TopGolf Driving Range

Photo Credit: Steven Wilke
Instead of clearing my mind with some traditional “retail therapy” I headed over to TopGolf to take out my frustrations at the driving range. The fact that I’ve swung a golf club only once before did not waiver my confidence as I dropped the ball through the activating slot and looked out to the huge pie shaped targets. Next, I placed the ball on the tee and stepped onto the green and…completely missed it. During my next attempt someone should have been yelling, “Fore!” because if possible I could have hit someone below me. But with some tips from my friendly competitor I was soon getting the swing of things and started yelling, “Points!”

At TopGolf the golf balls have computerized chips embedded in them which can detect which target location your ball lands in, how many points are rewarded and the distance traveled. Not only did this keep my older brother from cheating, but this new age technology turns a normal driving range into an array of different games with variations of play. Whichever version you choose, each player takes five turns and then rotates to the next player, leaving plenty of down time to nosh on one of the daily food item specials or order my favorite — the Top Burger with curly fries. Wash it down with your favorite brew (choose from 28 craft beers), one of three types of sangria, or a specialty cocktail.

And there’s no need to take your eye off the ball to retrieve your refreshments because, just like the pros, you have your own caddy (waitress) so you can keep focused on the game. Another way TopGolf adds comfort to your visit is with misters for those summer days and heaters and wind screens for those winter nights. A new addition, which literally takes comfort to another level, is the new roof top oasis on the third floor. A wooden pergola hovers above the bar and a fire pit creates a relaxing mood for those seated at the accompanying tables. The 26 hitting bays perched atop the third level give a new meaning to al fresco relaxing. Live performances occasionally add a sound track to your swing and tiki torches enhance the flair.

But enough about the ambiance. If you’re a serious golfer looking to improve your game TopGolf has you covered. Using Doppler radar missile technology a TopGolf specialist can measure both club delivery and the full trajectory of your shot. Then using a computer program they compare the video of your performance to a PGA Tour winner, visually demonstrating tactics that need improvement. The specialist then creates a portable recording of the lesson with voiceovers, allowing you to practice on your own. Who knows, with any luck you might become the next Tiger Woods… well, minus all the scandal we hope!

And, if you’re the best, why not show it off? “Leader Boards” are posted around TopGolf to show who has scored the most points. If your score tops the pros (on select days) you win five free games of TopGolf. But no matter how talented or clumsy you are the private hitting bays will conceal your secret celebrations or mishaps. Thanks to TopGolf’s versatility, it’s perfect for a family outing, a place to kick back with friends, girls or guys nights out, and even corporate events. No Clubs? No Shoes? No Problem! TopGolf rents clubs to customers free of charge and it’s not socially unacceptable to just kick off your shoes. So after hitting my last ball… for the fifth time, I made my way over to the 18 hole mini-golf course with my dad. And after surveying the water features, I got to thinking… at what age will he no longer let me win?

The Essentials
Location: 699 W. Thorndale Ave., Wood Dale, IL 60191
Phone: 630.595.4653

Hours of Operation
Monday- Thursday: 9:30-11:00pm
Friday: 9:30am-1:00am
Saturday: 9:00am-1:00am
Sunday: 9:00am-10:00pm


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About Natalie Scheid

When Mattel manufactures your idol and your nickname is Barbie life can get pretty unreal. My favorite activities include cheering on the White Sox (I’ve been converting Cubs fans since 1986), meeting new people and writing on the rooftop with the skyline as my backdrop. You might be able to find me at the opening of a new hot spot, soaking up some culture at a local museum or art show, or enjoying one of the cities fabulous festivals. So…. catch me if you can!

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