If you are a golfer who likes to play the game with your friends and socialize at the same time, then you need to check out both TopGolf and PopStroke. These two establishments have exploded in popularity over the past few years. In this TopGolf vs PopStroke comparison guide, I’ll go through everything you need to know:
- What you do at each place
- Special features at each (hint, one of these places has a pool with a swim-up bar!)
- Locations where you can visit
If you’ve been to either TopGolf or PopStroke and have any tips to share, comment down below and let others know.
What is TopGolf?
TopGolf is the ultimate full-swing golf experience for both golfers and casual players. TopGolf is a massive golf driving range, but also so much more than that. With over 70+ locations worldwide, TopGolf has soared in popularity over the past several years.
At TopGolf, the golf balls are electronically tracked, so you can instantly see feedback on each swing on the monitor at your hitting bay. There are colorful targets and lights in the distance to add to your experience.
If you don’t feel like solely hitting golf balls, there are many mini-games you can play solo or with a group of friends. I will go over what you can do at TopGolf below.
TopGolf was initially started in 2000 by a pair of brothers who wanted to fix some of golf’s biggest problems: not having enough time to play and limited access to a good driving range within a reasonable distance. They experimented with adding microchips into golf balls to track them.
By 2015 TopGolf had 28 locations worldwide, and then its popularity started to soar.
Callaway Golf had invested in TopGolf in 2006 and held a 14% share in the company. In October 2020, Callaway Golf announced it would buy TopGolf for a whopping sum of two billion dollars.
Not a bad chunk of change for a small business started by two brothers!
What do you do at TopGolf?
TopGolf does a great job at getting non-golfers to pick up a golf club and try their hand at the sport because there are so many different things you can do. There is no pressure to be good, and there are many different mini-games that you can play to make it more interesting.
On top of golfing and playing games with your friends, you also have access to a full bar and restaurant menu. Each bay has a sitting area for your group with full sectional couches. To add excitement, there is usually a DJ or another event on some weeknights.
TopGolf is a great place to hit up with a group of friends, as there are tons of memories to be made.
What do you do at TopGolf if you aren’t a golfer?
If you are not a golfer, don’t fret, you will still have endless amounts of fun at TopGolf. Part of its charm is that there are many things to do that don’t involve golfing.
You can lounge and relax on the comfy couches at each hitting bay, watch sports on the TVs, order food or drinks from the menu, and have a great time.
If you are in Las Vegas, you can also access the Hideaway Pool. Lounge in a heated pool in your bathing suit and order drinks from the swim-up bar.
Key Features at TopGolf
Private Golf Lessons
Every TopGolf has a Professional Golf Instructor with which you can book private lessons. You will get a designated hitting bay, and the instructor will sit with you, review your swing, and offer tips. They will watch your swing and critique what they see.
Instructors can also show you on the hitting monitor and through TopTracer exactly how you hit the ball and what you need to do better to succeed on the golf course.
TopGolf has access to more technology, so you get a better experience than having an instructor watch you on a regular driving range.
Bar Food and Drinks
On top of the golf experience, TopGolf also has a full bar and restaurant menu available to all guests. You can order directly to your hitting bay via one of the waiter’s/waitresses or the TopGolf app on your phone.
The whole experience is convenient and you can also pay on the app, so you don’t have to worry about carrying any cash or cards while golfing. The menu has many different items, including Vegan and Gluten-Free.
Big Screen TVs
Big-screen televisions are located on every level of the TopGolf facility showing all of the live sports currently on. You can take a break from the golf to eat, drink and watch with your friends.
There are also big screens located in every hitting bay, which will show you every shot tracer, the distance traveled, and the way you hit it off the mat. This TopTracer technology is used on the PGA Tour now.
Only located at the Las Vegas TopGolf, I had to include the Hideaway Swimming Pool. In Las Vegas, you can access a giant swimming pool before or after your golf session.
Even if you don’t want to golf, anyone 21+ has access to the pool with no cover. On weekends there are different pool parties and DJs as well.
