BigShots at Firestone Country Club in Akron sold to Topgolf

After one year in operation, BigShots, the virtual golf and dining venue open to the public at Firestone Country Club, is rapidly becoming a Topgolf.

Topgolf Callaway Brands Corp. announced yesterday that it has acquired certain assets from private golf club operator Invited Inc., which operates BigShots, including the venue at Firestone Country Club.

More: High-tech BigShots golf, entertainment venue to open this year at Firestone Country Club

Dallas-based Invited, formerly ClubCorp, owns 180 golf and country clubs, city clubs, and stadium clubs across 30 states, the District of Columbia, and two foreign countries. They launched BigShots at Firestone in November of last year.

BigShots Golf, according to Invited, provides the “ultimate golf entertainment experience with state-of-the-art virtual games and courses, full-service food, sports bars, outdoor patios, mini golf, private event spaces, and climate-controlled tee boxes for players of all levels.”

The Firestone location of BigShots was their first standalone outdoor venue. It replaced Hackers Bar & Grill and is located next to the Raymond C. Firestone Public 9 short course.

Jim Berra, Invited’s chief marketing and innovation officer, and Theresa Addington, VP of people operations at BigShots, announced the sale in a letter to Firestone employees. The letter cited “skyrocketing” capital costs due to high interest rates and construction as the reasons behind the decision to sell.

More: National virtual golf company opens new facility in Akron

“As part of the sale, Invited will provide transition services and continue to manage the Firestone venue until it becomes a Topgolf next year,” stated the letter. “The transition is expected to be completed by midyear 2024. Your employment status, benefits, and payroll will remain unchanged, and we will keep you fully informed during this transition.”

Acquisition details

Topgolf disclosed that the purchase price for the initial closing is approximately $29 million.

Topgolf brands, based in California, include Topgolf, Callaway Golf, TravisMathew, Toptracer, Odyssey, OGIO, Jack Wolfskin, and World Golf Tour.

Photos: Stephen Curry at the Underrated Golf tour at Firestone CC

The acquisition includes the BigShots brand and selected locations, including the one in Akron, which are now part of Topgolf’s expanding portfolio of venues across the United States.

Topgolf’s acquisition also grants them a preferred vendor agreement with Invited, which allows Topgolf Callaway Brands’ products and merchandise to be featured at more than 140 golf and country clubs operated by Invited.

According to Chip Brewer, president and CEO of Topgolf Callaway Brands, this acquisition will benefit all three segments of Topgolf’s business.

“Essentially, we are acquiring an additional off-course venue and the royalty stream from three franchise venues… as well as expanding and strengthening our future venue pipeline and growing our partnership with an important golf equipment and apparel partner, Invited — all for the price of approximately one Topgolf venue.”

More: Firestone Country Club introduces new menu item for PGA tour stop

Contact Eric Marotta at [email protected].


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