HOUSTON -- There's a new form of entertainment that has taken the Houston area by storm. It's called Top Golf, a driving range like you've never seen before. It's so popular a second location is opening soon and looking to hire 450 people.
The location off I-10 near Katy opened just over a year ago and executives said it attracts 30,000 guests a month.
"It's a very addicting game," said Top Golf Marketing Manager Avery Seale.
"It's like bowling but for golf," said one woman who is new to the sport.
Top Golf is a three-story driving range in which golfers hit balls from an open-ended bay and aim for large in-ground targets in order to score points.
"Our balls have microchips in them and you can hit balls into our targets in the field and the microchip will track distance, yardage and accuracy of your shot," said Don Bachman, Top Golf Director of Operations.
Top Golf is an international company which began in the U.K. Bachman said there are 11 locations. Two are in Dallas, one is in Austin and there are two in Houston.
Wait staff serves food and drinks to golfers in the bays. The cost is $40 per hour for up to six people. The price is $20 per hour for those who arrive before noon. Top Golf opens at 9 a.m. each day and closes at midnight except on Friday and Saturday nights when it closes at 1 a.m.
Guests are allowed to bring pets.
Top Golf is doing so well at its west Houston location that a second location is opening off I-45 near E. Cypresswood Drive in Spring. The company is looking to hire 450 people. Most of the jobs are service related but there are many management positions also.
Bachman said the company pays above minimum wage.
There will be hiring events at the Spring location located at 560 Spring Park Boulevard, Spring, Texas on February 8 and 9. There will be another hiring event at Spring High School on February 10, he said. The Spring Top Golf facility should open by early April.
"I think it's going to be a great opportunity for everybody in the Spring area," said Avery Seale, Top Golf Marketing Director.
Homeowners near the Spring location are not happy however, anticipating noise, traffic and lights.
"They've kind of just ruined, I would say, any kind of a resale value that we had in the home," said Robin Strickland as he stood in his backyard which now looks out at Top Golf.
Top Golf officials said their neighbors in Spring should not be worried.
"Absolutely not, we are great neighbors. We're fun neighbors. We're the neighbors you want to hang out with all the time," Seale said.
"If anything it's going to enhance their lives and their experience," Bachman said.
Top Golf is extremely interested in community outreach and hopes to have a dialogue with concerned residents, he said.
The Spring location is expected to attract 400,000 people in its first year, Top Golf officials said.