During Winter Break, our content manager and her family were seeking fun, easy outings that would appeal to her out-of-town guests. In looking for something that would be equally exciting to the kids and grandparents, she decided to check out North Austin’s Topgolf. This sprawling, modern facility features a game where you hit microchipped balls into dartboard-like targets. No golf experience needed, and good for all ages. Read all about her experience…
When we arrived at Topgolf, we were welcomed by friendly staff who were ready to tell us everything we needed to know to get started. We were ushered to the counter on the right where everyone begins by purchasing a lifetime membership card for a one-time cost of $5 per person. The cards are used to keep track of your score as you play, and having a membership also includes free golf club rentals if you don’t want to bring your own.
Once we signed up for our cards, we were given the full scoop on fees. Basically, you rent a bay — the area in which your group plays with lounge-like seating and restaurant service. Bays are rented by the hour and prices vary by day/time. Fees are $20/hr on Monday – Thursdays from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.; $40/hr Monday – Thursday from 6 p.m. – 12 a.m.; $20/hr on Friday – Sunday from 9 a.m. – noon; $40/hr on Friday – Sunday from noon – closing.
Once we got the cards and figured out the way things work, we went to the reservation desk where we could request our bay. You can choose from the 3 levels, and we opted for the middle level (because the kids thought the top level was way too high).
A helpful staff member seated us, and showed us how the game works. Basically, Topgolf differs from a traditional driving range because it offers a game called target golf. You get balls that contain microchips that track accuracy. Instead of aiming for standard holes, the golfers aim for targets. The further away the target and the closer your ball is to a pin, the more points you receive. There are some more challenging games you can try (click here for the full list), but we opted to keep things simple on our first visit.
Topgolf also offers a really extensive drink and food menu. We kept seeing some really tempting dishes go to nearby bays, and so we decided we needed to try a snack to share. We settled on the injectable donut holes that came with tubes of sauces in chocolate, raspberry and cream that you can fill your own donut. Needless to say, this was a big hit with the kids. (Click here to view the menu.)
The kids and grandparents had a great time playing together. It was a really fun way to spend an an afternoon. My youngest compared the outing to going bowling, and I think that’s a pretty accurate. Everyone takes turns, you get to sit around and cheer each other on, spend time chatting, eating and hanging out.
After an hour of playing, we peeked around the space some more. There is a foosball game on the 3rd floor that the kids enjoyed. There is also a rooftop patio as well as a huge bar on the first floor (that might be perfect for date night or parents night out). Outside, you’ll find a mini-putting green that the kids really liked, too.
One thing to note before you go, Topgolf can get REALLY crowded! This first time we came, we had no wait time and no trouble getting in. However, we tried to return during another afternoon of winter break, and the wait time was over an hour. They do not take reservations, but I would suggest calling ahead to check on crowds before you go.
Also, note that children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by adults.