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The A-Team: TopGolf's Heart and Soul

The A-Team: TopGolf's Heart and Soul

TopGolf couldn't celebrate 10 locations and 10 million guests without celebrating the Associates who have made this success possible. If you've been to TopGolf even once, then you have probably witnessed first-hand the silly, personable, friendly and off-the-wall personalities of our Associates. They sing. They dance. They play pranks. They hustle. They give hugs and high fives. All in all, they are just really happy and positive people! They are the secret ingredient responsible for the energetic and fun atmosphere that is TopGolf.

We caught up with some of our "old timers," or the people who have been employed at each TopGolf site the longest. Meet the people who have helped shape TopGolf's culture at each location...

Name: Christie Dickens TopGolf Location: The Colony How did you first learn about TopGolf? I had a friend who applied for a job at the Dallas location when it was under construction.  She told me about the Director of Sales position for the Dallas site, so I applied. What made you decide to join the company?  I was very impressed with the uniqueness of TopGolf and was excited to be a part of a new exciting concept in the U.S.  Having never visited a TopGolf before and only seeing the job site in the very early construction stages, I hit the TopGolf website to see what we were all about!  TopGolf was definitely one of the coolest things I had ever seen! What has kept you at the company?  The culture, 100%.  TopGolf is a family. I enjoy going to work every day and love what I do. I sell a fun experience and get to do it with a team I love. I can't imagine a better place to work. What's your favorite TopGolf memory?  My going away surprise party the Dallas site gave me when I transferred to The Colony. I was so surprised and it made me feel so special.  The entire staff on site was in the Players' Lounge waiting to surprise me, and  the song "I Will Remember You" was playing, which of course will make anyone cry! It was really hard leaving the Dallas site since I had been there for six years, but at the same time, I was excited to start a new TopGolf chapter and open another location. What's your favorite item on the TopGolf menu?  The buffalo chicken sliders! If you weren't at TopGolf, what would you be doing?  I hope I would be famous and married to Brad Pitt½ The most rewarding thing about your job:  Working with such a fun, hard-working sales and operations team. Fun Fact: I am from West Monroe, LA where Duck Dynasty is filmed

Name: Chelsea Perkins TopGolf Location: I started at TopGolf Dallas in April of 2008 and transferred to TopGolf Houston in October of 2012. How did you first learn about TopGolf? I played golf in high school, and after a two-year hiatus, I was really feeling the itch to get back into it. A friend of a friend was a Caddy (now called Bay Host) at the Dallas location and had been raving about it, so we decided to go up and hit some balls. I fell in love with it from the start. What made you decide to join the company? When my friends and I were hanging out at TopGolf Dallas one afternoon, a gentleman named Dwayn Williams (whom most TopGolfers know and love) approached our table and struck up a conversation. He passionately told us about what the future had in store for TopGolf and about all of the growth potential the company offered. I put in my application the very same day. Thanks, Dwayn! What has kept you at the company? There are a number of factors that have contributed to my longevity with the company: growth potential, the fast-paced and fun environment and all of the amazing guests that pour through our doors day after day. Most of all though, I'd say the relationships I've made with past and present Associates is the #1 reason. We are truly a family, and that is something that is hard to find within such a large company. What's your favorite TopGolf memory? I stared at the blinking cursor on my screen for a while on this question. It is tough to pick just one; I have so many wonderful memories from both Dallas and Houston. I must say getting to experience the opening of Houston is a hard memory to top. Building our team of Associates from X Factor to Core Classes, Mock Service to the Grand Opening and beyond is an inexplicable feeling. You have all of these fun, energetic and eager new personalities who are ready to hit the ground running and bring everything that the TopGolf Brand embodies to life. The process is truly second to none. What's your favorite item on the TopGolf menu? The Ultimate Club has been my go-to menu item since day one. Perfection! If you weren't at TopGolf, what would you be doing? To be completely honest, I'm not sure what I would be doing if I weren't at TopGolf. Before I started with the company, I had tried my hand at a few different endeavors, but nothing really stuck. I have grown so much both professionally and personally in my time here and don't plan to put the brakes on any time soon. The most rewarding thing about your job: The most rewarding part of my job is definitely seeing the Associates flourish within their roles and grow into others. It's almost like being a proud aunt to 400 nieces and nephews. Fun Fact: Everyone is always shocked to learn that I have an inner lip tattoo.

