HONOLULU (KHON2) – A game changer for golf in the islands.
On Wednesday, the city entered into an agreement with Topgolf, one of the top attractions in Las Vegas and other areas, to enhance and upgrade Ala Wai driving range.
The new facility is a partnership between Topgolf USA and local companies The MacNaughton Group and Kobayashi Group.
It will be four stories tall, built within the existing footprint, and will have 108 hitting bays, plus food and beverage options, gathering areas, and a keiki play zone.
“One of the special things of top golf is that it is a hub for communities” said Topgolf CEO Craig Kessler. “There are guests who come to top golf just to play golf. There are guests who come and never pick up a golf club, but they may want to watch a game with a friend or host an event with their company or with their charitable organization.”
While entertaining for both guests and visitors, the new facility also stands to benefit the the local golf community in many ways.
“The real goal is to take somebody who’s not a traditional player and transition them into a traditional golfer and ultimately out onto a course,” said PGA Aloha Section CEO Wes Wailehua. “And I think that’s one of the great things that top golf is done really well.”
Wailehua also says the new facility will help support all municipal courses, as well as junior golf programs.
“It’s a huge opportunity to really invest in the local golf community here in Hawaii.It’s a win-win and a great local style with good partners involved in this venture with the city and County of Honolulu”.
The contract calls for Topgolf Hawaii to pay the city more than a million dollars per year plus a percentage of it’s sales.
It also requires spaces be made available for the general public who wish to hit balls, at a price similar to what their paying today.
“I think it’s going to be exciting” said Hawaii Junior Golfer Jonathan Morikawa. “I’ve been to a couple in the mainland and it’s a real fun experience, especially going out with friends and family and especially it being here in the heart of Honolulu. I think it’ll be perfect”.