Mark from 42Freeway heads back to Bellmawr's massive Direct Connect project, to review what has changed in the last few months. And yes, there are new things to talk about. This update is really a 7 min YouTube video (bottom of article) but we'll highlight here in writing and photos the things in the video.
Top Golf in Mt Laurel New Jersey opened up for business a few months ago. If you aren’t familiar… at the core it’s a golf driving range, but it’s a massive facility with three tiers of bays (102 total), multiple bars.. and they have neat technology which can track your drive into any of the many targets! There is enough fun here for EVERYONE, even if you’ve never picked up a golf club. We wrote about its construction progress back in March, and it’s turned out to be even better than I expected! Keep reading as this post features photos from my October visit as well as a 6 min video tour compiled from two visits.
The key thing here is… while golfers will definitely find a home at Top Golf, the designers of Top Golf have succeeded in making this a fun trip out for everyone. My take on this is… you know how you’ll go bowling with a group of friends even if you can’t bowl, and there is enough fun, music and good times that it’s just… well… awesome?! That’s the experience Top Golf is bringing to golf!
As I mentioned in the intro… there are THREE levels to this place with about 35 driving bays in each level. The main level is the second floor which features the main sports bar and dining area. On this level there are also private meeting/event areas behind the driving range. I noticed at least one bar in those small banquet areas.
The Third floor, along with its approx 35 bays features a second public bar with a large rooftop outdoor terrace! This bar is situated as an “L” so that one side of it faces directly to the bays, and the other edge faces out to the terrace. While I forgot to stop up on my cold weather visit this week, I assume this smart configuration is so that on colder nights they can close off the terrace and keep the bar available for golfers
The first floor also features approx 35 bays (of course) and has another dining area with pool tables
The golf system is very cool and impressive! Each of the thousands of balls has some type of chip or RF device inside them, so the system can track EVERY SINGLE DRIVE. Imagine that, its entirely possible that 102 people could hit a ball at the same time into the many targets, and it will track your ball and associated points!
You’ll note that unlike other driving ranges you are not given a basket of balls as you enter. Each bay at the driving green has a large ground level device which dispenses an individual ball. I assume that as the ball is dispensed the machine reads the golf ball’s chip, and matches it to the driving bay and golfer.
Out in the 210yd long driving range are multiple large holes… targets. When you hit a ball into one of the targets, the system reads the sensor in the ball and can give you your points!
And its not enough to have just the large holes… they are paritioned off into regions so that the system shows you exactly within the circular area your ball landed.
There are a variety of games available; some feature more points for the further distances (tougher shots), others focus on just hitting into the nearby yellow section to work on your approach shots.
There is also a row of sensors along the back fence for the biggest points. How do I know this? Well I am no golfer, but in our last game (20 shots) I put 5 into that area (210 yds) and a few more went that far but I shanked them left or right and they didn’t count. brag… brag… brag…
Costs for the driving range for our Wednesday Night (Thanksgiving Eve) visit was $50 per hour for our group of 5. (Update: $30 before noon, $40 from noon to 5p.m. and $50 after 5pm to close). You have to “purchase” time in advance by selecting blocks, and several times we extended our time “Let’s do another hour”. It all gets added up into your final bill (it’s actually a good thing doing this in blocks, as you aren’t surprised at the end when handed the bill)
There is also a one time $5 membership fee. You’ll get a membership card for that $5, and each time you come back to golf you’ll need to log in. (with card or phone number). This is a requirement.
It was our first time golfing at Top Golf, and we found our servers to be EXCELLENT. We started off with Maddison who was very patient with us as we registered our membership accounts for the first time. After about an hour we switched up and Steffanie continued the awesome service.
My buddies and I like to think we are the life of the party (ha!) and found that both Maddison and Steffanie (sp?) were super friendly and engaged in conversations with us above and beyond just serving us food and drinks. And that had nothing to do getting bigger tips “Make your tip the highest score for the round” as I proceeded to hit 350 points. Um… not this time! ha
There was a good selection of craft beers but I didn’t look too hard… I was drinking Yards and I think it was $6 a beer. Basically what you would expect from cool place like this (before you comment.. this is not your usual corner bar setup). We ordered appetizers such as nachos which were very good… and on recommendation tried the donut hole dessert which comes with flavored filling syringes. It was a delicious and fun recommendation.
As a reminder… I have never been paid for these posts. Well, for one post I was given a slice a pizza, ha. I try to stay positive… but I am being very genuine when I say “You really have to try out Top Golf. You don’t need to be a golfer. It’s just fun to hang out. The driving range system makes it 100x more interesting to hit for points. It’s just a great time and I can’t wait to go back with my wife and other couples”
But mentioning that.. I need to get my advertising page/prices setup!
Check out the Youtube video walkthrough below! We visited on Thanksgiving Eve and I took some video of that trip, as well as a full walkthrough of the massive facility back in October!
Top Golf Mt Laurel
104 Centerton Road
Mt Laurel NJ 08054