Name: Steve Cutro TopGolf Location: Chicago How did you first learn about TopGolf? I first learned about TopGolf while working at the Golf Center in Des Plaines in 2006. Mark Caster was the General Manager at the Golf Center and hired me in 2002. Mark left after a few years but still had part ownership at the GC Pro Shop, so I would run into him from time to time. He started telling me about this new facility that was opening up, basically a driving range on steroids. I was intrigued and wanted to know more. When he told me he was offered the General Manager position and wanted me to help build it and run the maintenance department, I told him I was in! What made you decide to join the company? I decided to join TopGolf because it was an opportunity that I just could not pass up. The idea of TopGolf is genius! It sounded like such a cool and fun place to work at. Working at a normal driving range for so long was getting old and boring. Then you hear about TopGolf, not just an ordinary driving range, but the ultimate entertainment facility! Working at a regular driving range vs. working at TopGolf is like playing in the minor leagues vs playing in the pros! It did not take much convincing at all. What has kept you at the company? Everything about TopGolf has kept me here! Cannot keep me away.  I cannot get enough. Every day is different and an adventure. Seeing this company grow so fast and be so successful has truly been an amazing experience. Another thing that has kept me here is to get to work with and alongside such great people. You know you have it made when you wake up and cannot wait to show up to work! It is not a job, it is so much more! What's your favorite TopGolf memory? There have been so many wonderful memories over the last six years, so it is hard to pick just one. Some memories that stand out would be the traveling aspect of my job. I have been to just about every TopGolf site to help with the installs and training. I have learned so much along the way and have had so much fun in the meantime. I was fortunate enough to meet so many great minds in this company and see how all of the other sites are operated. Looking forward to where this company is in 10 years and how many more locations there will be. What's your favorite item on the TopGolf menu? Since I am a healthy eater, I would have to say my favorite thing on the menu is the steak quesadillas, with a lot of sour cream and tots on the side! If you weren't at TopGolf, what would you be doing? If I were not at TopGolf, I would most likely be in the criminal justice field, since that is what I went to school for and what I always pictured myself doing. The most rewarding thing about your job: The most rewarding thing about my job is to see the pure excitement and joy on the faces of every TopGolfer that is in our facility! To see how happy our guests are when they are here and how much fun they are having. Our #1 job is to provide each and every guest that steps foot into our facility with the best gaming experience we can provide. As long as our guests are happy, then so am I! Fun Fact: I am horrible at golf, and I have worked in the golf industry for 12 years.

Name: Amy Evans TopGolf Location: Surrey How did you first learn about TopGolf? I started a part-time job at Surrey Golf and Fitness working as a receptionist in the gym. On the day that I started, we were all told that it would be shutting down in a month's time as it was being taken over by TopGolf. What made you decide to join the company? All of the Surrey Golf and Fitness staff were offered the opportunity to apply for a job at TopGolf; there were only a few vacancies at first as it was just working out of a portakabin whilst the centre was being refurbished. I didn't think I would get a job as there would be lots of competition and I had only just started there, but I decided to go for it anyway, and here I am -- still here today! What has kept you at the company? It's a brilliant place to work, the people are great, and there's never a dull day! I like to be kept busy, and that's always the case at TopGolf! What's your favorite TopGolf memory? We've had some great fun holding Party Nights at Surrey! Our Texas Night was brilliant when we had a bucking bronco in the middle of the centre, but one of my favourite memories has to be at our Onesie Party when Michael Matley was forced to wear a Penguin onesie - he was not a happy penguin! (Sorry Michael!!!) What's your favorite item on the TopGolf menu? BBQ Pulled Pork If you weren't at TopGolf, what would you be doing? When I was at University, I considered training to be a PE teacher before deciding to go full time at TopGolf! The most rewarding thing about your job: Seeing Surrey grow and being involved in constantly improving the site! Fun Fact: I play cricket in my spare time and enjoy throwing myself around as wicket keeper! I had to take a break this season though due to being pregnant, but now that my daughter has been born, I will be back out there next year :)

