Golf-themed entertainment brand Topgolf has opened its doors in
Bangkok last month, its first venue in Southeast Asia and the latest of
80-plus locations worldwide.
Developed by TG SEA Development – which holds the exclusive licence
for the brand in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore,
Thailand and Vietnam – Bangkok’s Topgolf Megacity follows a
well-established formula of its other sites, the majority of which are
found in the US as well as in global destinations like the UK, Dubai and
Thailand: an easy choice
Andrew Nathan, managing director of TG SEA Development, describes the
circumstance of opening the first Topgolf in Thailand as “convergence”.
“The choice was partly real-estate driven, and partly because Bangkok
is a great regional and global destination with great hospitality
infrastructure making it an ideal launching point," he added.
Topgolf Megacity is located on a property leased from the owners of
Megabangna, a sprawling suburban mall near Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport
and which attracts nearly 50 million visitors a year.
From the comfort of the complex’s 102 hitting bays, four of which are
double width VIP lounges, players test their driving skills on 11
targets spread out over an outfield nearly 200m deep. Technology tracks
balls and keeps score among different players, and video game and VR
overlays allow players to follow their progress on customisable screens.
And while golf is a visible feature at Topgolf, its appeal is much
wider. “It’s very much about having fun through play and experiences. We
can help normalise making golf for everybody,”” says Nathan. “For
people who aren’t golfers, it’s a good time out.”
Topgolf Megacity wants to be lifestyle destination that appeals to golf enthusiasts as well as non-golf players.
A venue to dine and meet
Hitting balls from the bays is just part of that fun. The venue aims to be an F&B destination in its own right as well.
There is a giant screen sports bar to follow major events like F1
racing or international football. A custom-built food bus dubbed Busted!
with a state-of-the-art Lang smoker, the first of its kind imported in
Thailand, produces American barbecue and Thai grilled meats with a spicy
Isaan accent. The Pink Giraffe is the Bangna area’s first rooftop bar
and complements the wine and whisky bar one floor below.
All F&B options can be ordered and delivered to the playing bays.
A custom-built food bus dubbed Busted! serves up American barbecue and Thai grilled meats with a spicy Isaan accent.
Nathan sees potential for developing MICE-related business at Topgolf
Megacity. “Corporate, sales, team building, all of these things can
find a space here," he said, pointing to the fact that the brand does
well in MICE destinations like Las Vegas and Orlando.
Regional expansion par for the course
TG SEA confirmed that it had signed a deal for a second Southeast
Asian location in Jakarta with Indonesian property developer Harmasland.
The specs released to the press concerning Topgolf Jakarta Selatan
are almost identical to those of Bangkok, notably 102 bays and about 400
jobs created. Both projects are located next to high-traffic suburban
shopping malls, with which they hope to develop synergies.
The Jakarta project is part of the sprawling commercial and
residential Megatown Fatmawati development that includes the One Belpark
Mall. Both boast F&B, meeting rooms and VIP spaces.
Topgolf expects its Jakarta destination to be ready in 2024.
Asia expansion is clearly on the cards, said Steve Lane, vice
president of Topgolf International. The brand already has an in-city
lounge with simulators in Shanghai, and it is currently building its
first venue in Chengdu.
The Chinese projects are being developed under the auspices of Sports
Entertainment Asia, which holds the Topgolf licence in Greater China.
Several new properties are also slated in the U.S., while the U.K. will see its first new Topgolf in 17 years, in Glasgow.