A new entertainment mega-complex known as 'Drive Shack" opens today in West Palm Beach. With 3 levels, sports bars, games, meeting rooms and state of the art driving bays...what's not to love?
(CBS12) - The Palm Beaches are known as Florida's Golf Capital with almost 160 courses here in our backyard. But we haven't seen a golf complex quite like the one that's opens Friday next to the Palm Beach International Airport. Drive Shack in West Palm beach open golf entertainment companies like it are opening the game to a whole new audience. Rony Madeus was one of the few lucky ones to get an early glimpse of Drive Shack with his girlfriend. With the fancy drinks and large menu, it's a perfect stop for a date.
"I'm not a golfer," says Madeus. "But I'm trying." And there's also the golf - it's fitting that Drive Shack is located next to the Palm Beach International Airport, because you can see it from 30,000 feet. The place is huge - the nets alone are 160 feet tall.
So there's plenty of room for golfers of all skill levels. It might look like a lot of fun, but it's also big business - almost 10 million people played at a golf entertainment complex like Drive Shack last year, and not at a traditional golf course.
"We believe 75 percent of people who come through are non-golfers," says Drive Shack General Manager Jon Stone. "We introduce them to the game before they go out to the actual course." No need to bring your own equipment, Drive Shack provides it for you - the over 400 staff members, will even give you tips if you need them.
And there's even golf games for the kids, including a "Monster Hunt" game, which makes you aim at targets on the range in order to "kill" virtual monsters. It's this focus more on fun, over rules and technique, that has the golf entertainment industry growing nationwide, and arriving in West Palm Beach on Friday.
"My girlfriend is not a golfer," says Madeus. "But she's hitting the ball pretty well - it's fun for everyone!"
Over the last decade, hundreds of golf courses around the country have shut down. But the state of the game in the country is not in turmoil, as the number of golf entertainment complex rises. The number of young golfers picking up the game has gone up roughly 20 percent since 2011.