REAL ESTATE

Off-course golfing center brings its concept to Detroit

BY Al Urbanski

Topgolf has announced a mission to take its open-to-everybody golf experience worldwide, and its next stop is Detroit.

Mid-America Real Estate reported that it has brokered the purchase of a site at the junction of Interstate 75 and Joslyn Road in Auburn Hills on behalf of Topgolf. The location is close by Great Lakes Crossing Outlets, Legoland Discovery Center Michigan, and Fieldstone Golf Club. Topgolf’s three-level, 65,000 sq. ft. facility is slated for a winter 2018 opening.

Topgolf is the leading provider of what the National Golf Foundation calls “off-course participation,” a controlled experience that is the driving factor behind a resurgence in the popularity of golf in the U.S. While the number of “green grass” golfers fell 1.2% to 23.8 million in 2016, according to the NGF, the number of off-course golf participants grew 11% to more than 20 million.

Topgolf facilities are essentially high-tech driving ranges where players can compete against each other by hitting balls into targeted areas and registering scores. Players awaiting their turns can lounge, eat, and drink in area that resembles a posh bowling alley.

Topgolf offers several options for golfers to test themselves on the range and provides lessons for beginners. The company says it expects 450,000 players to visit the Auburn Hills location in its first year, each spending between $25 and $45 for balls and club rentals.

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