Name: Debbie Graham TopGolf Location: Watford (although have worked at a few others!) How did you first learn about TopGolf? Through an advert in the local paper! What made you decide to join the company? My dad was an avid Golf fan and was forever dragging me down to the range (that was situated on the site before TopGolf was built!). My dad passed away in 1999, and when TopGolf was built in 2000, it seemed apt that I would apply and work for a golf company! The site wasn't completed when I started, and I worked with a couple of others in a portakabin, telling our local residents about the new invention that was TopGolf! What has kept you at the company? There is never a dull day at TopGolf! My colleagues past and present, the fabulous guests (some of which who have been coming for 13 years!), and the great opportunities I have had a TopGolf over the years. What's your favorite TopGolf memory? I honestly have too many to pick from! There have been so many fun times over the past 13 years that it's too hard to choose...from site opening parties, working in the sites in the US.., snow clearing to the numerous 'themed' party nights! Holiday parties are always great fun too! :) What's your favorite item on the TopGolf menu? Buffalo Chicken Wrap If you weren't at TopGolf, what would you be doing? I would most probably be a police officer - always something I wanted to do! The most rewarding thing about your job: Seeing the company grow from strength to strength and being a part of such an innovative company...and also making some great friends for life! Fun Fact: When I was younger, I was a mascot for Watford Football Club (soccer to you U.S. peeps!). I got to run on the pitch with all the football players and even got to go into their changing  rooms! Every young girls' dream!!

Name: Lizzeth Sanchez TopGolf Location: Allen How did you first learn about TopGolf? I was working at the Hank Haney driving range at the time, and we were told that TopGolf was going to take over and start building. The location is now TopGolf Dallas. What made you decide to join the company? I saw the opportunity to work for the company that was taking over Hank Haney when they needed to find an Office Manager. I needed a change. What has kept you at the company? The constant change and growth that this company provides. There is never a dull moment at TopGolf. What's your favorite TopGolf memory? Working from the trailers when TopGolf Dallas and TopGolf Allen were under construction. The feeling of excitement.| What's your favorite item on the TopGolf menu? Mushi The most rewarding thing about your job: Getting the knowledge of the different systems/software that change brings our way. Fun Fact: I love motorcycles and need someone to ride with.

Name: Kristin Fleming TopGolf Location: Austin now, I transferred from the Dallas site in May. How did you first learn about TopGolf? A good friend of mine was the Director of Operations at the Dallas location, and when I went to visit, he offered me a job. What made you decide to join the company? I liked the fun atmosphere and the willingness to be flexible with my schedule while I finished school. Knowing people who worked there already definitely helped! What's your favorite TopGolf memory? This one is so difficult to answer, having been with the company for as long as I have and all the fun times we have. I would have to say the Star Awards ceremony in Dallas, which was disco-themed, so a fellow Associate and I dressed up like disco balls. We both won awards (I like to think the costumes helped). We had a blast dancing and cheering for each other!} What's your favorite item on the TopGolf menu? Spinach and goat cheese salad with steak. Nom Nom. If you weren't at TopGolf, what would you be doing? Most likely working in a veterinary clinic or on a ranch with horses. The most rewarding thing about your job: My TopGolf family, hands down. I have made lifelong friends within the company, and we have an awesome support system in every department, which is really hard to find. Fun Fact: I make the best chicken and dumplings in the known universe.

Name: Belin Magat TopGolf Location: Alexandria How did you first learn about TopGolf? I saw the "now hiring!" sign, applied, and TopGolf hired me! What made you decide to join the company? I saw that the company was good and beautiful and really wanted to work here! What has kept you at the company? Everyone here is good, the people are nice, and I enjoy working here with everyone and am really happy working here. What's your favorite TopGolf memory? Loved watching the slider slam food challenge! It was so funny watching guests eat! What's your favorite item on the TopGolf menu? Guacamole and chips because I make the batch everyday. If you weren't at TopGolf, what would you be doing? I love going to the casino and having fun. The most rewarding thing about your job: Serving the people and making sure that all the managers eat really good food. Fun Fact: One day I want to retire in the Philippines.

Name: Carlos Reyes TopGolf Location: Dallas How did you first learn about TopGolf? Newspaper What made you decide to join the company? The concept What has kept you at the company? Good company and the guests What's your favorite TopGolf memory? The site's new patio What's your favorite item on the TopGolf menu? Mushi If you weren't at TopGolf, what would you be doing? Own a restaurant The most rewarding thing about your job: Money Fun Fact: Always happy, love to work out and I watch a lot of movies.

