How Topgolf Is Saving A 9-Hole Muni Course

Topgolf has become one of the most recognizable brands in golf because of what it has done that is different than a typical golf experience, and with a new location coming to El Segundo, California, the Dallas-based global sports entertainment company is pushing the envelope by going back towards the green-grass golf industry it built its popularity steering away from.

That’s because the El Segundo location will take over control of the city-run Lakes at El Segundo 9-hole municipal golf course.

Located less than 10 miles down the road from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Topgolf will assume operations of the course and bring a little of its successful business plan to a muni that has been more than $275,000 a year, according Scott Mitnick, the city manager.

“Having a municipal golf course, it’s a blessing and curse,” Mitnick told Spectrum News 1. “The blessing is that it is an awesome asset. There’s a lot of green space and a great place to play golf. The curse is local governments are hesitant to raise fees for anything it wasn’t able to balance the budget, it required subsidies, and the course and clubhouse needed to be maintained. It was really difficult.”

 
 
 
 
 
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Taking over the course and an adjacent area owned by San Bernardino County will begin with what Topgolf patrons are used to seeing — a three-level driving range and entertainment venue featuring a restaurant and bar, and event space for corporate and social events. 

The course will get a much-needed update as well. 

The reconfigured course will have an additional adjacent three-level driving range, two restaurants, a new pro shop and a new clubhouse and patio. Additionally, lights are being added to the course to allow for night golf and the practice putting green is being expanded. A mini-golf experience is expected to be added as well. The first and ninth holes will be shortened slightly to accommodate the improvements.

The venue is expected to generate $2 million a year for the city, and long-term projections are even better. El Segundo residents will get a discount and students at the city’s schools will use the facility as well.

“This exciting development will take place as a result of city council’s vision and unwavering dedication over several years to deliver a recreational amenity that will be fun to use, well-maintained, and financially sustainable over the long run,” Mitnick said. “This further diversifies our revenue stream, and it’s going to revive the game of golf.”