Innovation has been at the heart of Topgolf Entertainment Group from the start. What began as a technology developed by the Joliffe brothers to enhance the game of golf led to the first three Topgolf venues in the United Kingdom in 2000.
Topgolf Entertainment Group then began its journey to become a technology-driven global sports and entertainment brand when Erik Anderson, Founder and CEO of investment company WestRiver Group, brought Topgolf to the U.S. in 2005. Shortly after, Topgolf was incorporated as Topgolf International, d.b.a Topgolf Entertainment Group where Anderson now serves as Executive Chairman.
As the company expanded, Callaway Golf Company (NYSE: ELY) became an investor in 2006. In 2011, Thomas Dundon, Chairman and Managing Partner of Dundon Capital Partners, became a primary investor. Additionally, in 2016, Providence Equity Partners made a sizable minority investment in Topgolf. More recently, in 2017, Fidelity Research and Management became an investor in Topgolf. In 2020, Topgolf and Callaway announced that the companies have entered into a definitive agreement to combine. The companies expect to complete the transaction in early 2021. Upon closing, Erik Anderson will serve as Vice Chairman of the Callaway Board of Directors and WestRiverGroup, Providence Equity Partners and Dundon Capital Partners intend to become significant shareholders in the combined company.
Topgolf originated from the timeless golf question, "Who hit it closer?" Originally called "Target Oriented Practice Golf," the founders of Topgolf used proprietary radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology and dartboard-style targets to answer this question, and the first Topgolf venue was created in Watford in the United Kingdom in 2000.
Over the next 20 years, Topgolf would become a movement opening new venues, constantly innovating to improve the guest experience, and expanding experiential platforms to create a global community.
WestRiver Group invests in Topgolf, WestRiver Group's Erik Anderson becomes Modern Founder
The first U.S. venue opens in Alexandria, VA
Callaway Golf Company invests in Topgolf
Opened first 102-bay entertainment-focused venue in Katy, Texas
First flagship venue opened in Las Vegas
Acquired World Golf Tour by Topgolf (WGT) online golf gaming app, officially entering esports industry
Acquired the Protracer technology, which is now known as Toptracer
Providence Equity Partners invests in Topgolf
Opened the very first Swing Suite in Four Seasons hotel in Houston, Texas
Expanded Toptracer for live ball-tracing
Topgolf debuted Topgolf Studios original content
Fidelity Research & Management invests in Topgolf
First non-UK international venue in Gold Coast, Australia by franchise Village Roadshow
Topgolf opened its 50th venue in the world
Toptracer Range is deployed at 1,500+ driving range bays in 20 countries
Toptracer holds the first-ever globally connected 9-Shot Challenge tournament where 7,000 golfers played a total of 29,000 games during a live, four-day tournament across 19 countries and 11 time zones.
Topgolf signs licensing agreements with Franchisees for Central Europe and Asia
Topgolf partners with Will Smith's Westbrook Studios production company to produce "This Joka" original content series
Topgolf reaches $1 million in funds raised for the Make-A-Wish Foundation
Topgolf breaks Guinness World Record for most golf balls hit simultaneously around the world
As of December 29, 2019, Topgolf owned, operated or franchised 58 Topgolf venues consisting of 57 company-operated venues in the United States and the United Kingdom and one franchised venue in Australia.
Topgolf opens the first Lounge by Topgolf concept in Kirkland, Wash.
Topgolf Monterrey opens, marking venue operations in four countries
Topgolf Dubai to open in late 2020
Topgolf celebrates 20th birthday milestone