A golf entertainment venue that's made its presence felt in Wood Dale for the past seven years now is expanding into Naperville.
Topgolf will break ground this week on its second suburban location where golfers -- and novices -- of all skill levels can play competitive games best described as "bowling meets darts meets golf," spokeswoman Adrienne Browne Chance said.
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"Players basically hit microchipped balls that track the accuracy and distance of shots," she said.
The Naperville Topgolf location, at the northwest corner of I-88 and Route 59, will be larger than the facility in Wood Dale, offering 102 hitting bays in 65,000 square feet on three floors. It also will incorporate new technology that will make it easier for players to get the balls that track and score their shots.
In Wood Dale, golfers start an account, then scan a card at one of a few ball-dispensing machines to get enough balls to play a game or two. Collecting the balls in a bucket, the players then walk to their hitting bay, which is Topgolf's equivalent of a bowling lane.
"At the new facility, each bay has its own ball dispenser," Browne Chance said. "It's a lot easier because you don't have to leave your bay."
With ball dispensers at every bay, players will wave their golf club in front of a sensor before each shot to receive one ball from their account at a time.
Once they get that ball, they'll be looking at a hitting range with holes encircled by rings worth different point values. Each hole and the rings around it becomes the Topgolf equivalent of a target on a dartboard. Players can choose a variety of games, and the new Naperville location will offer one not available in Wood Dale called Top Scramble.
"It allows for team competition," Browne Chance said. "You can break up the people in your bay into teams and compete against each other more easily."
An expanded menu of food and drinks will be available to be served at each bay or in a bar and restaurant area. The facility will have high-definition TVs at each bay, and visitors who download the Topgolf app on their smartphones can use it to change channels between multiple games or shows.
The Naperville location also will have more space for corporate events than is available in Wood Dale. The building will be modeled after Topgolf Houston North, one of the company's 13 sites across the country.
Browne Chance wouldn't say exactly how much Topgolf is investing in the new facility, but said it's a number in the millions. The golf entertainment complex in Naperville is expected to take nine months to build and open late next spring.
"We think the market can support two and potentially more locations," Browne Chance said. "We just see this as growth for the company. We're excited to expand and attract new business."