Photo by Reagan Labat.

We tried golf lessons at Topgolf

“The only rule here is don’t cross the red and yellow lines,” laughed Topgolf Director of Instruction Casey Simoneaux. I smiled and realized that a place with only one rule couldn’t possibly involve something too difficult, right? Wrong. If you’ve never played golf, I’ve got a surprise for you: it’s not easy.

The beginning of the lesson fooled me into thinking the afternoon would be a breeze. We started with finding the perfect golf grip for me. I learned there are three different ways to hold a golf club: the baseball grip, the overlapping grip and the interlocking grip. The second Simoneaux said most beginners use the baseball grip, I decided I should stick with that one. Once I had the grip down, we moved on to my stance.

Similar to learning the grips, the stance didn’t seem too tricky. Sure, there were quite a few things to keep in mind while getting ready for the swing, and I could finally understand why golfers stand in place shuffling back and forth for so long, but it still seemed like a pretty simple sport. With my feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent, arms extended, and back at a 45-degree angle, it was time for the swing.

“What does that say right there?” I looked at the ball Simoneaux was showing me and answered, “Topgolf.” According to him, if I kept staring at that word and reading it throughout my swing, I was sure to hit the ball. In summary, the path of a golf swing starts with your chest turning over your right shoulder, golf club in the air, golf club coming back down to strike the ball, hips turning to the left, golf club over your left shoulder, arms extended the whole time, knees bent until the end, and eyes on the ball. I went over the steps in my head a few times, then Simoneaux said, “Let’s give it a shot.” I waved my club over the ball dispenser, set it on the tee “Topgolf” side up, assumed the position, took a deep breath, and swung.

I did it! I actually hit a golf ball. I felt so accomplished and even got a high five from Simoneaux as a final seal of approval. After a few more drills of perfecting my swing, it was time to play some games. Topgolf has nine different games that guests can play, but we decided on classic Topgolf while Simoneaux explained how it works. There are nine different colored targets placed at different lengths away: three red targets at 25 yards, two yellow targets at 50 yards, one green target at 90 yards, one brown target at 125 yards, one blue target at 150 yards, and one white target at 185 yards. The more accurate your shot is and the greater the distance of the target, the more points you earn. Each golf ball has a microchip in it that tracks the location of the ball to ensure accurate scoring.

While I still believe golf is an extremely difficult sport, I had a blast learning how to play. For someone as experienced as he is, Simoneaux was incredibly patient with me and was great at explaining how everything works. As if the staff wasn’t nice enough, the facility is very modern and appealing. I was lucky enough to be there on a beautiful and sunny day, but I think that even on a dreary and cloudy one it wouldn’t make a difference. I highly suggest taking some time out of your day to learn a new skill or perfect your old one at Baton Rouge’s newest attraction.

To make reservations, schedule a class or learn more, visit Topgolf Baton Rouge’s website here. And, get an inside look at the facility with this story from 225 magazine.