I had the opportunity to attend a media preview of one of the most highly anticipated new entertainment attractions in the entire state of Florida! Topgolf has chosen to make its first Florida home right here in Tampa Bay. Lucky us! If you aren’t familiar with Topgolf, according to the brochure they are a multilevel golf entertainment facility boasting 3 floors of 102 hitting bays. If you’re like me and you are not a golf aficionado, what this means is it’s the fanciest, snazziest, driving range you’ve ever seen and they serve booze. Topgolf really rolled out the star treatment for us and in the words of my 14-year-old son, “This place is sooooooo kewl!” If the moody teenager approved then it must be good. Topgolf Tampa opening first in florida
Disclaimer: I was an invited guest and we were compensated with complimentary play time, food, and drinks. No monetary compensation was received for this post. As always my opinions are my own and I will always provide my audience with genuine honest feedback.
The whole look and feel of the place is chic and swanky. When you first arrive, you are greeted by an extended cab golf cart that whisks you (and your clubs if you brought them) to the front entrance. The bright bold neon sign on the front of the building just screams “Come inside and have fun!!!”
Friendly associates greet you as you enter and you feel like you have walked into a South Beach Ocean Drive hotel lobby. I’m not exaggerating. They really did place an emphasis on aesthetics and everything about the entry lobby makes you wonder if you’re there to hit balls or hit the social scene. Based on their concept….it’s both.
When you first enter you catch a glimpse of the driving range through an expanse of glass doors. It gives a very open and clean look to the place. There is a golf merchandise desk, a concierge, a place to have your clubs stored, and an eye-catching fountain display. The fountain draws your eyes to a beautifully lit bar and enticing restaurant area.
I’m not a golfer, just putting that out there. I can’t speak for how avid golfers would feel about the quality of the driving range itself. However I’ve learned a thing or two from golfing with guys I’ve dated. I’ve gone to the driving range and on occasion the golf course. 18 holes of golf is way too long for me personally and my wine doesn’t stay cold for that long. It turns out, however, that I do enjoy the driving range. I get quite a bit of enjoyment out of whacking the crap out of a little ball as hard and as far as I possibly can. Hey, it’s cheaper than therapy sessions. My teenage son enjoys it as well.
At Topgolf Tampa you rent a bay by the hour on the driving range on any one of the three levels. You can select from a myriad of game modes using a touch screen that interacts with your micro-chipped golf ball. The “smart” ball enables the touch screen to display data about how far you hit the ball and whether you hit your target. The targets are bright colors and at certain times of the night there’s a light show out on the range choreographed to the music playing throughout the speakers.
Don’t own your own clubs? No worries! Golf clubs for men, women, and even lefties are included in the cost. An associate is on hand to take your drink and food orders right at your bay. The regular bays have high tables and chairs while the bays that can be reserved for gatherings have comfy couches. There are flat screen TV’s in each bay and it’s climate controlled. Heaters when it’s chilly and cool misters when it’s hot. It’s Florida so the cool misters will be a Godsend in those warmer months.
I was told that there will also be associates walking around to offer golf tips and there will be an opportunity to opt in for lessons as well. While it may not be your first choice if you are just trying to work on your game, it’s a great choice to combine a hobby you enjoy with friends and great food.
You guys know I’m a foodie. I admit that I was completely distracted from using the golf bays initially because of all the food! We were treated to appetizers that were miniature versions of some of their staples. The mini chicken and waffle sandwiches were not only cute, but very tasty.
We also sampled chimichurri chicken on a stick and mushi rolls (mexican sushi). The mushi is a Topgolf original creation of a jalapeno tortilla filled with sticky rice, chicken, cheese, sour cream, avocado, and sriracha hot sauce cut up just like a sushi roll. Thumbs up for this creative and scrumptious creation.
The main spread highlighted many of their menu staples as well as what they offer for catered special events. A live cooking station prepared shrimp and grits which were pretty good. I really liked the smoked brisket tacos and I was very impressed to learn from Corporate Executive Chef, Seve Delgado, that they smoke their own meats. They featured a carving station serving a tender juicy flavorful pork loin. They also had a pasta salad and a spinach salad.
The food was a bit fancy for the kids and they offered to cook the boys fries and hamburgers back in the state of the art kitchen. I was very pleased that they went out of their way to accommodate both of my boys. I didn’t get to snap a picture of their burgers because they dove into them so quickly but I was able to sneak a bite. I don’t know what kind of bun they use for those sliders, but I’m pretty sure they were made with magic and love. Sooo good!
