If you love golf, be very excited. If you want to learn how to play and have fun doing it, be verrrry excited. I'm a golfer because my dad was a golfer, and when we moved from New York to Arizona we lived with the new Tucson Country Club in the back yard. The course was a never-ending source of play during the day, and discovery as darkness fell and the wildlife came out. It's a patience game and a great way to socialize with friends and meet new ones. And you never have to produce anything to prove how great you did, like a fisherman does at the end of the day.
Utah has more than 120 public golf courses and they are relatively cheap for 18 holes with a cart. Generally, it's about $50 for five hours of fun. If you compare our prices to, say, Arizona or California, ours are generally half the price. But now the best new alternative to golf has arrived as Midvale's Topgolf, which opens this Friday. You've seen their style of golf ranges in movies: two or more tiers of driving greens where golfers hit buckets of balls at their own speed in heated or cooled comfort, at targets many yards away from the platform.
Topgolf opens at Bingham Junction and Jordan River Boulevard and has 102 hitting bays with 11 targets, hundreds of high-definition TVs, music and swell dining. They have a staff of 85 in the kitchen, cooking up Mexican sushi ("mushi"), wings, sliders and doughnut holes. Prices are reasonable at $7 to $13 for entrées. The really, really cool part of Topgolf is that they make the experience a game of competition (if you want to play). They have special golf balls with microchips that log where you hit the ball to complete a game and the chip reader will post your score based on your accuracy and distance and send it to the TV screen in your bay. But if you don't want to play that game, you can also just work on your shots. Like bowling, you can practice in your own lane or play on the overhead screen with another person next to you or down the alley. You don't have to have your own clubs or balls and their courses allow golfers to eat food and drink beer and boozy beverages in the individual bays, served by "bay hosts." There's a private bar area for those 21 and older—Topgolf bought out Fat's Grill's license last year. The place is kid friendly, too, with a kid zone and games for all ages.
And if you see me there, lay down the gauntlet and let's compete for top-dog honors!