Drive Shack vs. Top Golf? My Honest Opinion

Updated January 2022:

Because the heat is unbelievable in Florida, we chose an indoor adventure for my son’s birthday celebration in August. We chose Drive Shack. As a family, we have experienced the semi-indoor interactive golf range, Top Golf, but this was our first experience at Drive Shack. Here is my review of the experience. Should you choose Drive Shack or Top Golf?

Boy standing outside of Drive Shack, Orlando
My son outside of Drive Shack, Orlando

What is Drive Shack and Top Golf?

Drive Shack and Top Golf are both semi-indoor driving ranges. Both entities are multi-floored and use golf balls that are tracked on a screen. Top Golf uses micro-chipped balls whereas Drive Shack uses radar-based TrackMan™ Range technology, . At both locations, you choose from a multitude of different games, many of which are family-friendly. Whether you are a novice golfer or on the PGA tour, the concept is loads of fun for everyone!

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Drive Shack or Top Golf–Our Choice?

If given the choice between Drive Shack or Top Golf, we would choose Top Golf. Though there are many similarities and both have good qualities, we feel Top Golf will be our choice for future adventures.

Cost: (Updated January 2022)

Boy relaxing on a couch with a Sprite
My son relaxing in the bay

Both Top Golf and Drive Shack require you to rent a golfing bay and each bay can house up to 6 golfers. If you bring 1 player or 6 players, the cost is the same. This is a big benefit and can be cost saving if you have small number of golfers.

Is Drive Shack Open During the Pandemic?

As of January 2022, there are 4 Drive Shack locations. These locations are in in Raleigh, West Palm Beach, Richmond, and Orlando.

What is the cost for Drive Shack

Open to 1 PM: $25 an hour for the bay, 1-5 PM: $35 an hour, 5 PM to close: $45 a bay. Up to six (6) guests per Bay. Tax not included.

The cost for Top Golf Orlando is actually a bit more expensive.

The price continues to increase so make sure you check out their website for accurate pricing before going. I am trying to keep this information up to date. The price also changes based on the day you choose you go with weekends being a higher price

It is $30 per bay from open to noon, Noon to 5 p.m. is $40, and 5 p.m. to close is $50 per hour if you go during the week. The price increases Friday through Sunday. with prices going to $35 from open to noon, $5 from noon to 5, and $55 from 5 p.m. until close. They also require you pay a one time fee of $5 to get your reusable Top Golf Card.

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Locations:

Top Golf has 70 locations with several locations near us in Florida as well as numerous locations nationwide. In contrast, Drive Shack has four total locations.

The view of the green from the third floor bay at Drive Shack
This is the view from a third floor bay

Games (Updated January 2022):

The main reason we liked Top Golf better was the games available to play are more diversified at Top Golf. Drive Shack has four games, many of them required you to be able to hit the ball a lot farther than my son or I could do. This meant we automatically had no chance at scoring many points.

Drive Shack did have a kid-friendly game called Monster Hunt that was a fan favorite especially for my son. The goal was to hit the monsters sitting on the different colored areas of the field. It was gratifying to see the ball hit the imaginary monster’s head on the TV screen in our bay eventually knocking them out. The down side is we could never hit the monsters located in the far field because we just did not have a powerful enough swing. After eliminating the monsters in the infield, we were just taking practice swings.

In contrast, we feel Top Golf has games that allow you to score points no matter if you hit the closest holes every single time. They have 13 total games to choose from and they range in skill level. In addition, their range also includes actual holes that swallow up your ball. There is something about getting the ball to go into a hole and watching it disappear that is satisfying! Drive Shack only has targets on the green, no holes.

Food and Facilities (updated January 2022)

Both Drive Shack and Top Golf are beautiful facilities. They both offer food and drink. Drive Shack is less crowded so you will probably have to wait less time for a bay which is definitely a plus.

A draft Blue Moon draft beer at Drive Shack is $6.50 and Top Golf is $6.25. The average price for a cocktail such as a Margarita at Drive Shack is $12, while the cost is $10 at Top Golf.

RELATED: Check out my review of other family-friendly travel attractions!

Safety Precautions Amid The COVID-19 Pandemic (Updated January 2022)

Since our lives have been changed by COVID-19, what should you expect should you visit Drive Shack or Top Golf?

Drive Shack Safety Precautions In Response to COVID-19

Drive shack will have 6 feet of distance between all tables at the golf bays and 11 feet from golf tee to golf tee. They will not allow a group of more than 10 people in the same vicinity.

Drive Shack commits to cleaning all high touch surfaces to include golf clubs, tables, game tablets, and bay areas cleaned and disinfected between each group.

For more information, click here.

Top Golf’s Safety Precautions in Response to COVID-19

The biggest change to Top Golf is they now offer online reservations for bays for a reduced cost. In the past, you could reserve a bay, however the cost was not worth it. Now, you can reserve a bay in advance depending on the time of day from $5-$25. This will alleviate having to wait sometimes hours for a bay.

Depending on state or local laws and regulations, Top Golf is requiring guests to wear face masks upon entry to the venue until you get to your table or bay. When in your bay at a safe social distance from other guests who are not in your group, you are not required to wear a mask.

