Topgolf expands entertainment options for the borderland

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MRI tech Patricio Ruvalcaba, a 26-year old El Paso native, was thrilled when he heard a few months ago that a popular new restaurant that caters to golf aficionados and their families was about to open in West El Paso. To celebrate his acceptance into UTEP’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, he recently headed to Topgolf with a group of friends.

“It’s a nice atmosphere, different families, different age groups. It’s an overall positive experience and everyone is out here to have fun,” Ruvalcaba said.

Another El Paso native, Kristi Albers, also stopped by the entertainment venue just after it recently opened to check it out.

“It brings people out here that wouldn’t normally want to play golf and maybe from here they’ll want to learn,” said Albers who played on the LPGA tour for 20 years. “I think it will just increase awareness of golf. I think it will be really good.”

Topgolf opened its 10th Texas location in February. The restaurant was originally established in Watford, United Kingdom and El Paso marks the 21st location worldwide.

Topgolf manager ‘Sheriff’ Mark Gonzalez said its location in West El Paso is ideal. “We are right off I-10 and this was very strategic,” Gonzalez said. “There’s only one way in and one way out,”

Topgolf has pioneered a technology and entertainment concept that creates an experience for all ages. “No matter the age or skillset, Topgolf is a game for everybody,” said Samuel Hortsman, marketing manager for Topgolf El Paso. “Safety is the number one priority.”

Albers noted that hitting the ball at the venue is quite different from a real game on the golf course. “It’s really different because it’s hard to gauge how far you are hitting out there. It’s kinda not reality but that, maybe, is why it’s so fun. You don’t have to put the ball in the hole.”

The building is three stories and includes a full-service restaurant, two bars, over 100 climate-controlled hitting bays, private event spaces and meeting rooms, a rooftop terrace with a fire pit, over 200 high definition televisions, a shuffle board, pool tables, and free WiFi.

The chef-driven menu includes a unique selection of Mexican sushi called mushi. “We have a jalapeno cheddar tortilla and then we layer that with some sticky cilantro rice, there’s drunken black beans inside of that,” said Topgolf Chef Jamil Bean. “Then there’s our mushi mix; it’s almost like a chicken salad. It’s like smoked chicken, cumin, cheese, rice, siracha, and it’s all rolled up and cut together,” Bean said.

The family friendly environment at Topgolf extends to the personnel. Employees are called associates; customers are called guests.

“We don’t have customers, we have guests,” said Angel Ramos, an associate and bay host. “We’re all family here and we want you to feel involved.”

Each hitting bay is coupled with both a playing and dinging section. Dual heaters are located overhead for optimal climate control. Golf clubs and monitor displays are provided within the bay.

Topgolf also offers youth and toddler clubs for children as young as two years of age. Left handed golfers are provided with special clubs.

According to Topgolf management, Pittsburgh has been selected as a future location and Topgolf has partnered with Providence Equity to accelerate expansion to other U.S. cities and abroad.

The restaurant and entertainment venue is open 363 days a year, and closes just for Christmas and Thanksgiving.

This year Topgolf was recognized as one of the National Golf Foundation’s Inaugural top 100 businesses in golf.

The company also has a policy of providing donations to non profit community organizations. In addition, Topgolf has partnered with Bunkers in Baghdad to bring golf equipment to military troops serving overseas.

Topgolf accepts reservations at its website. Additional details on tournaments and special events can be found on its Facebook page.

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