Play golf without the sunscreen; 5 Under Golf Center upping the game

Topgolf Swing Suite

Topgolf has taken over the game of golf and has been the premier entertainment and event venue throughout North America and Europe. And now thanks to Beaumont native Austin Williams, Southeast Texas residents and visitors seeking entertainment will soon be able to access two new interactive golf experiences at 5 Under Golf Center, formerly Games People Play Golf Center.

Coming soon to 5945 College St. in Beaumont will be the Toptracer Range by Topgolf and Topgolf Swing Suite.

“We’re very excited to bring the popular Topgolf brand to Beaumont and Southeast Texas,” said Williams, who is the president and CEO of 5 Under Golf Center. “By adding the Topgolf brand, with these interactive games that are fun for golfers and non-golfers alike, we’re creating a new space for locals and visitors in our community to gather for food, drinks, game play and a great time.”

The $1.2 million project will be the first to bring both Toptracer and Swing Suite technology to a single venue in the country. This also includes a lounge, club and facility, in which players will engage in various virtual golf games, as well as a virtual putting green and interactive multi-sport games.

The first installment schedule to open in June is the Toptracer Range, which includes 10 outdoor hitting bays. Toptracer Range will enhance the driving range experience with technology that tracks the distance, ball speed, launch angle, height, side deviation, landing angle and hang time of each shot. Toptracer Range technology provides insightful data to improve on-course performance, while making practice more fun with games like Closest to the Pin and Longest Drive. This technology can often be seen on PGA Tour telecasts.

Coming later this winter the Topgolf Swing Suite will include four multi-sport Full Swing Simulators with massive screens surrounded by comfortable lounge seating, HDTVs and food and beverage service. Up to eight people can play, eat, drink and hang out in each simulator. Both Topgolf products can be rented for business and social gatherings, including birthday, bachelor and bachelorette parties and viewing parties for big events.

With Topgolf Swing Suite access, guests will enjoy year-round golf training and entertainment. For those looking to improve their skill, 5 Under will also provide guests access to on-staff PGA-certified golf professionals and a performance studio, which houses the Swing Catalyst Force Plate equipment.

“We have been working on this for a very long time,” said Williams. “This is where golf is headed. We are enhancing a great model that’s been here for 34 years.”

Williams should know since he has been in the golf game for most of his life. He was a graduate of West Brook and while playing golf for the Bruins, he became a Top 50 recruit in the state of Texas in all classes by Golfweek Junior Rankings. He was also ranked 16th best player in the state of Texas in his class by the Golfweek Junior Rankings. That carried over to college as he played at Lamar University for two years then finished his playing career at the University of Louisiana Lafayette. He also played and qualified for numerous amateur events and won the Beaumont City Golf Championship an unprecedented eight times.

After receiving his BA in Business, Finance-Economics from Lamar University, Williams took to the business side of golf where he was eventually named Sporting Goods Business Magazine TOP 40 under 40. He’s also a member of several national golf companies including Taylor Made Advisory Board, Callaway Advisory Board and Ping Ambassador.

“We’re proud to partner with forward-thinking companies like 5 Under Golf Center that want to create extraordinary new sports entertainment experiences for guests,” said Topgolf Swing Suite President Ron Powers. “People want to connect with each other now more than ever before, and Topgolf’s innovative technology makes it possible for facilities of all kinds to bring people together for unforgettable good times.”

Toptracer Range will be available for reservations this summer, and Topgolf Swing Suite will open at 5 Under Golf Center in winter 2018.

“We have a strategic plan to transform and enhance the state of the art facility, into a premier golf, sports, and entertainment venue for the next generation of Southeast Texans,” said Williams.