If you have been to a Top Golf you have seen how great it is to hit shots and see exactly how many yards they are traveling. Top Golf is great experience and is exposing non-golfer to the game and certainly growing the game.
But one thing you may not know is that Top Golf has another product that is now helping regular driving ranges convert or bring that same “Top Tracer” technology to just about any driving range.
What is Top Tracer
12 years ago, Top Tracer changed how golfers consume golf on television. They were able to overlay a blue line on the screen and show viewers exactly where the ball was traveling. This includes the curvature of the shot, height and direction.
In 2011 they pivoted the technology and started to try to bring that same technology to golfers that were practicing. And today that is exactly what Top Tracer is doing at over 250 driving ranges in 27 countries.
If you visit a driving range with Top Tracer, you will have to get the App (Not the Top Golf App). Once you have the App and an account you can play all sorts of games. These include closest to the pin, long drive, go fish for the kids and you can play courses like Pebble Beach.
How its enhancing golf
“Our goal is to activate golf. We want more people to hit more golf balls and go to the driving range more often. Giving golfers the opportunity to understand their game and practice better.”Ben Sharpe, President of Top Tracer said it best during a recent PGA webinar:
Once you are logged into the App and start hitting balls all of your statistics are tracked. On the monitor you can select the club you are hitting and then Top Tracer does the rest. It tracks ball speed, launch angle, yardage, etc.
And in addition to that, there is a huge gamification aspect as well. For example, I love playing the Long Drive competition. In addition to the launch monitors, each driving range has several large televisions that act as leader boards. There is nothing like seeing your long drive be #1 for that facility.
If you go into the App you can see how you stack up against your range for the day, month and overall champion. You can compare your scores to every Top Tracer ranges as well.
Another great game is the “Approach Challenge”. In this game you select a course (Pebble Beach) and then you play 9 approach shots into different holes. These range from 60 to 170-yard shots. Your score is based on how far from the hole you are on each shot.
And if you are bringing the kids, there is “Go Fish”.
If you are having a tournament and the range has Top Tracer you can enhance your event with these contests prior or after play. Long drives or closest the pin for cash and prizes.
Bringing new players to the game
Everyone who operates a golf facility says we need to “give guest a better experience to stay longer and have more fun”. And that is exactly what Top Tracer and Top Golf are doing. Top Golf is a popular spot for birthday parties and corporate events.
Top Tracer is doing the same thing without the 2-million-dollar development project. Now regular driving ranges are a popular spot for teams, families and other groups to get together.
It is exposing golf to an audience beyond golfers. On my last trip to McGinnis Park there were two kids hitting in the bay next to mine. They were horrible, their parents were sitting at a table 30 feet away eating dinner. But the kids were having the best time. They were just trying to see if they could get their shots to go 100 yards. It didn’t matter to them if it was hit well… a grounder was enough for them as long as they out hit their sibling.
On another trip some high school kid was hitting next to me. He caught my attention because he was texting more than he was hitting shots. Then about 15 minutes later two of his buddies showed up to play with him.
Enhancing Your Golf Facilities
“I drive 30 miles out of my way, pay a bridge toll just to use the Top Tracer driving range. And there is a range 3 miles from my house. I don’t want to go to a range that doesn’t have Top Tracer at this point.”Jeremy Callahan, CTO, Golf BPM
During the webinar, Dale Folmar of CBIGG Management discussed the increased foot traffic and revenue they are seeing at the four facilities they have added Top Tracer to.
These Impacts include all operations at a club. In June the total business grew 11%. But the driving range revenue and usage was up 100%.
In addition to that he is excited about the long-term impacts because now those facilities have extended peak time and will not be affected by weather or nighttime.
The ‘Wow’ Factor!
Adding Top Tracer clearly brings in the “Wow” factor, new players and provides the necessary technology for player development. Golf academies and instructors can also greatly benefit from using the technology.
I personally love it and go out of my way to go to ranges that have it. It is extremely important to me to get the technical data while I am practicing.
Top Tracer Stats:
250 driving ranges
4000 top tracer bays
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