Real golf is for everybody at TopGolf

Took advantage of some beautiful february weather by hitting some balls at the local TopGolf in Ashbury, VA

When most people think about having fun and playing golf, they often think about mini golf. There are tons of these places all over the globe in most local areas. It is the one place where family and/or friends can go out and have a fun, competitive time without having to know all of the rules and nuances of a real golf course. The idea of playing a real round of golf has interested me more and more as the years have passed by. Thanks to games on the Nintendo Wii that actually allow you to play on real golf courses and actually learn some of those rules and nuances of the game, i’ve become curious about getting out there in the real world and trying it out. The only problem was, I wasn’t sure of how to go about it. For years, my understanding was that I would have to go out, buy some clubs, and either learn on my own or meet a coach of some sort to help me with it.

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How TopGolf changed my attitude

A few years ago I got introduced to a place in my local area called TopGolf. One random day during the early part of this decade me and my girlfriend at the time were just looking for a place to play mini golf. This location happened to have a pretty good course that we enjoyed playing on. When going inside to get our clubs and balls, I noticed that they had several bays setup where you could try your hand at swinging some real clubs. Back then, I viewed this as off limits. This was an area designated for “real golfers” who knew the game and had the money to go out and play a real round with other people. I didn’t really think much of it beyond that. Then, several years later, my wife and I had a day off together in the middle of winter and were looking for something fun to do on an unusually warm February day. Since my wife was a little more worldly than me, she knew that simply going somewhere to swing away with real clubs in the same setting I wrote off years ago could be fun. Since there was a new TopGolf relatively close to where we lived, we decided to enjoy the nice weather with a drive and a trip to play some “real golf”. Little did I know that I was actually going to have more fun doing this than i’ve ever had at any mini golf course i’ve ever been to. As I started to really take my blogging seriously, I knew I wanted to dig a little deeper into this topic and write about it since I think, atleast from my perspective, that this is an overlooked way to have a lot of fun with family, friends, and even all by yourself. Recently we had another gorgeous winter day in the Washington D.C. area. Considering the fact that i’ve already been working so hard to exercise more and lose weight, I thought this would be a great day to get some exercise outside and prep a detailed blog about playing at TopGolf.


The customer service at TopGolf has been great every time i’ve been there. Whether you are beginner or expert, the information desk will steer you in the right direction.

A sleek, but comfortable & laid-back atmosphere

I’ve only been to two Top Golf locations, but my first observation when walking into either location is how speak and modern looking their facilities are. They accomplish this without being pretentious. It is easy to find the check in/information desk where you can receive information on how to obtain bay and how to take advantage of offers and products they might have available. You will also see a bar/restaurant area where you can hang out before or after your game. This area in the Loudon location is especially nice. You can even watch fellow golfers swing away while you are lounging in this area since the bays are visible and right outside of this area. The bays themselves are comfortable and laid out well. It is easy to find your scorecard/information monitor, clubs, etc. Basically, TopGolf makes your experience as easy and comfortable as possible.

More than a bucket of balls and a few clubs

As for the gameplay itself, there is more to it than you might think. Since TopGolf is the only real golfing experience I’ve had, I can’t compare it to anything else. What I can tell you is that it’s not just a matter of being given a bucket of golf balls that you swing away at and practice. TopGolf makes the experience fun. A lot of fun. When you first reach your bay, you will need to go over to the interactive monitor and check in. If you have a TopGolf card, which you can get at the information desk inside, you can use it to build up points for freebies and other perks. You can then choose how much time you want to play for. I have to admit, this can get a little pricey. One hour of play costs $35.00 and two hours costs $75.00. This makes a day out at TopGolf an experience you can’t necessarily do quite as frequently as something like mini golf, but the amount of fun you have makes it well worth it.

