Topgolf Brings World’s Premier Courses to Neighborhood Driving Ranges


Topgolf Entertainment Group acquired the technology used to track the flight of a golf ball, display its path in video and analyze every shot in 2016 (then known as Protracer, since renamed Toptracer); but only recently has company begun licensing the technology to traditional golf ranges. Toptracer, which also powers select Topgolf centers and the television broadcasts of several major tournaments (see: U.S. Open and Ryder Cup), enables golfers to play virtual versions of the world’s premier golf courses from the convenience of their neighborhood range. The technology also gives golfers the chance to track stats on every shot and compete against one another in a variety of challenges/games. Nearly 30 ranges have licensed Toptracer technology to date, but Topgolf VP of Corporate Development Ani Mehta says the goal is for that number to be in the “hundreds or thousands”.

Howie Long-Short: The company recently hired Troy Warfield (formerly of British Airways, Avis), to expand its global footprint of Topgolf venues and ranges that license Toptracer technology. Topgolf is privately held, but Callaway Golf (ELY) owns 15% of the company. Dallas businessman Thomas Dundon invested in the company in 2011. You may recognize the name; he recently signed a purchase agreement to acquire the Carolina Hurricanes.

Fan Marino: Jordan Spieth, who finished ’17 number 2 in the world (Dustin Johnson finished 1st), was caught on video celebrating (as if he won the Masters, again) a hole-in-one on a Full Swing golf simulator (watch the video, here). Full Swing, which has been around since 1986, closed on a private equity round in May ‘17; Topgolf participated as an investor. Fun fact: Tiger Woods, Jason Day and Padraig Harrington also have Full Swing simulators in their homes.

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