High-tech driving range TopGolf coming to Overland Park

TopGolf, a high-tech driving range/bar/restaurant complex, is coming to the Kansas City area.

The Dallas-based company wants to build a 65,000-square-foot, three-level center at the northeast corner of 107th Street and Nall Avenue in Overland Park. If all goes as planned, it will open in the second quarter of 2015.

At TopGolf, players line up in one of 102 climate-controlled hitting bays. Their golf balls will contain a computer microchip that will track each shot’s accuracy and distance, and award points for hitting targets from 20 to 215 yards away in the outfield. Golf pros also will be on hand to offer tips.

Zach Shor, director of real estate for the Dallas-based company, said it selected Overland Park for its “great demographics.”

“Overland Park, in general, is fast growing with a strong office market,” Shor said. “Where else can you get a great burger and hit some balls on your lunch hour? It also will be a place to go after work.”

The center will open at 9 a.m. daily. The cost is $20 an hour for off-peak times and $40 an hour for evenings and weekends and includes up to six players per bay. Customers also have to become members. They can purchase a lifetime $5 playing card up to a $250 monthly membership that allows them and up to five of their guests to play for free during off-peak times, as well as discounts on food and non-alcoholic beverages, and other benefits.

TopGolf also wants to be the place for parties and events, including birthdays, family reunions, corporate teambuilding, bachelor/bachelorette parties and fundraisers. It will have about 2,900 square feet of event space.

Customers also can come in for a drink or to dine. Menu items could include brisket chili cheese fries, craft beer queso, flatbread pizzas, sliders, Cajun tilapia wraps, specialty burgers and entree salads. The company also likes to add some menu items that will be unique to the location.

TopGolf was founded by brothers Steve and Dave Jolliffe. They were practicing their swings on a U.K. driving range when they began tossing around ideas for a new kind of golf experience, one that would combine competition and entertainment. After spending a couple of years on development, they opened the first TopGolf in London in 2000. They later sold the business.

Now based in Dallas, the company has 10 locations — five in Texas, one in the Washington, D.C., area and one in the Chicago area. It also has three centers in the U.K. Centers are in the development stages in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, and Texas.

The Overland Park center will have 400 to 450 employees. That includes includes managers (general, food and beverage, sales director, membership director, head chef), along with maintenance staff, line cooks, bay hosts and other associates.