CBIGG adds Toptracer to its menu of amenities

The shot tracking technology will be available at multiple clubs in Texas.
  • Golfers line up to practice their shots at a driving range.
    Golfers line up to practice their shots at a driving range.

By Hil Anderson

Dallas, Texas-based Topgolf Entertainment Group will deploy its familiar Toptracer technology to a collection of country clubs in Texas operated by C-Bons International Golf Group Management, LLC (CBIGG).

Topgolf this month announced a multi-year partnership deal that will provide turnkey Toptracer Range systems at seven of CBIGG’s Texas locations; the CBIGG portfolio of 26 U.S. locations includes 13 courses in the Lone Star State.

Customers will be able to experience having their own spectacular shots tracked off the tee and then analyzed by the same Toptracer technology used to hone the skills of professional golfers. Toptracer also allows television viewers to follow the trajectory of the tiny white ball as it sails off the tee during tournament play.

“The data that Toptracer can provide our golfers as they practice or simply participate in various local and global contests sets our practice areas apart from others in our market,” said Dale Folmar, vice president of operations at CBIGG.

While Toptracer Range has been a solid teaching aid for course pros, it now provides a revenue stream from groups by accommodating hybrid live-digital contests, such as “closest to the pin” and “longest drive.” The technology can also be used to play entire virtual rounds. The system can also be tied in with other ranges so that customers in widely scattered locations can share their statistics and compete against their unseen opponents.

“One of our key tenets is to be non-traditional and innovative,” Folmar said. “By partnering with Toptracer, our properties will differentiate themselves from traditional facilities.”

The technology enables “virtual” rounds played on digital versions of famous physical golf courses. For example, Topgolf held an online contest tied in with the U.S. Open in which remote contestants can hit approach shots that will be measured on an overlay of Torrey Pines in La Jolla, the site of this year’s high-profile tournament.

Like many analytics-based recreational activities, Toptracer Range generates instant data on the distance of the player’s actual shot from the bay and detailed data, such as launch angle and ball speed. Accommodating competition among individual golfers and groups can keep customers engaged beyond a simple bucket of balls, and onsite longer at a time when the venerable range is being re-imagined as a destination entertainment venue for groups. Another benefit of Toptracer for operators is the ability to monitor the level of activity within their individual bays and develop a clearer picture of customer behaviors and preferences.

The golf entertainment concept is alluring enough that it convinced Callaway to acquire Topgolf outright last year in a $2 billion deal. Topgolf has since said its Toptracer Range system has expanded impressively since its first installation at a driving range in 2017 to more than 7,500 bays in 29 countries.

 

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