Things to Do in Cleveland: Topgolf
Topgolf Cleveland | 5820 Rockside Woods Blvd N | Independence, OH
Cleveland’s newest must-see destination has arrived and it’s impressive. Overlooking I-480 at I-77 in Independence is Topgolf, a lively three-level sports entertainment complex featuring high-tech target golf games in climate-controlled hitting bays (making weather a nonissue), a full service restaurant and bars, 200 HD-TVs, outdoor patios, a rooftop terrace with a fireplace, private event spaces, meeting rooms and a gift shop.
A regular visitor to Atlanta, I frequented the Topgolf facilities there many times. I lamented the fact that the company had no presence in Northeast Ohio. When I heard plans were in the works to build a location in Independence, I was thrilled. Now with it officially open, it’s clear that Topgolf has the potential to be a game changer for the area.
So, when to visit Topgolf Cleveland … well, there’s no time like the present. My brother Joe and I were both off work today, so we met at 11 a.m.
Disclaimer: I’m fully aware of the Google reviews about Topgolf Cleveland (3.4 stars). Some people have complained about long waits, slow service and difficulties with the reservation system. I’ve experienced some of that at the Atlanta locations. That said, I’m hopeful many of these issues will be improved with time, as the Independence location is brand new. Also, I can only discuss the experience I had earlier today.
Upon arrival, I was mildly surprised that there was a 30-minute wait for a golf bay. (Granted, that can be looked upon as positive … it means business is booming.) So, I signed up for the wait list. Since I already had a membership from Atlanta, I didn’t have to pay the one-time $5 sign-up fee. After only 15 minutes, I received a text informing us that our bay was ready. Off we went, where an attendant was waiting. He helped us sign in, reviewed safety procedures, discussed the games and obtained left-handed clubs for Joe (lefties, what a pain in the a$$—kidding). Side note: you can bring your own clubs or use the ones provided. The whole process was organized and efficient.
We were then promptly greeted by our server. He was friendly, professional and attentive during our hour-plus of game play. As for the golf itself, we had a blast. Utilizing micro-chipped golf balls that keep track of each player’s shots, Topgolf offers 11 games for all skill levels. The accuracy and distance of each shot is sent to the bay screen. The dartboard-like targets are huge and spread throughout the 215-yard outfield/driving range—some are close, some are in the middle and some are far. Occasionally the computer had issues recording our hits, but for the most part our scores were accurate. Who won, you ask? We played four games and came out even, 2 – 2.
I have a couple suggestions for Topgolf. The first would be to have more seating in the common area for people waiting for a bay. The second would be to have current wait times listed online.
I know, I know … you’re wondering about Topgolf’s price. It isn’t cheap, but it’s not outrageous enough to keep me away. Hourly rates are per bay (six people are allowed to play at one time) and increase as the day progresses. Bays are $27 per hour from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m, $37 from 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. and $47 to $50 (depending on the day) from 5 p.m. until close. Hours of operation as well as promotions—including a nice half price one—can be found here. Reservations can be made online as well.
The beauty of Topgolf is that it’s fun for golfers and non-golfers (and weekend hackers like me) alike … heck, it’s set up to be entertaining for all ages. During our visit alone, customers ranged in age from three to 80. Even if you’ve never swung a club before, you can still enjoy the games (or music, restaurant and/or bars for that matter). The targets are huge and, provided you make contact, chances are the ball will occasionally roll into one of the designated scoring areas. Topgolf Cleveland’s director of operations said it best in an interview with 19 News— “[Topgolf is] an area where everyone can come in, and it’s a game for everybody. Over 50% of our guests that come in are non-golfers.”
All in all, I’m thrilled that Topgolf is in Independence. It’s the perfect location to draw people from the entire region. I have 18 days off until I start my new job. So, in addition to playing shuffleboard, I’ll be spending a lot of time golfing. See you in Independence. Cheers! (Or should I say fore?!?)