August is TopGolf target; $200k Cool Sports upgrade

Visit Farragut’s Inaugural Program Update L:uncheon Tuesday, May 24, was coupled with a big announcement: TopGolf is looking at an early August opening.

Mark Grenier, director of operations for TopGolf Knoxville— under construction along Outlet Drive in Farragut — was one of the luncheon’s guest speakers, and told the crowd in Farragut Community Center, “We hope to be open by the first of August.”

In a separate interview, Grenier said he didn’t “want to throw an exact date out there yet — Mother Nature will most likely determine our actual opening date.”

He also said TopGolf will be hiring around 400 employees later in the summer.

Grenier, who helped open TopGolf’s Birmingham, Alabama, location, talked at length about what will be the first brand-new attraction in the Town’s Entertainment District.

“TopGolf was actually started in London, England, in 2000 by two brothers, and basically, the story goes, they were arguing about who could hit their golf ball the furthest.” he said. “They decided to put a microchip on the inside of the golf ball so they could track it.

“That’s a very short version how it got started. So, it first stared in London.” Grenier added. “The fourth UK location is opening this year in Scotland, We opened the first Germany location this year as well.

“Now, we are a global sports and entertainment community and will have over 80 locations this year, in the U.S., Mexico, Dubai — and the first China location this year.”

As for what visitors and tourists can expect, “For those who haven’t been to one, is that we offer a full-service bar and restaurant,” Grenier said. “We will have a total of 72 hitting bays on two different floors. Everything you need will be in the bay, and we will have left-handed clubs, men’s, women’s, junior toddler clubs.

“We want everybody to be able to play,” he added.

“For a fee, you will also be able to upgrade to Callaway’s (ToGolf’s parent company) latest upgrades in golf clubs. We also encourage you to bring you own clubs, if you have them.”

He said TopGolf Knoxville’s capacity will be about 600, and several levels of membership will be offered, including a $5 lifetime member option through the TopGolf app.

Grenier said he would have a management team of around 20 and initially plans to hire “386 hourly associates. We plan to hold approximately 22 job fairs. We already rented some space in the Turkey Creek shopping area; and will interview 50 to 60 at a time over six weeks to build our team.”

Cool Sports upgrade

Ronald Cohorst, assistant general manger for Cool Sports, also spoke and said the 20-year-old “Home of the Icearium” will soon be undergoing $200,000 in updates.

“Our bread and butter is our figure skating and hockey,” Cohorst said.

“There are other ice skating rinks in the area, but we are the only rink that has an NHL-size rink,” he added. “From September to March, we bring in hundreds of families from Nashville, Lexington, Florida — all of whom come here to play in Cool Sports and see Farragut for everything it is.”