BRANDON, Fla. (TBO.com) - Above all else, Drew Boatman thought I should remember one phrase after touring the massive TopGolf construction site: “Cryo-cooled beer circulation system.”
Picture dozens of artery-like tubes flowing through a three-story megaplex — each tube wrapped in hyper-chilled glycol sheathing leading to three oversized cocktail bars around the complex. It's enough to trigger brain freeze on any customer ordering a pint.
All this is necessary to cope with both Florida's inhuman heat and the immense size of a TopGolf site, which could easily house a small college campus if need be. Boatman has built several TopGolf driving range/restaurants around the country. The Brandon site is just north of Causeway Boulevard on Falkenburg Road, next to the future site of Bass Pro Shops —making the area a multimillion-dollar megaplex of fishing, golfing, hunting, boating, shopping and beer drinking. In a nutshell, Ah'merica!
“Our location in Houston,” Boatman said, “sells more beer than any single site in that city except the football stadium.”
You see, there's just no way to adequately grasp the sheer magnitude and luxuriousness of a TopGolf unless you set foot on the construction site and gaze around.
The place immense.
A few facts to consider: The whole site, parking included, spans more than 13 acres, rivaling Raymond James Stadium. Just the driving range stretches 300 yards long and 200 yards wide.
The six target “pools” where golfers aim their shots are each the size of a municipal pool. Forming one pool alone took 54 cement trucks. To keep golf balls inside the range, hurricane-proof netting wraps the entire outfield and is held aloft by 17 poles, each one 150 feet tall. That's taller than most airport control towers. At any given point in the day, there might be 150 to 180 construction workers on site.
Photo Credit TBO.com