Topgolf in Fort Myers, Florida: An inside look at new facility with Friday grand opening

·6 min read

The new Topgolf facility in Fort Myers fully opens Friday morning.

But already, Eddie Parisi, the director of operations at the golf entertainment venue that has been taking walk-ins since Monday, said a significant point has been reached.

“We kind of knew this already — it’s getting more hyped up, the anticipation of us opening,” Parisi said Wednesday. “Everybody’s excited about it. People come in, and ‘Oh, you’re open, we can hit some golf balls.’

“(Tuesday) night was great — the first time we went on a wait, and it’s the second day of our soft opening.”

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Parisi said so far a lot of questions that he’s been emailed have had to do with two things — the lighting, and whether it’s possible for people to hit balls over the nets surrounding the facility that are attached to poles 170 to 175 feet high. The farthest length inside the netting is 215 yards.

Ryan Angell hits balls at the new location of Top Golf in Fort Myers on Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. The grand opening is on Friday but the location had a soft opening and patrons are able to hit in all the bays. Photographed with a fisheye lens

“Is it possible? It is possible, but does it happen that often? Not at all,” Parisi said.

He explained that the golf balls used don’t travel like normal golf balls because of the microchip in them. Golfers also must agree to terms of conditions — those are gone through with an associate at the bay before they start — and those include that the golfer is liable for any sort of damage. The balls also have a tracker in them, so if necessary, they can determine which guest hit a specific ball.

As for the lighting, Parisi said that was all cleared by the city after repeated visits.

“We had the city come here, we had the highway and they test out the readings of the brightness of our lights,” he said. “It’s not like ‘Here’s our lights, here’s what we’re doing.’ If you’ve seen Topgolfs, the majority of them are right next to highways.

“We had to test it. We wouldn’t be allowed to do it if it didn’t get tested and didn’t get the OK from the city.”

Ryan Angell hits balls at the new location of Top Golf in Fort Myers on Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. The grand opening is on Friday but the location had a soft opening and patrons are able to hit in all the bays.

Gabe Luchetta and Ryan Angell were two of the golfers taking advantage of the walk-ins Wednesday morning.

“I think it’s something that, it’s fun and enjoyable for everyone,” said Luchetta, who already has a membership, and works for NeoGenomics, whose building is just down the road. “You don’t have to really be a golfer. You can come out here and enjoy your family and enjoy yourself.

“You can bring your team. You can do a lot of things that are really cool for team building, and I think that’s what Topgolf is really all about, and having fun obviously.”

“They’re super fun,” Angell said. “It’s a good way to catch up on work stuff instead of going the standard golf and play 18 holes. You come here and get fed and not have to move around and still swing the club.

“This place is going to get crazy busy.”

Gabe Luchetta hits balls at the new location of Top Golf in Fort Myers on Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. The grand opening is on Friday but the location had a soft opening and patrons are able to hit in all the bays.

Parisi gave another example of what he says is one of the focuses for Topgolf.

“We create moments that matter for everyone,” he said.

One of those that’s becoming popular is doing gender reveals. When that’s set up, a target will be ready, and once a ball hits it, the lights will flash back and forth between pink (for a girl) and blue (for a boy), and then stay on whichever one it will be.

The food comes from a scratch kitchen, and there are a variety of alcoholic beverages, including some local craft beers.

Each bay has a screen that shows the points for each golfer in the variety of games that are available. There’s also a TV above the screen that can be switched to watch whatever the customer wants to watch. Each bay can accommodate up to six golfers.

Reservations can already be booked up to a week ahead of time, but those don’t start until Friday morning at 9 a.m., after an 8:45 a.m. ribbon-cutting that will feature county officials. But walk-ins are always available and not all of the 72 bays on two levels are set aside to be used for reservations.

Ryan Angell hits balls at the new location of Top Golf in Fort Myers on Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. The grand opening is on Friday but the location had a soft opening and patrons are able to hit in all the bays.

Bays are $27 an hour from opening until noon, $37 per hour from noon to 5 p.m., and $47 per hour from 5 p.m. to close. That does not include gameplay or food and beverage. Tuesdays are half-price for gameplay.

Topgolf also provides its own clubs, with a variety of shafts, although golfers are allowed to bring their own clubs at no extra charge. The clubs, which are all made by Callaway, even have what yardages each travels marked on the bin. Each bay has its own bin with all kinds of clubs in it.

Parisi said the platinum memberships have a variety of levels, and include such perks as no wait time, access to upgraded golf clubs, and more. There’s also club fitting, and a PGA-certified golf instructor is on staff for lessons.

There’s an indoor/outdoor patio, event space that can be booked, bars on both levels, an apparel store, and a 40-foot-by-40-foot TV that can show one program or a few at the same time.

“Every day it’s just progressing, and the excitement from people walking in,” Parisi said. “You can tell this city’s been waiting for Topgolf.”

Greg Hardwig is a sports reporter for the Naples Daily News and The News-Press. Follow him on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter: @NDN_Ghardwig, email him at ghardwig@naplesnews.com. Support local journalism with this special subscription offer at https://cm.naplesnews.com/specialoffer/