I've got to tell you about our family experience this past weekend. My 13-year-old daughter plays golf and wanted to take her 86-year-old grandfather to Topgolf to show him her game.
It was a rainy day, and we waited about 30 minutes for a bay, so we walked dad through the facility and watched his eyes grow bigger and bigger each time he encountered something unexpected: first, the overall size of the facility, then, the availability of food and drink, and then, finally, the amazing fact that the ball has a microchip in it and the computer could actually figure out how far you hit your shot.
After my daughter and I played a couple of games, we coaxed dad up to the tee. He hadn't hit a ball in more than 50 years, and even back then, he was more of a duffer than a player. So, he reluctantly gripped a driver and then let one rip straight down the fairway, no more than a couple of feet off the ground all the way.
He then turned to me and asked me how far it went. I pointed up to the screen and showed him it went 141 yards. He was floored. He hit about 10-15 more balls before he got tired and had to sit for a while. The smile on his face was ear-to-ear.
On the ride home, he looked distantly out the window and told us it was a good experience for him, and then he added that he was glad we went. He said it built a little bit of his confidence back.
You see, my mom had died unexpectedly only two weeks earlier and he was crushed. They had been married for almost 65 years, and they actually had known each other for more than 73 years since they grew up in the same neighborhood as kids.
His world was still spinning when we stopped by Topgolf that rainy afternoon. We probably could never have had that experience on a regular golf course – too much time, too much effort, too many obstacles for an 86-year-old man just getting on the course.
Topgolf, however, gave us an easy entry and provided comfort along the way, something important to an 86-year-old guy looking for a comfortable place to land.
It also did one other thing – it helped get a little bit of his confidence back after suffering a terrible loss. His world had been spinning since mom's passing. Our trip to Topgolf gave him a few moments to get his footing back and realize that there is much more ahead of him in life yet to be conquered.
Thanks so much to the Topgolf staff and the management who dared enough to dream this vision up.
Here's a link to a video of dad's first shot. His words right at the end of the clip are precious.
Blessings to you as you have blessed others,