In one of the biggest golfing acquisitions in recent years, Topgolf has acquired BigShots Golf for nearly £24 million.
The deal only applies to the four existing BigShots venues in the USA, but does include potential development rights for other locations.
Both Topgolf and BigShots are driving range entertainment centres. Topgolf started in the UK in 2000 and grew rapidly, particularly in the USA where it has more than 80 large-scale venues, and is now owned by Topgolf Callaway Brands. Earlier this year it reported soaring profits.
This comes as data has shown huge demand for off-course golf in recent years. In both the USA and the UK there are now more people who play golf off the course, particularly on driving ranges, than on it.
In the UK, Topgolf opened its fourth venue last year, while BigShots has also started to grow. There are now two BigShots venues, at Northwick Park, Harrow and Stockley Park, Uxbridge, while a major venue has been planned in Northumberland.
BigShots had been controlled by Invited Inc., the largest owner and operator of private golf clubs in the US, and the deal also includes a preferred vendor agreement in which Callaway products and merchandise will be featured at Invited’s more than 140 golf and country clubs.
“We are essentially purchasing an additional off-course venue and the royalty stream from three franchise venues, including the option to convert those to Toptracer technology in the near future,” said Topgolf Callaway Brands president and CEO Chip Brewer.
“As well as further building out and strengthening our future venue pipeline and growing our partnership with an important golf equipment and apparel partner, Invited — all for the price of approximately one Topgolf venue.”