Does Topgolf Use Limited Flight Balls?
You’ve probably heard about Topgolf which now has 70 venues in the USA, three in the UK and one each in Australia, Germany, Mexico and Dubai.
Some of your friends said it was good fun and you are wondering whether you should give it a try.
One question you have is about the quality of the balls at Topgolf.
Like some golf driving ranges, Topgolf uses limited flight golf balls to minimize the amount of space required for its venues.
What Are Limited Flight Golf Balls?
A limited flight golf ball is a golf ball that has been designed to fly shorter distances than a regular ball you would buy and use on a golf course. There’s no set limit as to how far a specific brand of limited flight ball will fly. Some will be designed to fly as little as 75% or as much as 90% of the distance a real ball would fly.
This is primarily done by adjusting the materials used in the core to produce lower ball speeds so as not to affect how the ball hooks or slices quite as much.
Limited Flight Golf Balls Vs Regular Golf Balls
The balls used at Topgolf seem to fly around 15 to 20 yards less than an ordinary golf ball. This doesn’t really matter in terms of the Topgolf experience as most of the venues aren’t much more than 200 yards long.
Topgolf is just a game where you try to hit the ball into or near various targets in order to score points.
Do Topgolf Balls Wear Out?
Like any range ball, a Topgolf ball will eventually reach a point where its performance starts to degrade due to the number of times it has been hit.
If the dispenser dishes out a particularly battered golf ball then you would probably be wise to ask your Topgolf host to replace it for you with a newer less battered model.
Do Topgolf Balls Have Trackers?
The balls available at Topgolf all contain an RFID chip that can register which target you managed to hit and award points based on your level of success.
The fact that the balls contain an RFID chip is also another reason why they don’t tend to travel as far as a normal golf ball since they have the electronic chip inside.
Can You Use Your Own Balls At Topgolf?
Unfortunately no you aren’t able to use your own golf balls at Topgolf. Even if you owned some limited flight balls that wouldn’t go beyond the confines of the driving range they aren’t going to contain an RFID chip that the Topgolf systems can recognize.
There’s also the fact that the company wouldn’t want to try and collect up all your golf balls to give back to you at the end of your session as this would interfere with all the other users at the venue.
It’s not unknown for people to hit their own balls at a driving range but of course, they know they’re not going to see those golf balls again because they can’t retrieve them from the range.
Topgolf vs Driving Range
While Topgolf might at first seem just like a fancy driving range they are in fact quite different.
Topgolf is an entertainment venue where you go to have fun with your friends. You will regularly be visited by a member of staff to take orders for drinks and food. A driving range is somewhere you would go to actually work on your golf game.
One of the downsides of Topgolf is that it is quite expensive, certainly compared to an ordinary driving range.
Of course, the quality of golf balls you get at many driving ranges can also leave a lot to be desired.
Topgolf vs Traditional Golf
The big advantage of Topgolf is that it does away with many of the inconveniences of playing traditional golf.
- It’s more or less indoors so you aren’t subject to the weather.
- There aren’t any dress codes at Topgolf.
- You don’t need to go chasing after your ball.
The disadvantages are that many golfers play golf for just those reasons! Another big driver of the popularity of golf is how difficult it is to master. There are so many variations within golf whether it be the long game, short game, putting or bunker play. And that’s before you get to different types of golf courses and the weather you experience on any given day.
Does Topgolf Use Limited Flight Balls: Conclusion
So now you know that Topgolf does use limited flight golf balls at its venues. This doesn’t really detract from the overall experience as it’s not meant to be real golf. If you’re a serious golfer and you want to work on your game then you’d be better off at a driving range or a practice area using a launch monitor.
Topgolf is designed to be a form of entertainment not a sport with skills to be improved.
Frequently Asked Questions [FAQ]
How does Topgolf track golf balls?
The balls at Topgolf have an RFID chip inside. When you request another ball to hit the system matches the RFID chip of the ball it dispenses with your hitting bay so it knows you hit the ball.
Sensors within the hitting area can detect the RFID signal so it knows where your ball ended up.
Does Topgolf use different balls?
Yes, Topgolf uses balls with an RFID chip and special dimple patterns to reduce the distance they fly and therefore the amount of space they need for their facility.
Is Topgolf Ball Speed Lower?
If you compare the ball speed of Topgolf balls with premium golf balls then you will find that the Topgolf ball will be around 5-10 mph less.