At TopGolf, you can either bring your golf clubs or use the ones provided by TopGolf free of charge.
The great thing about the clubs here is you don’t have to worry about getting outdated clubs. TopGolf has a great selection of newer golf clubs to help your overall golf experience. Since being purchased by Callaway, TopGolf features all of the latest Callaway golf clubs.
What is PopStroke?
PopStroke is a brand new type of golf experience that does putting as TopGolf does for the full swing. At PopStroke, you can play two 18 hole mini golf courses (The Cub Course and Tiger Course), but they aren’t what you are used to.
Every single course at PopStroke is created with the help of Tiger Woods. Every hole is big and lifelike, unlike other miniature-golf courses. The surface you putt on is synthetic turf, and different areas mimic rough and sand bunkers you can put your ball out of.
PopStroke was founded in 2018 by Greg Bartoli. In 2019, while construction was underway on the first businesses, PopStroke announced a partnership with Tiger Woods. Tiger will help design every single PopStroke course built in the future.
Currently, there are only 5 locations open. Four locations are in Florida (Sarasota, Port Saint Lucie, Fort Myers, and Orlando), and the fifth in Houston, Texas. However, there are huge expansion plans in 2023 with new locations in Tampa Bay (Florida), Scottsdale and Glendale (Arizona), and Las Vegas (Nevada).
What do you do at PopStroke?
PopStroke is the ultimate place to play mini golf with your family or friends. At PopStroke, you get to play two different 18-hole putting courses that Tiger Woods designed. Each hole is lifelike and played on synthetic turf, with spots also showing rough and sand bunkers.
There is a PopStroke app that you can download to your phone to track your group score, order food and drinks right to you on the golf course, and more.
Once you are done putting, you can head inside to a full sports bar and restaurant. Big screen TVs are on the walls showing all the live sports for your viewing.
Key Features at PopStroke
The number one feature of PopStroke is the hand-created mini golf courses designed by Tiger Woods.
Through the PopStroke app, you can virtually keep track of your score. There is also an option to upload your score and display it on the giant leaderboard to see how you stack up with everyone who has played there.
Each hole is unique and tough, so it will be a challenge to see who can win! Mini golf is easier to play than full-swing golf, so beginners might feel more comfortable here.
Food and Drinks
Through the PopStroke app, you have access to a full menu of food, craft beer, and a premium ice cream parlor. The neat thing about the app is that you can order directly from it, and a worker will bring it to whatever hole you are currently on. This allows for a nice experience and no break in the action.
You can also pay directly through the app, so you don’t have to worry about that. For each dollar you spend through the app, you earn PopBucks. The more you earn, the more credits you can earn through the app to use later.
Kids Playground & Outdoor Gaming Area
Located at each PopStroke location is also a massive outdoor playground for children to use. This is especially convenient for parents who want to play golf and not worry about kids getting bored.
Also, an outdoor gaming area is available at each location. There is bean bag toss (cornhole), lifesized Jenga, ping pong and other games to try. PopStroke has arcade games to play and keep everyone busy for a fun family night out.
Next, I’ll go through both places in more detail.
TopGolf vs PopStroke: Detailed Comparison
Types of Games
TopGolf has more game styles and options for you to play. At TopGolf, many different mini-games utilize the advanced technology at the facility.
Some of the games you can play while at TopGolf are:
- Top Shot: In this game, you have to try and hit targets at four different distances for points. This game takes a lot of accuracy, and the person who scores the most points wins.
- Top Score: The farther target you can hit and the closest to the middle of the flag will earn you more points.
- Jewel Jam: This is a fun, virtual-style game that plays on the monitor in your hitting bay utilizing the TopTracer technology. You hit the ball and try to match three or more jewels in a row or a column to earn points.
- Angry Birds: This is another game that utilizes TopTracer technology. Your golf balls act as the Angry Birds and you must hit the ball and try to smash the structures in front of you. Similar to the Angry Birds game on your phone, defeat the pigs and try to earn as many points as possible.