The showstopper of the night was dessert. We were treated to their infamous injectable donut holes. They are warm cinnamon dusted donut holes served with syringes of filling to inject into your donut holes. You can choose between Bavarian cream, chocolate, or raspberry. We had a great time playing with our food! We got bold and injected more than one flavor at a time. I liked the chocolate and cream combination. This was a huge hit with the kiddos.
Important safety tip: Be sure you remove the cap to your filling syringe or you will have a messy explosion on your hands!
I perused the menu and they have a wide variety of entrees that I can’t wait to try when I return. There is a strawberry shortcake topped with strawberries that have been soaked in Grand Marnier that is calling my name!
Topgolf has a large bar on the main floor in the restaurant area. There is also a bar on the rooftop terrace and a bar in the special event room. The really great thing is that you don’t have to leave your golf bay to get a drink. Associates will come by and take your order. I tried the white peach sangria and a strawberry mint sangria. The white peach was very light and not too strong but very refreshing. The strawberry mint sangria was a bit stronger and very good! I think the strawberry mint wins for my favorite but you can’t go wrong with either.
The drink menu was pretty extensive. They have make your own margaritas, golf bag fish bowl cocktails, lots of beers on tap, and a complete assortment of top shelf choices. I’m really looking forward to taking advantage of the $4 mimosas on Sunday Funday!
If you have zero interest in golf, there are still plenty of reasons to check out Topgolf Tampa. The food and drinks are great reasons to start. In addition to that there are plenty of areas for lounging or watching the game. The downstairs lounge features pool tables and shuffle board and large flat screen TVs with Xbox Kinect on each of the TVs. The upstairs smaller lounge has a foosball table and a single TV and Xbox Kinect.
The biggest draw for the non-golfers is the beautiful rooftop terrace. A huge wrap around bar and an abundance of covered tables and fire pits makes this a premier spot to party! The ambience in this space is everything! Weekends will feature live music and the rooftop will become one of Tampa’s newest party spots to see and be seen. There’s a dance space as well as a small stage. I was thoroughly impressed with this space. Give me a pretty bar and fire pits and I’m easily amused. What else do you need?!
I had my 14-year-old and my boyfriend’s 5-year-old with me and they really had a good time. In fact they keep asking if we are going back. My teenager is already trying to convince me to let him have his next birthday party at Topgolf. They will have a kid’s club with programs geared specifically toward them so I look forward to learning more about that when it’s up and running. It’s also a great way to peak your child’s interest in golf. It doesn’t look like Dad’s boring driving range and the technology behind the games is something they will enjoy.
The entire staff jumped up to do the fun party dance “The Wobble” and brought the kids up to dance with them front and center. I didn’t even know my son could do that dance! The kids loved it.
They also really enjoyed injecting the injectable donuts; who doesn’t like playing with their food?!
This is certainly a good family outing during day time hours. However I think the evenings, especially on weekends, will be geared a bit more for the adult crowd.
Overall Topgolf made a great first impression. It’s something different for the area and very cool that we are the first location in the state of Florida! This is a great option and a unique way to have fun and encourage people to be active. I know what you are saying now. That all sounds great but how much is it?! It’s really very reasonable. Up to 6 people can play for $20 an hour during non-peak hours and $40 an hour during peak hours. If you’re solo it can be a bit costly, but with a group it’s very reasonable. Club rental is included if you don’t bring your own clubs.
A special thank you to ALL of the Topgolf associates who created a memorable night for me and my family! We had a wonderful time! I look forward to returning for more play time and most definitely for more mushi, more sangria, and to try that strawberry shortcake!
Head on over to the Topgolf Tampa website and take a look at their rates and membership offerings. This Thursday they will be hosting a grand opening party with lots of fun and some celebrity appearances. I will be covering that event as well. I look forward to all of you getting a chance to check it out! Grand opening to the public is Friday, December 19th. (A little birdie told me there may already be soft openings!)
As a special thank you to my readers and to get you ready for grand opening, I’m hosting a sponsored giveaway!!! I’ve got a $10 off game play card for 1 lucky reader. Contest ends on Friday, December 19 11:49 pm.
Lauren G. , Outdoorsy Diva™
“Tis the season for adventure!”