With the first round of the Masters underway in Augusta, every Houstonian who owns a set of golf clubs is looking for a place to play this weekend. And herds of them will be heading to TopGolf, the slick new practice facility off I-10 just west of Highway 6. It's a new concept in practice ranges that combines a triple-decker driving range with a target game that is scored on a video screen in a private bay. Each bay has a table for six, so you can order drinks and lunch (or dinner) while you're whacking the ball. (Don't bother calling for a tee time, it's first come, first served.)
I was pretty impressed with TopGolf's "Ultimate Club Sandwich" on toast with oven-roasted turkey, pecanwood smoked bacon, sliced beefsteak tomato, red leaf lettuce, cheddar, and herb cream cheese. The club sandwich is $9 with a side of French fries, or you can substitute smoked salmon for the turkey and bacon for an extra dollar. The restaurant also serves a decent Thai beef salad, cute little chicken and waffle sandwiches and an array of brunch items including eggs Benedict with smoked salmon. There's also a full bar and a cocktail list. Take a look at the menu.
A practice bay is $40 an hour at peak times and $20 an hour off-peak, and you can hit all the balls you want in that time. The food may not be worth a special trip, but if you're a golfer, you can't help but love the whole idea of sitting around eating clubhouse food and drinking cocktails while playing golf. It's sort of like a golf range at the bowling alley.
There are also lots of television screens, so you can watch Tiger Woods attempt to win another green jacket while you're there.