PopStroke caters more towards casual groups. The courses are impressive to see and play, but don’t feature the shot tracking technology that TopGolf does. You can play through the two 18-hole courses, and then go inside for some drinks and games.
On busy days, the place runs putting contests where you can win big prizes.
Food Menu Styles
PopStroke and TopGolf have similar menus when it comes to the food and drinks that are available. Both places carry an extensive menu consisting of appetizers, entrees, and alcoholic beverages.
One great thing about TopGolf’s menu is they have a few different Sharable Platters that you can order. These platters are massive and great for big groups to share.
When it comes to specialty items, this is where PopStroke has the edge. PopStroke has many different kinds of local craft beers on tap, allowing you to try different local beers from the area. There is also an extensive craft cocktails list to explore.
As well, PopStroke is known for having 24 specialty kinds of ice cream and many different Signature Milkshakes. This adds a nice touch to the menu outside the regular items.
At TopGolf, you pay by the hour for your hitting bay. The 1st and 2nd Floor are the cheapest and will also be more affordable during the week days. The 3rd Floor is the most expensive at most facilities, usually due to a better view out onto the driving range.
Another thing to consider is that it is cheaper to come earlier than later in the day and at closing. It costs around $45 per hour for the first two floors and $60 per hour on the weekend. In Las Vegas, where tourist activities cost a lot, it can be over $100 for an hour of play time.
At PopStroke, the pricing is more basic. For 18 holes, you can expect to pay around $20. They do also have lower pricing for Children and Seniors.
One unique thing about PopStroke is that for $25, you can purchase an All-Day Pass. This means that you can hang out and play as much golf as your heart desires during the day.
This is pretty cheap if you want a place for spending time with your family and friends.
Length of Play
The length of play at each location ties into the pricing above. At TopGolf, the average group spends between one and two hours there.
Swinging to a golf club for 2 hours is exhausting, even with breaks. It also depends on if you are going with a group of people or not. If you are playing by yourself, an hour is going to be lots of time to swing.
At PopStroke, the play length also depends on what you are looking for. A round of mini golf doesn’t take much time at all. It may take a bit longer at PopStroke because the holes are real-life-sized, but only a little longer.
If you purchase the all-day pass, you can access the courses at PopStroke all day. This means you could play multiple times throughout the day.
Winner: It Depends
TopGolf is better for
TopGolf is better for a few different reasons. If you want to practice full swings with every club, you want to go to TopGolf. You can bring your clubs with you or use theirs for free.
The facilities are incredible, and the technology is top-of-the-line. The TopTracer shows you exactly how you hit the ball, how far it went, spin, and more. It provides advanced feedback, which is excellent for helping you get better at golf.
TopGolf is also a great social outing for a group of friends. Rent a bay for a couple of hours and enjoy the many mini-games available. Order food and drinks and have a great time.
PopStroke is better for
PopStroke is better for people looking for fun activities, alone or with friends. Mini golf is easier to play, so anybody can come try it out. The life-sized holes are impressive to see in personal and offers a little more than an ordinary course.
PopStroke is also a great place to take kids of all ages. If they don’t want to golf with you, there is a massive outdoor playground at every location, an outdoor gaming area to play arcade games, and more.
PopStroke is quite a bit cheaper and also offers an All-Day pass. I am rooting for them to expand out from Florida to new markets as fast as they can.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is PopStroke like TopGolf?
The PopStroke experience is similar to TopGolf, except you play on life-sized putting courses instead of a driving range. The atmosphere is very similar, with lots of big screen TVs, lounge couches, and other games and activities always going on.
Is PopStroke owned by Tiger Woods
PopStroke is partially owned by Tiger Woods along with his business partner, Greg Bartoli.
Is PopStroke putting only?
Yes, each PopStroke location features two full-sized mini golf courses featuring high quality synthetic turf, life-like sand and water hazards, and premium sized distances.
Is Tiger Woods Involved With TopGolf?
No, Tiger Woods is not involved with TopGolf in any way.
Who Owns TopGolf?
Callaway Golf purchased TopGolf in 2020 and owns the entire brand.