How do Topgolf golf balls work? Here's how they know you hit that golf ball
Golf Culture

How do Topgolf golf balls work? Here’s how they know you hit that golf ball


When you go to Topgolf, you hit golf balls off a mat in a station out into the range. Just a few seconds after your golf ball stops, you look up at a monitor in your hitting bay and find out how far your ball went and how many points you scored in the Topgolf game that you're playing.

Have you ever thought about how Topgolf tells you the data for the right ball -- the one that you hit instead of the hundreds of other golf balls people are hitting at the same time?

How do Topgolf golf balls work?

Topgolf golf balls are all equipped with a unique RFID (radio frequency identification) chip. When you wave you golf club over the sensor to get another golf ball, the hitting bay connects the RFID tag in that next golf ball to your bay. That's how it knows that it's your ball.

Then when the golf ball lands in a target area or hits the fence (and comes to the ground), the RFID tag in the ball is picked up by beacons in the targets, and they can tell where your ball entered the target area.

With Toptracer available throughout Topgolf facilities, players can also learn all the details behind their shot, including trajectory, total distance and other data. This type of technology is available on Toptracer Range facilities away from Topgolf locations, as well as similar-styled driving ranges like Driveshack and Big Shots.

RFID technology is used in all kinds of walks of life, so it's not particularly ground-breaking to use it. However, to get it into a golf ball that still performs pretty much like normal? That's an accomplishment. The end result is the ability to create reality-based and augmented-reality games that dazzle millions of customers each year and create a fun environment for golf.

About the author

Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for nearly 20 years. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He is currently a +2.6 USGA handicap, and he has covered dozens of major championships and professional golf tournaments. He likes writing about golf and making it more accessible by answering the complex questions fans have about the pro game or who want to understand how to play golf better.

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