It is 15 degrees outside. The heated stalls create up to 20 degrees of additional warmth.
The line to buy a $5 registration card is out the door. The wait to get a stall to hit balls at Top Golf in Centennial, Colorado, which opened in September 2015, is 2 1/2 hours. The parking lot is so full that one is obligated to use valet parking. College bowl games abound on the TVs. The following weekend during the NFL Wild Card games, the wait was 4 hours. The only time you are assured of less than a 30-minute wait is before 10 a.m.
It should be noted that part of the long waits at Top Golf are unnecessarily induced by their blocking a booth 2 hours in advance for a corporate outing or advanced reservation to ensure its availability. The weekend before Christmas over 70 of the 105 booths were empty for over 1 hour in anticipation of the arrival of various parties.
It is also curious that Top Golf reserves the right to take and post pictures of anyone. Click here to see the sign at the front entrance laying on the floor.
However, notwithstanding these limitations encountered at Top Golf, individuals who say the barrier to the growth of golf is time or cost don’t get it.
For individuals to wait in line 30 minutes to get a registration card then to sign up to wait for a booth for over 2 hours – time isn’t an issue.
Regarding cost, the 105 stalls are available 15 hours per day 365 days per year generating 574,875 times that could be booked. With annual revenues estimated at $25 million (on a $12 million investment) individuals are paying no less $43.48 per hour which equals the cost of a 4 hour round of golf. Go figure.
The real barrier to golf is not time or cost but the fact the golf lacks entertainment value for the masses.