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Can Topgolf Be Bigger Than Golf?

Updated: Jan 22

Topgolf Dubai

Topgolf's surging popularity has prompted us to dive into the intriguing question: Could Topgolf eventually surpass traditional golf?

In my role as a management and strategy consultant, I intend to undertake an in-depth examination of this matter by framing it as a comprehensive case study. This study will involve a thorough comparison between the entities involved.

As we explore this topic, we'll navigate through various aspects, providing insights, and expert perspectives, and answering frequently asked questions.

Table of Contents

The Evolution of Golf Entertainment

Topgolf Leagues

The fusion of technology and traditional golf has birthed Topgolf – a modern, dynamic version of the classic game. Topgolf introduces a vibrant social experience, blending precision and entertainment.

Unlike conventional golf, which may seem reserved, Topgolf appeals to a broader audience, making it an inclusive sport for all ages and skill levels. Topgolf strives to make club swinging accessible to a broad audience, dismantling the perception of golf as an exclusive activity.

Topgolf Centers: Revolutionizing Golf Entertainment

In 2022, Topgolf boasted a player base exceeding 31 million across its 95+ venues, online games, and third-party driving ranges employing its innovative Toptracer technology.

Originating in the United Kingdom in 2000, the high-tech range experience expanded to the United States in 2005 and caught the attention of golf club giant Callaway, which acquired it in 2021 for a substantial $2.6 billion.

Recognizing its pivotal role in Callaway's future, the company underwent a name change last year, now known as Topgolf Callaway. Constituting approximately 40% of the company's total revenue, the Topgolf segment serves as the primary growth driver.

Notably, in the first half of 2023, Topgolf witnessed a remarkable 20.5% growth compared to the same period the previous year, reaching an impressive $874.3 million.

Topgolf's Potential Impact

It's crucial to recognize that Topgolf operates as an entertainment venue, making a direct comparison to traditional golf is like comparing apples and oranges. However, this distinction doesn't imply that Topgolf aims to lure golf enthusiasts away or vice versa.

I believe Topgolf serves a valuable purpose, especially for those uncertain about their affinity for golf. Topgolf offers an affordable avenue for individuals to acquaint themselves with the sport and potentially develop a passion for it.

While not everyone visits Topgolf for sports-related reasons, as it also caters to social gatherings, dates, corporate events, and birthday celebrations, it remains an accessible gateway, particularly for children, to explore the world of golf.

If youngsters find enjoyment in the experience, they might be inclined to explore playing the sport on professional courses later on. Unlike more accessible sports like football, basketball, or baseball, golf poses a unique challenge in terms of introduction, making Topgolf a valuable and user-friendly initiation point.

There are additional potential impacts of Topgolf worth considering.

Redefining Accessibility

Topgolf breaks down barriers, making golf more accessible to everyone. Topgolf Venues can be found in urban areas, no longer confined to golf courses, bringing the joy of swinging clubs to city dwellers. The convenience and ease of access may contribute significantly to the popularity of Topgolf.

You don't have to invest in a country club membership and shell out thousands of dollars annually just to initiate yourself into the game, which, in my opinion, is quite fantastic.

The Social Aspect

Traditional golf often carries an air of formality. Topgolf, on the other hand, fosters a relaxed and social atmosphere. With shared bays, music, and friendly competition, golf transforms from a solitary pursuit into a group activity, appealing to a wider demographic.

Bridging the Generation Gap

While traditionalists may cling to the sanctity of golf courses, the younger generation embraces the dynamic, tech-infused experience Topgolf offers. The potential shift in preference might redefine the landscape of recreational sports.

Can Topgolf Be Bigger Than Golf?

Golf Field

The National Golf Federation's estimates indicate that approximately 41.1 million Americans engaged in golf-related activities in 2022. Among individuals aged 18 to 34, 6.2 million played on traditional golf courses, while another 5.8 million exclusively enjoyed the sport at "off-course" venues such as Topgolf.

Topgolf anticipates attracting up to four million new off-course golf enthusiasts annually. Looking ahead, the company aims to expand its global footprint from the current 95 locations to over 150, projecting around 70 million visits in the next five years.

Topgolf is launching campaigns to pursue this goal, building upon its previous initiatives from the last couple of years. The emphasis remains on seamlessly blending golf with unconventional elements. This strategic approach is yielding positive results, as evidenced by the company's earnings. Topgolf is strategically utilizing various facets of the modern marketer's playbook to maintain its successful trajectory.

Topgolf has consistently been at the forefront of seamlessly blending sports and entertainment into a singular experience. It has set the standard, with other companies now endeavoring to replicate this model in various sports, marketing themselves as the Topgolf of baseball, and the Topgolf of soccer.

Technology Factor

Topgolf transcends being merely a sports and entertainment venue and a high-technology company. With offerings like the Topgolf Swing Suite and other innovative possibilities, its rapid growth suggests a future where Topgolf might venture into selling its line of golf accessories—perhaps stylish gloves or hats, reflecting its distinctive "Hand Head" mentality.

This tech-savvy approach extends to the virtual realm as well. Topgolf has secured a coveted spot in the video game PGA Tour 2K, showcasing its presence in popular culture on gaming consoles. Further expanding its reach, the introduction of Golf+ on platforms like Oculus exemplifies Topgolf's strategy of taking the brand into diverse spaces in distinctive forms.

Crucially, Topgolf has resonated strongly with millennials and Gen Z, constituting more than half of its customer base. This demographic appeal positions Topgolf as an attractive collaboration partner for various brands.


As we contemplate the question, "Can Topgolf be bigger than golf?" it becomes evident that Topgolf isn't here to replace but to revolutionize.

Topgolf appears to be actively striving to enhance the accessibility of the game of golf. As they succeed in making the sport more accessible, it inherently becomes more inclusive, reaching a broader and more diverse audience within the community.

This synergy between Topgolf and golf suggests that, in the future, we may witness stories of golf champions who trace their beginnings back to a moment when their grandparent introduced them to the game through Topgolf.

Its ability to bridge gaps, redefine accessibility, and introduce a social element makes it a formidable contender. The future of golf may well be a harmonious blend of tradition and innovation, with Topgolf at its forefront.


What Sets Topgolf Apart?

Topgolf distinguishes itself with a blend of technology, entertainment, and accessibility. The interactive targets, coupled with a lively ambiance, create an unparalleled experience, setting it apart from conventional golf.

Is Topgolf Suitable for Professional Golfers?

While Topgolf primarily caters to casual players, it's not uncommon to see professional golfers enjoying the leisure facilities. However, for serious training, traditional golf courses remain the preferred choice.

Can Topgolf Compete with Golf's Heritage?

Topgolf doesn't aim to replace traditional golf but to coexist and complement. It brings a fresh perspective, infusing energy into the sport, and ensuring its continued relevance in contemporary times.

Are Topgolf Centers Profitable?

Topgolf Centers have witnessed immense success globally. The combination of social appeal, technology, and accessibility has translated into profitability, making it a lucrative venture.

How Does Topgolf Contribute to Golf's Evolution?

Topgolf catalyzes the evolution of golf. By attracting new demographics, it injects vitality into the sport, ensuring its adaptation to changing preferences and lifestyles.

Can Topgolf Boost Golf's Popularity Globally?

The global expansion of Topgolf suggests a positive answer. By transcending cultural barriers, Topgolf introduces golf to diverse populations, potentially making it a global sensation.


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