High-Tech Driving Range Topgolf Opens in Northeast Philly
Rent a climate-controlled bay, order a round of drinks, and tee off into the future.
It seems golf has been having a bit of a 21st-century renaissance, between indoor golf simulators like Play-a-Round popping up on the Main Line and a just-announced indoor high-tech mini-golf facility and restaurant Puttshack planned for Liberty Place next summer.
Now Topgolf is entering the mix, expanding into the Philadelphia area with a just-opened Northeast Philly location and another planned for King of Prussia next summer. The sports entertainment venue has 77 locations worldwide, including one in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, which used to be Philly’s closest option.
The three-level, 68,000-square-foot complex sits at the former location of the Nabisco plant, just off Roosevelt Boulevard, at 2140 Byberry Road. The open-air facility includes 102 climate-controlled hitting bays for a new twist on golf; plus a sports bar and restaurant, outdoor patio, roof deck, and private-event space.
Here’s how it works. Book a climate-controlled hitting bay for yourself and up to five friends — you can reserve online or walk in and take your chances. A host will help you set up player profiles and choose your game (they’re all golf, obviously, but with slightly different goals and skills). The bays open out to an outdoor driving range, but themselves are covered from the elements, and have screens that track your score and progress, comfortable seating, and the ability to order food and drinks without having to go to the bar. Choose a club (you can also bring your own, but there’s no cost to use Topgolf’s), wave it over the sensor, and a ball comes out for you to hit. Aim for any of the range’s targets of different sizes and colors — the further the target, the more points you get for hitting it — and the ball will “score itself,” displaying distance and accuracy on the screen.
While you can certainly get serious about perfecting your golf game, Topgolf’s laidback vibe is clearly aiming more for entertainment, so don’t worry if you have no skill or experience. They have clubs for all ages, down to toddler-size, so it’s as suited for happy hour as it is for a kid’s birthday party.
The menu, unsurprisingly, consists of crowd-pleasing sports-bar fare like flatbread pizzas, burgers, and nachos; wine, beer and cocktails round out the bar offerings, with local brews in the mix including Evil Genius, Yards, and Victory Brewing Company.
Bays start at $30 dollars per hour, with the price going up depending on day and time — it’ll cost you more on nights and weekends. Keep in mind that price is per hour, not per person, so if you’re playing six-to-a-bay, that’s a pretty good deal for a night out.