Top Golf has 11 feet from tee to tee with 8′ x 5′ dividers between bays. Only 6 guests will be allowed per bay and all areas will be disinfected between use such as golf clubs, game screens, tables, etc.

For more information, click here.

In Summary…

Do not get me wrong, my family thoroughly enjoyed our experience at Drive Shack. If given the option to choose between Drive Shack and Top Golf, we will choose Top Golf. Though both business provide a relaxing atmosphere as well as well maintained facility, we feel Top Golf offers more options specifically for families because there is a wider variety of games for the novice golfer.

Have you been to Drive Shack or Top Golf? What did you think? Which was your favorite? Drop me a comment! I’d love to hear from you.

Are you searching for other fun activities to enjoy in Florida, check out my Florida travel reviews and recommendations here.

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Disclosure: I did not receive any compensation from Drive Shack or Top Golf for this review. I paid full price. The opinions presented in this review are honest and real.

This post includes affiliate links and ads. At no extra cost to you, I may earn a commission and/or points/incentives should you click on a link and make a purchase or sign up for a free service. This blog is independently owned and the reviews of any product and/or travel destination here are my opinion.

This Post Has 18 Comments

  1. Erin

    We have recently been to both Top Golf and Drive Shack. My husband and I both preferred Top Golf for the actual golf play. We did Drive shack’s flight of mimosas, which was fun. But, we can go to brunch anywhere. We had a much more fun time playing at Top Golf. And yes, there is something more satisfying about the ball actually falling into the holes!

    1. admin

      Erin,
      I did not know about the flight of mimosas at Drive Shack. That definitely would have added some enjoyment to the day!

      Thank you for your comment! I am glad you concur with our assessment of both locations!

      –Chris

  2. Hairstyles

    Hiya, I’m really glad I have found this info. Nowadays bloggers publish just about gossips and web and this is really annoying. A good site with exciting content, that’s what I need. Thanks for keeping this site, I’ll be visiting it. Do you do newsletters? Can’t find it.

  3. Heather

    Hello,
    I’m actually in the process of setting up an event at Drive Shack. I’ve had this same bday event the past 2 years at Top Golf but they opened a Drive Shack much closer to us. So far without agreeing to a contract yet the experience is definitely different. Also they noted in the contract that only 1 cc is slowed per bay for drink tabs, this seems a bit odd to me. I was wondering if anyone has actually been held to this restriction.
    Not sure if we will commit to DS or just return to TG. Undecided.

    1. Chris | Tourist With Tots

      Hi Heather,
      Thank you for your comment! I cannot speak to the credit card per bay for drink tabs. I hope someone else who has had experience with this can comment.

      -Chris

      1. Heather

        We went ahead and agreed to host the party there so I’ll let you know the outcome.

        1. Chris | Tourist With Tots

          I look forward to getting your opinion on everything. I hope it all goes well and you are happy with the outcome. Keep us updated!
          –Chris

  4. Random

    I personally loved Drive Shack, the staff was friendly, the food was amazing and overall it was a pleasant experience.
    Can’t say the same for Top Golf

    1. Chris | Tourist With Tots

      My family liked Drive Shack, as well. My opinion was Top Golf was better for families.
      Thanks for your comment!
      Safe Travels,
      Chris

  5. T

    Coming at it from a different perspective, we live in Orlando and our group of 4 guys is made up of somewhat experienced golfers (range of skill levels). We do the occasional guy’s night. We’ve played both Topgolf and Drive Shack a handful of times, and we all unanimously prefer Drive Shack. You had fair points about the variety of games going to Topgolf, but the ball tracking seems to be more accurate at Drive shack, which is more important to us than the amount of the games. We prefer the flag pins at Drive Shack (that don’t have a bunch of nets around them). Also, both can be pricey, but we’ve found Drive Shack runs a lot more specials (pre pandemic). Tuesdays were something like half price, so we would take advantage of that. Finally, Drive Shack is in a less touristy area (we consider that a benefit). Topgolf is fun, but we’re glad to see Drive Shack is opening back up.

    1. Chris | Tourist With Tots

      All amazing points. Thanks for your comments and feedback.
      Safe Travels,
      Chris

  6. Lennie

    Better experience at Drive Shack. Better access, more attentive staff, and the ball tracking is more accurate. Price, food, and drinks are comparable, so given the choice, Drive Shack every time, especially with the grand kids!

    1. admin

      Lennie,
      Thank you for your comment. I appreciate your review.
      Chris

  7. Pingback: Topgolf Competitors & Alternatives | Business Strategy Hub

    1. Chris | Tourist With Tots

      Thank you for your comment. I do not disagree that Drive Shack is an awesome alternative to Top Golf. Yes, Drive Shack is cheaper, however, my opinion relates to more than just cost. I still believe Top Golf is my choice if visiting with my child. In addition, Top Golf offers games that are easier for those of us who are not golf masters.

      You discussed revenue in your comment. Drive Shack has 4 total locations, with two being in Florida. Top Golf has 70 locations. Obviously, this gives them an advantage on revenue.

      Chris

  8. Lisa

    Hi how was the comfort level with the high outdoor temperature in FL? Do the bays at Drive Shack have AC and fans?

    1. admin

      Hi Lisa,
      Both locations have AC and fans.

      Chris

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