Topgolf coming to Naperville
Twenty-four miles away from the first Topgolf entertainment venue in the suburbs, a second version of the place where people can play "bowling meets darts meets golf" is set to open Sept. 4.
Topgolf's new Naperville facility offers updated golf game technology, a lounge where customers can wait for a turn to play and 102 hitting bays aimed at the company's unique twist on a driving range.
Opening at 9 a.m. Friday at 3211 Odyssey Court at the northwest corner of Route 59 and I-88, the new 65,000-square-foot facility is an expansion of the Texas-based company's presence in Wood Dale for the past seven years.
"The success and operation of Wood Dale over the years has allowed and opened the door for us to open another facility in the market," said Brett Hintz, who moved from the Wood Dale facility to become director of operations at Topgolf Naperville. "Overall we know we're going to appeal to the golfers here in the area."
Topgolf also appeals to nongolfers because it allows anyone to potentially play well by taking a whack at the ball, seeing where it lands and scoring points based on how close it comes to one of several targets scattered across a hitting range at various distances.
Microchips within each Topgolf ball track how close -- or far -- each shot lands from the nearest target, giving more or fewer points accordingly, just like in darts. Players take turns hitting and scores are displayed on a screen that's a more high-tech version of those used for bowling.
In Naperville, players will be able to scan a membership card at their heated hitting bay on one of three floors to dispense balls and begin playing. Hintz said the bays are designed to mimic the comfort of a living room, with soft furniture and TVs to watch sports or other shows.
The new location has hired 450 staff members through an audition process, and they've been busy conducting "mock service" days to prepare for an influx of customers beginning Labor Day weekend.
Hintz said the facility can host up to 1,000 people at a time. Groups of up to six people can use each hitting bay, and the new venue also can host crowds, parties or corporate groups in a bar and restaurant, a new rooftop terrace with a bar and a new downstairs lounge.
The lounge includes pool tables, shuffleboard, foosball and an Xbox video game system that guests can play for free. The bar has games including bags, giant Jenga and a ball-tossing activity called bear pong, which Hintz said is not to be confused with beer pong.
In the bar and restaurant, where would-be Topgolfers often wait their turn until a hitting bay opens, visitors can try pub classics such as nachos and wings. There also are more unusual options, including "mushi," a creation involving, as the menu says, "cilantro sticky rice, drunken beans, spiced chicken and cheddar cheese neatly rolled in a jalapeño tortilla, garnished with sour cream, avocado and sriracha hot sauce."
"We've got some gourmet items on the menu that are just edgy enough to pique some interest and have great flavor profiles," Hintz said.
Topgolfers who have a membership card at Wood Dale are encouraged to bring it if they'd like to play in Naperville, but the two locations' computer systems can't completely talk to each other. Hintz said any money value on a Topgolf card from Wood Dale cannot be used in Naperville.
Players will pay by the hour to golf in Naperville, with fees starting at $25 an hour and rising to $45 an hour during peak periods on Friday and Saturday nights. The venue's normal hours will be 9 a.m. to midnight on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. weekends.