Topgolf’s Newest Location Will Add To the Myrtle Beach Golf Scene

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. | As rains fell and temperatures dipped, the 140 or so first-time visitors to the newest Topgolf location hardly noticed. What covered bays and cranked heaters didn’t take care of, the spectacular scene around them certainly did. Mixing one part driving range, one part video game and one part high-end restaurant, Topgolf is bringing something previously unseen to the Grand Strand golfing mecca. And just a few days before opening, Myrtle Beach Golf Trips was able to see just what this location was all about. What we found was a potential monster for a market that has been anticipating this since well before they broke ground on the complex in early April of 2018. “This is the smallest place we’ve ever had one,” Director of Operations Jeff Kowalski said during a pre-opening dry run event. “But the reason I’m so excited about it is I moved here at the end of the October and I am a rock star. I wear my shirt with [the Topgolf logo] shield and I have been stopped everywhere. When are we gonna open? Are we hiring? They are telling us they’re so excited that we’re going to be here.”


If you’re from one of the areas around the country unserved by Topgolf, you’re in the majority. That’s OK, we’re here to help with a rundown. Using three stories and 72 hitting bays (at the Myrtle Beach location, the rest hold mostly 100-plus bays), golfers have a multi-tiered driving range at their disposal, regardless of weather conditions. That’s the simple answer. What Topgolf really is, though, is a full-service entertainment venue that found a way to turn a driving range into a game – players can compete against each other while aiming for multiple oversized targets. Shots are tracked by golf balls that include microchips. Although you can bring your own clubs, others are provided, so really all you need to do is show up, something that prompts a lot of walk-in traffic.Beyond each hitting bay, rented by the hour and capable of hosting up to six people, is a game display screen, a television monitor and a medium sized dining table or couches. This is where Topgolf breaks and make its bread. A wide-ranging food menu can take care of quick snacks or highly involved date-night quality dinners. The bar list includes beer, wine and cocktails. The thought, of course, is that players are going to want to make this more of an event than a simple trip to the range, something they could do in dozens of locations in and around Myrtle Beach. Aside from all that, Topgolf Myrtle Beach also has three banquet options, two full-service bars, a massive TV wall on the bottom level and an outdoor patio that can accommodate DJs and bands.Every member of the staff, from Kowalski to the chefs to the servers to the golf coordinators work to turn this into a spectacle. They have choreographed dances ready to go, and each employee is expected to have customer service skills and personality galore. Many of them came from Texas – where Topgolf’s corporate offices and training facility are located – and the rest were mostly poached from some of Myrtle Beach’s most popular restaurants and entertainment venues.


The Myrtle Beach location is Topgolf’s 53rd to open, with 14 more already on the way. For the longest time, Topgolf resisted the urge to put one here. The Grand Strand was too small, or it didn’t have enough full-time residents to float the complex during the off months, or so many folks thought. Eventually, the company changed it mind, searched for and found the right location (2850 Grissom Parkway inside city limits) and needed less than a year to get up and running. Conventional wisdom says it will take much less time for its popularity to shoot through the roof. Combining the novelty of what it offers, opening at the beginning of the late-winter golf season and the fact that you don’t have to be a low-handicapper to enjoy this will all benefit the business model, not to mention those who are looking for something they haven’t had in Myrtle Beach before. This isn’t a true range or teaching facility; even those who bring their own clubs are going to find that hitting from 20 or 40 feet off the ground is deceptive and ball-striking effect will be different, most notably in distance. And like most businesses, it will undoubtedly be slower in the offseason and may have to adjust staffing or hours. However, here is what we love: An average round of golf takes four-and-a-half hours. Throw in some time for a range visit before and dinner after, and all of a sudden your hobby has chewed up six-eight hours. At Topgolf, those who want to swing the clubs in either a leisurely environment or with some mild competition can do so while grabbing a drink or two and a decent meal in a fraction of the time. If you don’t think the market here will sustain that, then you haven’t been paying attention to the 90 or so courses who call the Grand Strand home.Top Golf Myrtle Beach

Ian Guerin is a DJ and freelance writer based in Myrtle Beach. You can follow him on Twitter @iguerin and Facebook