Published by Jeremy. Last Updated on August 27, 2020.
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As a non-golfer, I generally stay clear of driving ranges (and most courses for that matter) as I'll very clearly make a fool out of myself within minutes of picking up a club. But I made an exception to this rule to make a trip to Topgolf Pittsburgh.
This one goes beyond your conventional driving range and adds on many interactive game elements into the mix. The best part of all? By the end of my first outing, I was doing quite well and enjoying it!
How Does Topgolf Work?
On the outside, Topgolf looks like just another driving range. But this one has a rather in-depth game element by the addition of several holes of various sizes on the course and embedded sensors in the golf balls.
In doing so, the facility is able to track a lot of information from every swing including the distance your ball travels, which quadrant of any given hole it falls into, and more. This data is transmitted back to a computer in each bay to use in programmed game elements which include options like simply practicing for distance, hitting the best shot into a specific color-coded hole, best-of team scramble, and a whole lot more (not to mention, novice and expert modes to tailor the experience on difficulty, namely around distance).
When I first arrived to Topgolf Pittsburgh and started practicing, I have to admit that I was pretty terrible. Simply hitting the balls and hoping for the best was mildly entertaining at best, and I couldn't quite tell if I was improving after any given shot.
But by turning the games on, I could tell a difference immediately.
Part of the game element that I liked was that it forces you to think just a bit more than you would at a conventional driving range. Instead of simply hitting the ball as hard as possible, I had to make a conscious decision on what was necessary to get it into the target hole. So, I found myself making more focused selections of my golf clubs (included with your fee), how I swung, how much power to use, and so on- and it worked so much more than I had anticipated.
While I was still, admittedly, pretty bad, I was actually competitive in a few rounds and that was enough for me to enjoy the experience. Throw in the heated bays, a cocktail, and a more relaxing environment overall, and I will call that a win.
But before you rush off to visit this one, you really need to research the price for your visit as it can vary considerably.
When You Visit Topgolf Pittsburgh Matters
Prior to your visit to Topgolf Pittsburgh, it is important to note that pricing here varies based on the time of day you visit and is priced per bay rental (maximum six players per bay). While we appreciate this pricing structure over say, a fixed hourly price per person, you do need to do a bit of math to determine if the price is worth it to you.
If you visit from opening to noon on a weekday, for example, an hour bay rental runs just about $30 excluding reservation fees (which you're more likely to find on nights and weekends). Visit from 5 pm to close and that runs upwards of $50 per hour independent of the number of people playing.
So if you go with, say, a group of four for two hours, you can spend as little as $15 per person by visiting in the morning or $25 per person by going in the evening. While only you can determine if this swing is worth it for you, we only mention it here as prices do rise a fair bit during peak hours. As a non-golfer, I certainly can deal with the lower fee, but the higher-end costs (and likely reservation fee) price me out if I am to be honest.
Luckily, Topgolf also offers a number of promotions to help reduce the above costs even further. Two that appeared fairly regularly when I was planning my visit include a 50% off bay rental promotion on Tuesdays and that morning golfers on weekdays can enjoy three hours (from 9 am to noon) for just $15 per person.
For those, like me, who prefer the best price possible, these deals were excellent.
The $15 per person rental is really hard to beat, especially for solo golfers and those in small groups, and if you are short on time the 50% off rental fee on Tuesdays is also a great deal as well. In splitting the bay with a friend on Tuesday morning I ended up with two hours for just $13.50 plus my new membership fee, and I really can't complain about that at all (due to outside circumstances I could not stay for the third hour, which would've been an easy sell had I been available).
So if you are especially concerned about the price of this one, check out if any weekday morning or daily promotions exist to get a bit of a discount into your outing. If you are flexible, these discounts are worth it.
Overall, I have to say I had a lot of fun at Topgolf Pittsburgh and appreciate that the games were designed in such a way that even a non-golfer like myself could play, improve, and even enjoy it. While I certainly don't see myself paying the night time rental fee anytime soon, I can safely say I will return for the promotional prices in the very near future. Those are simply too hard to beat.
Topgolf is located at 400 Presto-Sygan Road in Bridgeville, PA.