ClubCorp's new Drive Zone debuted to the public last week.

Sports & Leisure

ClubCorp Opens Technology-Centric Driving Range at Brookhaven Country Club

Drive Zone features ball-tracking tech, virtual golf games, and an outdoor lounge.

Dallas-based ClubCorp has upped the driving range experience by combining golf with technology at Drive Zone, which debuted last week. Located at Brookhaven Country Club in Farmers Branch, the interactive range also features putting greens, an outdoor lounge, and a full-service menu.

ClubCorp owns and operates over 200 clubs across the country, with amenities varying depending on the club. Drive Zone at Brookhaven is the first of its kind for ClubCorp, serving as a more personalized and entertainment-driven range. Unlike the traditional driving range, Drive Zone adds technology that allows players to analyze each shot or participate in various games. Drive Zone bays have couches and TVs under a pavilion for multiple people to enjoy at once.

The Drive Zone uses the same ball tracking system, Toptracer Range, used by Topgolf. ClubCorp CEO Dave Pillsbury says that while the experience is similar to Topgolf, Drive Zone’s compressed, miniature version is brought to life in a club environment.

Before teeing up, each golfer can choose an interactive game to play on the touch screens. For example, with virtual golf mode, players can experience 18 holes on courses from around the world without ever leaving Drive Zone. They can amp up the competition with the longest drive mode, a game that calculates which player hits the farthest. Or, simply play in training mode to track data such as ball speed, launch angle, and hang time.

David Pillsbury

Drive Zone is opening as ClubCorp transitions its CEO. Pillsbury replaced Eric Affeldt as CEO on June 1. Pillsbury, a 30-year veteran of the industry, has a laundry list of experience with golf companies, including Nike Golf, American Golf Corp., and the PGA Tour. He says he was drawn to the position because it provided the chance to be a part of something special at an iconic company.

“I’m most excited for the opportunity to help take a 61-year-old company to the next level,” he says. “I’ve been in about all dimensions of the business, and ClubCorp is really an amalgamation of all of those experiences.”

Drive Zone is not limited to members of Brookhaven Country Club and can even be rented out for an event. Pillsbury says Drive Zone represents the kind of innovation that the company will pursue in the future, and hinted at “some very big plans” in the technology sphere. He says ClubCorp will continue to expand experiences for members—no matter how old they are.

“When you see moms out here with their kids, it adds a dimension of value where the family is more involved with the club,” he says. “So it’s not just playing golf: It’s aquatics, it’s fitness, it’s tennis. And it’s alternative entertainment like the Drive Zone that involves golf, but creates a broader experience for more members of the family, in particular, kids.”

Comments

  • ObiterDictum

    Wow, doubling down on Affeldt’s vision of golf as an “entertainment” hub… With the private equity takeover, they now have double the debt to service. Ballpark 2 billion. Club Corp squandered the goodwill of the members like a drunken sailor when they were squeezed by their fed up shareholders. They were between a rock (members) and a hard place (shareholders) with a portfolio of aging country clubs, many in need of repair and renovation. Most of their clubs face daily mutiny by their members sick of dues increases, declining service and slashed golf course budgets. Yet, interesting, Apollo left ClubCorp at the management helm despite their missteps. Finally, they push out the ClubCorp heir apparent, Burnett. Now we get the same old, same old. All of the technology talk is a laugh bc they have issues with their core business. I ask you, if you cannot cook and serve a hamburger in your restaurant, what makes you think you should expand your business further? Get the fundamentals down. Moreover, the assinine “ONE” program that gives members 50 percent off food should be studied in business schools as a stupid low hanging fruit of an idea. Great for a quick income stream, bad for the long term when you derive substantial income from food and bev. What it has done is effectively divorced the cost and the price from one another. Who does that????? I will not belabor the consequences of that program, but it requires quite a bit of contortion to convince skeptical ONE members they are actually getting half off their food prices. It is an even harder sell to convince the nonONE members the food is worth full price. Service and quality issues abound. Like many restaurants that go out of business, they have increased their prices to the point they have changed consumption patterns. They tack on a 20 percent service fee on the “full/fake” price which further aggravates the situation. Most members hoped that Appollo was going to fix the core issues. Looks like they are doubling down on Affeldt’s flawed vision. At some point, they will learn that “it’s the golf, stupid”. This is my opinion as a long term member of a CCA club.