Saturday, May 25, 2024 May 25, 2024
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RE: WITHER HANK HANEY

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Yesterday we told you about changes to the HH driving range over off Park and Abrams. In our future is something called TopGolf (one word, thank you). You want proof that the FB Nation is all-knowing? One formerly Belo-employed FrontBurnervian actually went out played the only TopGolf location currently operating in the United States, in Virginia. Here’s her review:

You might’ve read on the TopGolf website that the only active location they currently have in the U.S. is in Alexandria (Kingstowne), VA, just outside D.C. It happens to be about a quarter-mile down the street from where I live, and I drive by the place almost every day, but never stopped because it looked like just another double-decker, AstroTurf-lined driving range.

But, oh, how wrong I was!

Global warming brought 70-degree temps to the area on Saturday and I took the opportunity to check the place out with a few friends. We’d heard about a range that served beer while you hit balls and this happened to be the place, which is how we ended up there. Duh. (Total coincidence that you mentioned it on FB on Monday.)

It is the best driving range EVER!

To sum up the concept: you buy a membership card for 3 bucks that has a computer chip in it. You can prepay for range balls with it. The more you buy in advance, the better the deal. Then you go swipe your card on the ball dispenser and select how many range balls you want dispensed. The balls themselves have computer chips in them, too, and they sync up with your membership card as they are being dispensed into your bucket.

Then off you go to find a hitting bay. Each bay has a small table and a few chairs and can accommodate up to 5 people, though only one golfer hitting at a time. Each bay has a heater (handy in D.C. winters … just not THIS winter) and waitresses who make the rounds to each bay taking food and drink orders (typical bar fare).

A golfer grabs a ball from his/her bucket and drops it in a little chute which spits the ball out onto the turf hitting mat. As the ball goes through the chute, the computer chip inside it gets read and the info fed to a small computer screen in each bay. Up pops your name on the screen and from then on the screen keeps track of each golfer hitting balls and how many balls that golfer has hit. Occasionally a “bonus ball” pops up that will earn you extra points if you hit it into a designated area.

Out on the range itself are several circles of varying circumferences that essentially look like dartboards dug into the ground. You hit your ball toward a target and when your ball drops into the circle, it reads the computer chip in the ball and tells you exactly how far you hit and where exactly your ball landed. The more accurate you are and the farther you hit, the more points you get. It becomes competitive VERY quickly!

I typically hate hitting off fake grass, too, but this was too much fun to care. I was oblivious to that fact after a while. We spent a good three hours at the range and I only hit 40 balls. I used to go to Hank Haney often when I lived in Dallas because it was one of the best ranges in the area, but this concept will be a HUGE improvement.

A warm, sunny day, hanging out with friends, hitting golf balls, drinking beer and humiliating the guys in your group because they got schooled by a girl — seriously, what more could you want?!

Stacey Huggins. Let her name be known. Never before has a FBvian stepped up to the plate (or the tee) to answer our questions. Thank you, Stacey. I am now very much looking forward to TopGolf.

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