May 1, 2019

Troon Enters Golf Entertainment Biz

Pandora’s Box has been opened. Topgolf has ushered in an era and helped industry leaders to recognize the value of entertainment centric-venues that use golf ranges as a centerpiece.

That value extends well beyond the bottom line (just take a peak at our cover story from the April issue, which highlights the reverberating impact such facilities can have on growth of the game, access to the game, introductory experiences and the pure coolness factor).

Now Troon Golf, a leader in golf facility management and development, is entering the space with the introduction of Great Shots – a new 54,000- square-foot golf and entertainment venue in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, scheduled to open in November 2019. The Troon-managed facility will be located inside the Sanford Sports Complex and will serve as a year-round hub for fun, entertainment, food and drinks.

The three-story facility is currently under construction and will feature 60 hitting bays with individually-controlled radiant heaters. Each bay will accommodate up to 10 guests with golfers hitting shots out to a 90 yard-wide by 250-yard long artificial turf practice range. From a tech perspective, a radar-based system will be used to track shots, including club-head speed, exit velocity and distance. BigShots software will be used to provide gamification.

PGA Professional Jonathan Buckley has been hired as the facility’s General Manager. From 2012 through 2016, Buckley opened and managed three Topgolf venues, including sites in Houston, Scottsdale and Oklahoma City.

“Golf and entertainment venues like Great Shots are gaining popularity across the nation and most of that is driven by non-golfers,” said Kevin Lampe, president, Sanford Sports. “We’re thrilled to have Jonathan leading our operations at Great Shots and believe his experience in managing similar entertainment venues will be invaluable.”