Chase Field, downtown Phoenix home to the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball team, is hosting a Topgolf Live golf game this weekend to bring entertainment to local families and companies while raising money for charity.
“It is thrilling to turn one of 30 Major League Baseball stadiums into a legitimate Topgolf venue, showing the versatility of our facility,” said Derrick Hall, president and CEO of the Arizona Diamondbacks. “And the response from fans and consumers shows the popularity of Topgolf itself and the enthusiasm for pairing it with our home.”
Topgolf Entertainment Group is a global sports entertainment platform with a unique edge: Topgolf balls use the company’s Toptracer technology to track the ball’s flight through the air, including distance, height, spin and more.
Topgolf has four permanent venues in Arizona: in Scottsdale, Gilbert, Tucson and its most recent location in Glendalealong the Loop 101 freeway.
“But tonight, we are here at Chase Field; this is called Topgolf Live,” Topgolf CEO Dolf Berle said on an upper deck of Chase Field, where Topgolf driving range bays have been temporarily installed on top of stadium seating.
“Topgolf is in the business of creating moments that matter and connecting people in meaningful ways, so our hope is that lots of people will come out and enjoy their families and their fellow colleagues at work and have a great time hitting balls out onto the field,” he said.
Berle said he chose Chase Field for Arizona’s first Topgolf Live event because he is friends with Hall. The two CEOs work together on the board of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America, which is based in Phoenix, Berle said.
“The success of the event will also benefit Make-A-Wish America, as Dolf [Berle] and I, who each serve as national board members, both agreed in the early planning that wish kids should be a focal point,” Hall said.
“We had this dream that we could do something together where we could bring joy to families and companies here in Phoenix, at Chase Field, through Topgolf, and then at the same time raise money for Make-A-Wish, because we have a fundraiser going for Make-A-Wish,” Berle said. “This is a wonderful combination of all of those things.”
Topgolf was founded in the United Kingdom in 2002, and its original three locations outside London are still open today. There are more than 55 Topgolf venues in the U.S., according to Berle.
“When we came to the United States in 2005, one of the first places we came was Scottsdale, and that’s because of the wonderful number of golfers here, and the great climate, and we felt that it would be a great place to test the concept,” Berle said.
Topgolf also has locations in Australia and will be expanding globally in 2020, opening venues in Monterrey, Mexico, and Dubai.
“Many people really understand Topgolf as a venue business, but in fact there are several parts of the business, because we’re a platform company,” Berle said.
Toptracer technology is Topgolf’s biggest claim to fame and is used in golf matches and tournaments seen on television to give an easy-to-understand visual representation of the ball’s trajectory.
“If you watch golf on TV and watch tournaments, you’ll see Toptracer,” Berle said. “Pro golfers really value that, and it makes it fun to watch in terms of TV broadcast.”
According to Berle, Toptracer is used at driving ranges in 25 countries around the world.
Topgolf has a number of venues called Swing Suites — the indoor, urban version of Topgolf for big cities.
Last, but not least, Topgolf is a media company: It produces the video game “World Golf Tour,” which is “the most popular photorealistic golf [game] you can play on a computer or on your phone,” according to Berle.
“We furthermore have Topgolf original content, which is Topgolf Studios,” he said. “This coming year, you’re going to see an original content series with Topgolf [in collaboration] with Will Smith and Jada Smith, and that will be a lot of fun. It’ll be in the vein of the original content video series that we’ve done over the past few years — things like Chef Showdown and Who Will Rock You and also Shotmakers.”
“We’re a platform company, we’re a global sports entertainment company, and we owe a lot to Arizona, because we have four venues here, all of which we love, and we appreciate Arizona as part of our history,” Berle said.
Berle said he hopes hundreds of people will come out to the venue to enjoy the game in a unique setting.
“Tonight, we have the players — a lot of the Diamondbacks players; Baxter is here; we’ve got a number of celebrities,” Berle said.
“The weather is perfect, and if you’ve ever dreamed of hitting a ball really far at Chase Field — it won’t be a baseball in this case, but come out and hit a golf ball.”
Topgolf Live at Chase Field is open now until Sunday, Dec. 15.