Games within the bays make golf fun

The next step is to pick a game to play. They give you the option to choose from nine different games to play that are based on the field of targets in front of you. I usually pick the TopGolf game which has a basic scoring system. The further you hit the ball and the closer you get to the center, the more points you will earn. They give you twenty tries per game. Since I have a tendency to skip ahead and go right for the “Big Dog” clubs right off the bat, I decided to practice patience this time and warm up with a 6 Iron and 3 Wood clubs since they are a little lighter and I can still get some decent distance from them. After one game, a game in which I scored pretty low on, I decided to jump in with the Big Dog club. A club that is hard to put down once you get warmed up.

Service that comes to you while playing

Another feature of TopGolf that separates it from traditional mini golf is the service you receive within your bay. Whether you are swinging away on your own or socializing with family, friends, or colleagues, a server will be close by in order to bring food and drinks to your bay while you are playing. This really adds a lot to the experience since there is no need to stop play while you eat and drink. In general, the service at TopGolf has been great every time I’ve been there. A server is always around your bay and ready to help or serve.


My server Jalen not only did a good job refilling my drinks, he also took some images of me swinging my club. Thanks Jalen!

A fun time for everybody

I don’t know for sure if I’ll ever be able to pick up real golf as a hobby, but when it comes to going out and having a fun, relaxing time outside, TopGolf is a great place to go. It is great to see that so many more locations are starting to pop up around the country. Whether you are golfing pro or a beginner like me, TopGolf has a great layout where golfers of all skill levels can play, practice, learn, and have fun. From all skill level leagues to lessons, TopGolf really seems to have all of the bases covered. If that’s not enough, you can even hold an event or party at their facility. When browsing their site you can once again see that they do whatever they can to cover all of the possibilities. From Corporate events to fundraisers, it all seems to be covered.

If you’ve only ever had a passive interest in golf, that could change when you come to a TopGolf. If you’re an expert player, it will not seem beneath you to be there. I think they hit a great balance when it comes to meeting the needs of players of all skill levels. Find a friend and spend an hour in one of their bays. Take the family out and have some fun for awhile. Order a few drinks, snack on some nachos, laugh, and have a good time. If you don’t feel like being out in the sun too much or you don’t want to do anything too strenuous, this is a great alternative. Plus, you still get some exercise while doing it. Especially if you get in a good rhythm. If you live close to a TopGolf, you are lucky . You should take advantage of it as much as you can. If you are an hour two away from one, take a road trip and have fun. You’ll be glad you did!

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13 Responses

  1. The Not Fake DC says:

    Seems fun. I don’t think we have any by me. One of these days I’ll learn how to properly swing a club (not Happy Gillmore style).

  2. The Not Fake DC says:

    It doesn’t work in real life

  3. Interesting. I’ve always liked golf but my lack of experience has always made me shy away from playing with experts. I like TopGolf’s way of separating newbies and experts.

    • Marc Schmidt says:

      I felt the same way before I started going to TopGolf. It’s a great experience. I am kind of addicted to going now, haha!

  4. imterrah says:

    I tried TopGolf the first two weeks ago and I loved it !

  5. Monika says:

    This is so cool!!! I’ve always wanted to play real golf too – and as well as you, even more so after playing on the Wii! Lucky you have this opportunity close by… Jealous! 😉

    • Marc Schmidt says:

      I highly recommend taking a trip to one of these places if you ever get one in you area. It’s a great place to hang out and learn the game!

  6. Bryan Carey says:

    I’ve always liked Top Golf, even though it can get expensive. We have three of them in the Houston area, including one that is about 10 miles from my house. Fun place, and good beer selection, too!

    • Marc Schmidt says:

      Yeah unfortunately you can’t play too long unless you have deep pockets. You are lucky to have one ten minutes away. All of my closest locations are an hour away. Good beer selection is important too ! 🍺👍🏻

  7. Ben Aqiba says:

    Hello Marc,

    golf…uh…that sport really looks fantastic but I never tried it.That is my goal for the future, to learn to play golf.

    • Marc Schmidt says:

      Something like TopGolf is a good first step. Just head out there and have some fun with it. That would be my advice if you really wanted to get into it.

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