Safeco Field gets a taste of Topgolf: ‘The place where millennials hit golf balls’

With baseball season still six weeks away, 6,000 people cycled through Safeco Field over Presidents Day weekend to experience Topgolf.

A ball sails over the outfield grass of Safeco Field and careens off the padded green wall.

“Nice hit!”

It’s not a ringing double in the gap. It’s Topgolf.

The shot lands just beyond a large blue target, shaped like a glorified dartboard, planted squarely in left field.

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“That’s 10 points. Not bad.”

With baseball season still six weeks away, 6,000 people cycled through Safeco Field over Presidents Day weekend to experience Topgolf — a global sports entertainment community that puts a different spin on golf and breathes fresh air into the sport.

“We are the place where millennials hit golf balls,” said Erik Anderson, Topgolf’s Co-Chairman and CEO. “You get to play the game, you can compete and trash talk with your friends, flirt with your girlfriend.”

Music blaring on the loudspeakers, the next shot lands squarely in the middle of a yellow target. The screen tracks the ball in realtime, adding 40 points to the score. This is not your grandpa’s version of golf.

It’s a fusion of bowling and darts at the driving range. Six targets are scattered across the field. The longest target is 140 yards away, the shortest is 40. The goal is simple: Hit the ball as close as you can to the center of the target. Players trade off with three swings apiece, as a screen behind them displays where the ball lands and how many points are earned.

The concept of Topgolf began with two brothers — Steve and Dave Jolliffe — in England. The brothers were hitting golf balls, and wanted to find a way to track their balls. 17 years later, the simple idea has become a global golf phenomenon, with 40 locations — 34 in the U.S.

The idea spawned the game of Topgolf, but the same…

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