Golf-themed entertainment brand Topgolf has opened its doors in
Bangkok last month, its first venue in Southeast Asia and the latest of
80-plus locations worldwide.
Andrew Nathan, managing director of TG SEA Development, which holds
the exclusive licence for the brand in Indonesia, Malaysia, the
Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, describes the circumstance
of opening the first Topgolf in Thailand as “convergence”.
“The choice was partly real-estate driven, and partly because Bangkok
is a great regional and global destination with great hospitality
infrastructure making it an ideal launching point," he added.
Topgolf Megacity is located on a property leased from the owners of
Megabangna, a sprawling suburban mall near Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport
and which attracts nearly 50 million visitors a year.
From the comfort of the complex’s 102 hitting bays, four of which are
double width VIP lounges, players test their driving skills on 11
targets spread out over an outfield nearly 200m deep. Technology tracks
balls and keeps score among different players, and video game and VR
overlays allow players to follow their progress on customisable screens.
And while golf is a visible feature at Topgolf, its appeal is much
wider. “It’s very much about having fun through play and experiences. We
can help normalise making golf for everybody,”” says Nathan. “For
people who aren’t golfers, it’s a good time out.”
A new kind of business events
Hitting balls from the bays is just part of that fun. The venue aims to be an F&B destination in its own right as well.
There is a giant screen sports bar to follow major events like F1
racing or international football. A custom-built food bus dubbed Busted!
with a state-of-the-art Lang smoker, the first of its kind imported in
Thailand, produces American barbecue and Thai grilled meats with a spicy
Isaan accent. The Pink Giraffe is the Bangna area’s first rooftop bar
and complements the wine and whisky bar one floor below.
All F&B options can be ordered and delivered to the playing bays.
Nathan sees potential for developing MICE-related business at Topgolf
Megacity. “Corporate, sales, team building, all of these things can
find a space here, » he said, pointing to the fact that the brand does
well in MICE destinations like Las Vegas and Orlando.
In the first days after its opening, bookings at Topgolf included a
B2B event that bought out out seven bays and a car company that used the
putting green as a product showcase. Three dedicated meeting rooms
range in capacity from 27 to 180 people, but they can also arrange for
buyouts of any of the F&B outlets, and any number of bays.
‘It’s a great place to come for a different style of business event,”
says Nathan. “You can come for a traditional kind of business meeting,
but then have fun too. It’s a new kind of destination for these very
familiar activities with a new twist.”
Teeing off opportunities in Southeast Asia
After Bangkok, TG SEA Development confirmed that it had signed a deal
for a second Southeast Asian location in Jakarta with Indonesian
property developer Harmasland.
The specs released to the press concerning Topgolf Jakarta Selatan
are almost identical to those of Bangkok, notably 102 bays and about 400
jobs created. Both projects are located next to high-traffic suburban
shopping malls, with which they hope to develop synergies.
The Jakarta project is part of the sprawling commercial and
residential Megatown Fatmawati development that includes the One Belpark
Mall. Both boast F&B, meeting rooms and VIP spaces.
Topgolf expects its Jakarta destination to be ready in 2024.