The Pellucid Perspective - March 2018 - 6

GOLF COURSE
TECHNOLOGY

Toptracer bringing revenue within range
By Stuart Lindsay

M

y last article on TopGolf and their Toptracer technology elicited a phone call from my friend Peter Harrity. He's been looking at adding the Toptracer range
option to his golf courses in New Hampshire. In the process,
he informed me that a range in Madison, WI had installed
Toptracer.
Madison is about 75 miles away from my home, but Vitense
GolfLand is one of less than 10 facilities that have installed
Toptracer independent of TopGolf so far. Vitense is an eclectic
facility, but they are consistently ranked as one of the Top 50
golf ranges in the US by our friends at the Golf Range Association. They have installed Toptracer in 18 of their heated
bays so I decided that a road trip was in order.
As a point of reference, this is March in Wisconsin and it may
have been sunny, but it was only 35 degrees and still 16 of the
bays were in use when I got there at about noon on a Friday. For
anyone who wonders why Wisconsin has one of the highest golf
participation rates in the country, a nearly full range at this time
of year and outside temperature might help explain it.
The Toptracer is completely optional. It cost me $5 for an
hour of Toptracer time in addition to the price of a bucket.
There is obviously some demand time dynamic pricing because
it's $10 an hour in the evenings and on Saturdays. It looked
like about half of the bays had the Toptracers turned on. There
were actually a couple of twosomes playing one of the scoring
games that are also available.

6 The Pellucid PersPecTive

For starters, the main difference between TopGolf and the
Toptracer is that the balls are "stock" range balls. Vitense is
also an official TaylorMade fitting center and uses TaylorMade balls. They did say it was OK for me to pull out a few
ProV1Xs to try for comparison. The other difference is that I
was using my own clubs instead of the kind of crummy club
"rentals" at the TopGolf in Orlando.
The hour was well spent. I was able to see differences in ball
speed, trajectory and direction on the screen. Then I could try
doing other stuff. I could adjust my grip and see if that made a
difference. I could adjust my setup and see if that made a difference. In short, it was a really cool way to practice.
The only measurement missing was clubhead speed. As a
"digital novice," ball speed variation seemed like an acceptable alternative indicator. My next simulator experience will
involve setting up a "FlightScope" session to see the difference, but given the marketing and pricing approach for Toptracer, it seems more likely that the practice range adoption
of Toptracer may be faster. FlightScope has come up with a
smartphone based tool called Mevo. It is a personal unit, has
consumer friendly pricing (compared to other options) and
can be used at any range. Its pricing and portability may speed
its adoption, but many golfers might prefer paying by the hour
vs. investing in a personal device.
With the pricing Peter Harrity sent me, some back of the
napkin financial modeling made Toptracer look fairly appeal-

March 2018



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Pellucid Perspective - March 2018

TOC
More munis embrace golf “rationalization”
Unlikely owner rescues course from closure
Toptracer bringing revenue within range
Gleneagles operator turns course into life changer
February golf weather impact: Double-digit decline continues
hilly course operators not flying high
Slow play no cause for no play
The Pellucid Perspective - March 2018 - TOC
The Pellucid Perspective - March 2018 - More munis embrace golf “rationalization”
The Pellucid Perspective - March 2018 - 3
The Pellucid Perspective - March 2018 - 4
The Pellucid Perspective - March 2018 - Unlikely owner rescues course from closure
The Pellucid Perspective - March 2018 - Toptracer bringing revenue within range
The Pellucid Perspective - March 2018 - 7
The Pellucid Perspective - March 2018 - Gleneagles operator turns course into life changer
The Pellucid Perspective - March 2018 - 9
The Pellucid Perspective - March 2018 - 10
The Pellucid Perspective - March 2018 - February golf weather impact: Double-digit decline continues
The Pellucid Perspective - March 2018 - 12
The Pellucid Perspective - March 2018 - 13
The Pellucid Perspective - March 2018 - hilly course operators not flying high
The Pellucid Perspective - March 2018 - 15
The Pellucid Perspective - March 2018 - Slow play no cause for no play
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