The glamorization of simple pleasures is a proven recipe. Starbucks coffee, DB Bistro hamburgers, Lucky Strike bowling alleys and Topgolf driving ranges all come from humble beginnings.
Beloved by core golfers, the good ol’ fashioned driving range with tire targets and a single-wide pro shop is far from sexy. They’re dusty sprawls where dreamers grind blisters in hopes of breaking 100. Some maniacs imagine themselves sliding into a green jacket at Butler Cabin — this is the essence of the “range”.
Then Topgolf arrived in the year 2000 and the driving range as we knew it would never be the same. Now with more than 50 global locations, the LED-driving ranges have mixologist drink options and chef inspired menus. The range graduated to a place where people go on dates and host holiday parties. Another glam-range arrived in 2002 when former Topgolf employees launched Drive Shack. They expect to have four locations by 2020.
The latest entry in the “next generation driving range” space is Golfsuites. Its goal is to open centers starting in the fall of 2020. Golfsuites 1 filing for its Regulation A+ offering has been Qualified by the SEC with the intention to raise up to $50 million through offering and selling shares of preferred stock to investors at various price-points. The offering is now accepting investments on the Manhattan Street Capital funding platform.
“Golfsuites will be an entertainment facility for both casual and avid golfers. Beyond an entertainment facility, we will offer advanced instruction. As director of golf, I’ll oversee the golf portion and we’ll bring a high level of player development,” Kyle Morris, director of instruction tells World’s Best Golf Destinations. “We want to be a place where a serious player can come on a Friday night and get some good work in, and have some fun.”
In some areas where Topgolf disappoints the serious player such as golf ball quality and instruction — Golfsuites aims to fill that void. The architect-inspired driving range and putting courses will include “true” green sites, a short game area and simulated hazard designs, along with a featured driving grid for tee shots and multiple skills contests. There will be launch monitors that will allow players to measure and track ball and club data to within inches of targets. And there will be tour-like game improvement swing analysis and coaching, mental performance coaching, fitness training and rehabilitation, custom club fittings, and men’s and women’s member locker rooms.
“Golfsuites aims to tap into the $84 billion golf industry by offering something unique to the one in nine Americans who now plays golf,” said Gerald Ellenburg, CEO of Golfsuites. “Our goal is to provide an avenue to get more people interested in the game by giving them a fun and easily accessible way to try out the sport.”
But first things first, at the moment Golfsuites is a public investment opportunity — they’re seeking $50 million. In addition to the potential increase in the price of stock, Golfsuites promises to pay a dividend at the annual rate of 8%. And for many investors, the dividends may be tax-free for several years. The minimum investment $500 which is 100 shares. Investors also receive investor incentives such as caps, ball markers, golf balls and Golfsuite memberships.
From ugly duckling to beautiful swan — the driving range is a superstar and spots to be part of the Golfsuites team start at $500.