The shift by Drive Shack/American Golf to focus on high-tech mini-golf and entertainment facilities will come to life with the opening of the first Puttery at The Colony, a high-end development in the Dallas-Fort Worth region. Rory McIlroy is a partner in the venture, and Drive Shack has also raised $50 million through an IPO.
Drive Shack/American Golf Corporation is moving forward to debut its brand of miniature golf venues that will include tech-enhanced indoor putting, entertainment, and upscale food and beverages, Dallas Innovates reported.
“The Puttery” brand will combine the auto-scoring technology of Topgolf with the social nature of mini-golf in an upscale, lively cocktail environment, Dallas Innovates reported, with the first of the venues set to open in the summer of 2021 at The Colony, a high-end development in the Dallas-Fort Worth (Texas) region.
At the start of the year, Santa Monica, Calif.-based Drive Shack had an initial public offering during which it met its goal of selling $50 million in stock, Dallas Innovates reported. At the same time, the company announced both its expansion into the mini- golf industry and its new partnership with professional golfer Rory McIlroy.
C+RB has reported on Drive Shack’s sale of American Golf properties to also raise capital for its new initiatives (https://clubandresortbusiness.com/drive-shack-sells-11-clubs-for-82-5m/).
McIlroy became interested in the idea of a golf-oriented entertainment option for adults, leading him to enter into a non-binding agreement with Drive Shack to help create, invest in, and launch the Puttery concept, according to a press release, Dallas Innovates reported.
The creation of the Puttery brand is a strategic one, influenced by the disruption in the golfing industry as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as by increased demand for social and active entertainment options, Drive Shack said in the press release, Dallas Innovates reported. Indoor putting venues decrease the cyclicality of its originally more seasonal demand and require less space, the company said, which in turn provides access to more densely populated areas, improve capital efficiency, and more.
While traditional Drive Shack venues cost $25-$40 million, Puttery venues cost $7-$11 million, which contributes to an increase in development yields from 10-20 percent for Drive Shack venues to 25-40 percent for Puttery venues, Dallas Innovates reported.
Drive Shack’s growth plans also go beyond this summer, having previously stated that it hopes to have five Puttery locations by the end of this year and ten by the end of 2022, Dallas Innovates reported.
“Once COVID-19 is under control, the ability to combine high-tech mini golf with a high-quality food-and-beverage menu will make Puttery a great experience for any social gathering,” McIlroy said in a statement. “I am personally making a financial investment in the growth of future Puttery venues across the country, and can’t wait to debut our first Puttery in Dallas this summer.”