournaments and instruction.
Topgolf Baton Rouge held a soft opening the week before it’s full opening. The venue, located at 10955 N. Mall Drive, will be the first Topgolf in Louisiana. More than 350 full- and part-time associates have been hired in advance of the opening.
"The excitement and energy here in Baton Rouge is off the charts and we are thrilled to open our first Louisiana venue in the heart of the state," said Topgolf Baton Rouge Director of Operations Blake Upchurch in a press release. "Topgolf is a place for everyone to create special memories with friends and families so we hope to have you out soon."
Topgolf’s microchipped golf balls score themselves, providing players with instant feedback on each shot's accuracy and distance on a TV screen in their hitting bay. Players can aim for 11 dartboard-like targets on a 215-yard outfield — the farther the shot goes and the closer to the pin, the more points the player receives.
Topgolf operates over 50 venues in the U.S., United Kingdom and Australia with the headquarters located in Dallas, Texas. The Topgolf technology was developed in Watford, England, between 1996 and 2001 by twin brothers Steve and Dave Jolliffe. The brothers wanted to improve their experiences after golfing in a London driving range, which began their Topgolf idea.
The Jolliffe brothers formed a company called World Golf Systems (WGS) and installed the technology in a Watford driving range in 2001. WGS sold the range and licensed the technology to a U.K. development company called Baydrive. Baydrive then developed two additional U.K. sites.
Topgolf as we know it today emerged from Golf Entertainment International (GEI), the U.S. licensee. This company was established in London in 2006 to bring the technology and the experience to the U.S.