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Travel and hospitality

Four Seasons Houston brings golfing indoors with simulation experience

December 19, 2016

Four Seasons Houston's renovated lobby Four Seasons Houston's renovated lobby

 

Four Seasons Hotel Houston is letting golfers tee off without having to venture out to the course.

As part of the downtown property’s multi-million dollar renovation, it is introducing Topgolf branded simulators in its soon-to-open Bayou & Bottle lobby bar, the first virtual experience of its kind from Topgolf. Both the eatery and simulated golfing are opening just a few weeks before the Super Bowl is held in Houston, when the hotel is apt to see traffic from athletically-minded guests and visitors.

Swinging and socializing
Topgolf was founded by twin brothers Steve and Dave Jolliffe, whose sibling rivalry had them in search of a way to measure whose golf ball traveled farther. They came up with a course in which microchipped golf balls are launched at targets on a field in which players gaining points depending on their accuracy.

Today, the company runs 30 event venues centered on the game, turning golf into even more of a social affair for its 12.2 million annual visitors.

Four Seasons’ Topgolf Swing Suite, outfitted with lounge seating and LED television screens, creates a similarly lively environment. Each of the two simulators can accommodate parties of up to eight, with guests able to book one or both.

With this experience, Topgolf aims to reach both golfers and non-golfers, with plans in the works for lessons from Topgolf U instructors.

Four Seasons Houston's renovated lobby

Four Seasons Houston's Topgolf simulator

The Bayou & Bottle bar and restaurant, opening in January, features a drinks menu with an extensive focus on bourbon. Marking celebrity chef Richard Sandoval’s first Texas project, the menu features cuisine inspired by Houston’s mix of cultures.

“Bringing the Topgolf Swing Suite into downtown Houston allows us to entertain hotel guests who may not be able to venture out to one of our three Houston-area venues near Katy, Spring and Webster,” said Topgolf national director of operations Scott McCurry. “The opening of Bayou & Bottle, coupled with the exceptional service for which Four Seasons is known, inspired us to partner and create this extraordinary new sports and entertainment experience.”

Golf is a big draw for certain luxury travelers, causing hotels to build programs dedicated to the sport.

For instance, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts is targeting a high-value client with yet another program of exclusive experiences.

The hotel chain has partnered with Golf Digest magazine to launch Waldorf Astoria Golf Experiences that pairs rounds at some of the best golf courses in the world with equally luxurious hotels. Because golf is a high-income hobby, Waldorf can rest assured that news of the latest initiative will reach an interested and viable audience (see story).