Name: Dione Hardy TopGolf Location: Chigwell, Essex, UK How did you first learn about TopGolf? Through an advert in our local job centre in Loughton. What made you decide to join the company? I needed to work locally and part time, due to having young children at that time. I previously worked in the stockbroking/investment banking industry in London, and this was no longer viable due to the long hours demanded. What has kept you at the company? The convenience of working locally, part time and being near to my children's school. What's your favorite TopGolf memory? Martin Flack, our maintenance Supervisor, driving the mule straight into the target! What's your favorite item on the TopGolf menu? I don't usually eat much at work, but I'd say Steak Sandwich and Chips! If you weren't at TopGolf, what would you be doing? I'd either be retired or back working in the city banks , but I'd much rather be retired! The most rewarding thing about your job: The people with whom I work. Fun Fact: I'm the longest serving employee at Chigwell - it opened in March 2004, and I joined in May 2004, so 10 years next year!

Name: Randy Starr TopGolf Location: I'm not good enough to work at an actual site, so I have to instead support the company by doing my best to help secure our future. How did you first learn about TopGolf?  One of our investors, whom I knew personally, told me about this high-tech golf venture. I thought it sounded fun yet a bit silly. To be honest, I didn't really take the opportunity seriously as first.  Being a non-golfer, I also didn't appreciate the impact that this concept would have on so many people. What made you decide to join the company?  On my initial visit to explore the concept, I showed up to the Alexandria, Virginia facility, which at the time was the only operational facility in the U.S.  I was amazed by the diversity of customers (they weren't called guests back then!) hitting golf balls. But what really stuck with me was how much fun people were having. There was so much laughter, and high fives were all around. I couldn't believe people were having so much fun hitting golf balls. I mean, golf was boring to me! My grandfather had been trying in vain to get me to play for 10 years. It became apparent that these TopGolf people were on to something! However, when I learned that all real estate decisions were being made out of the U.K., I also realized that they could use some help over here! It ended up being the right opportunity at the right time. What has kept you at the company?  Every time I go on site, I see just how much fun our guests have playing TopGolf. The reaction I had the first time in Alexandria holds true today! I love walking around and seeing our guests enjoying the unique atmosphere and the great hospitality that our team provides. I also love seeing the spark and passion that our Associates and site leaders have for this concept. It's apparent to me that TopGolf is one of those unique concepts that comes around once in a generation. I know that most of our team feels the same way (at least they should). Having now been with the company for seven years, I feel driven to do whatever I can do to help ensure that this concept grows to the potential that it should. If TopGolf is not the premier global entertainment brand in the future, we've done something wrong. What's your favorite TopGolf memory?  There have been so many. Most recently, the Houston opening. It affirmed how far we have come as a team and a concept. The guests were truly "wowed" by the experience. The emails and feedback from the guests that night was "above and beyond" what we could have hoped for. All of the hard work that had gone into the design, construction, operations planning, hiring, training, marketing, and technology improvements -- it all came together. Standing there in Houston on that special night, it was the first time that I felt that we as a concept had truly arrived. It made me incredibly proud of all that the team had accomplished. What's your favorite item on the TopGolf menu? Anyone who knows me should know this. Begins with an M and is a 5-letter word. Now, with that said, I think it can be improved, so watch out Mark and Seve.. I'm coming for you. If you weren't at TopGolf, what would you be doing?  Probably making more money, but certainly less happy and fulfilled, working in real estate development and sales in New York. That's where I was when this opportunity came about. While I was developing a good career on the transactions side, it was devoid of that accomplishment that you get by helping to build an actual company, brand and culture. The most rewarding thing about your job: Every day I am humbled by the sheer task of what it takes to build a best-in-class brand, culture and business.  The fact that I get to help do that with a team of people that are equally excited to help grow this concept is truly special. Fun Fact: While I am from the East Coast, and my impatient personality betrays this, I actually come from a long line of proud Texas lineage. My great^4 grandfather, John Starr, was an official "Texas Pioneer" back in the early 1800's. Every year growing up, during our annual visit to Texas to see our relatives, we would visit Starr Family Cemetery in Elkhart, which is in East Texas halfway between Houston and Dallas.

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