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August 20, 2014 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Pop-a top with style. No screw cap wine?

Crafting isn’t just for Pininterest, writing, or beer. Image and lifestyles, too.

Guess which place had the most alcohol sales in the Houston area during July.

Baseball stadium? Nope. Reliant  NRG football stadium? Soccer stadium? Guess again. Some high-class uptown mega bar?  Perhaps at the convention center? Nice try, but no.

You’ll never guess it off the top of your head. Even if you’re a player.

Top Golf building exterior. Topgolf Houston West screenshot

Might confuse Disco Stu. (Topgolf Houston West screenshot)

Topgolf Houston – a swanky golf practice range/nightclub/sports bar/entertainment complex that’s giving swingers all they could possible want.

Go ahead bring the family. Plenty of fun for all. Parents relax in lounges or bars while keeping an eye on the kids.

Even a rooftop terrace with bands.Drink specials!

Check out a video of the place.

Will Topgolf”s success give some creative businessmen ideas?

Publicity picture. Topgolf Houston West. Concierge

Step this way. Reserve your time. Select your rental clubs. Relax while you wait. Did anyone mention they serve food and drinks here? (Publicity pix.Topgolf Houston West)

Could there be a similar venue for gun owners?

Give the fancy smancy gun club-bar concept a chance!

What could be better than shooting guns in a nightclub-like atmosphere?

Oh, already seen that combo in the nightly news with dire results?

No, not talking about that cantina, roadhouse, or local dive on the ordinary Friday or Saturday night.

That gun fire not organized, planned, or requested.

Don’t confuse things. Those participants didn’t get the memo – or license.

Bar room fight.Trailer screenshot "Rio Bravo"1959/US

Early prototype of the sports/entertainment complex. Concept still a little rough. (“Rio Bravo”1959/US

Entrepreneurs will envision a different gun-toting crowd.

A legal law-abiding bunch with fat wallets.

Sophisticates wanting a classy place shoot and socialize. (Without mosquitoes, fire ants, mud, or annoying weather. AC was invented for a reason.)

What’s more natural than sporting activities and booze? It’s tradition!

Scott Bateman/Topgolf West/man taking a swing with golf club

High above the maddening, lowbrow crowd. (Scott Bateman/Topgolf West)

An afternoon of golf with a bit of imbibing? Acceptable. (Ignore the potential.)

Hey, those stickie things aren’t called “clubs” without reason.

Once a weapon, now tamed and refined as a cultured sport of skill. (Note they still warn people to duck, though.)

But even with limits for golf carts, each year someone dies after tumbling off when being driven erratically. (Investigators do take an alcohol blood draw…)

group of young men ready to fish (Klawock sporting group.H.S.Wellcome 1853-1936/NARA/US PD:by fed.employee/

Some serious looking fisher lads. Wouldn’t want to tangle with them. (Klawock sporting group.H.S.Wellcome 1853-1936/NARA/US

Acknowledged day of fun: boating, fishing, and wetting whistles.(Despite, watery warnings.)

Hey, those hooks are sharp! Blood. Tetanus. Flesh eating bacteria.

You know how assassins in movies always use that tough line…

Or a drunken crime of passion: Irritate a compadre enough, grab the last beer, and it might be the old heave-ho into the drink and haircut by propeller.

(Could, too, be a premeditated fatal plot. Stop laughing. People are tricky.)

So which is the dangerous playground now?

Hillbillies. Hatfield Clan. 1897/US

Waiting for a suitable sporting venue. One that serves drinks with those little umbrellas for the ladies so they won’t complain. A place to take the family in order to bring them up in family traditions with proper skills. (Hatfield Clan. 1897/US

Obviously, gun enthusiasts deserve equal sports entertainment complexes.

Wait. Doesn’t a gun and booze combo already exist?

Creek banks and some tin cans have worked pretty good for a long time.

(If you are ever attacked by a tin can, call me. I’ll handle it. No problem. A life skill.)

Of course there’s no football on widescreen HD TV in a lounge area, but the screens on cell phone and tablets have really improved. No problemo there.

All the trendy folks are touting “a return to living simply”, right?

Cowboys and still from"The Round-up"/Motion Picture News/Famous Plaers-Lasky Corp./US

Please, a movie. This weekend, a movie. Some place with air conditioning, indoor plumbing, and cell coverage. (1920.Famous Plaers-Lasky Corp./US

Time may not be quite right for a high-profile swanky gun range offering stylish bars and wine tastings.

A nightclub called Topgun doesn’t conjure up the same lighthearted image as Topgolf.

Crafting a little fun.


Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Topgolf Houston West. grounds

Reservations required even with multiple levels of hitting bays. Bay hosts will take food and drink orders and deliver right to the couches snuggling in the back of the hitting bays. (Told you it was fancy.) Big hit and big alcohol sales. (Topgolf Houston West/Bateman?)





  1. katecrimmins / Aug 20 2014 1:47 pm

    A good portion of the killings in our city take place in bars around 2 a.m. Perhaps that’s when the macho comes out and “disrespect” becomes serious. I would vote for TopGolf any day!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 20 2014 2:36 pm

      When we were growing up, so many dads said, “Nothing good happens at 2a.m.” We see the same thing here…between cars, knives, high heels, and guns lots of damage. Not only drunk driving, when did using a car as a weapon to purposely run over someone you had words with – or bumped you n a bar become OK?
      TopGolf’s first location did so well, the opened a second one on the west side of town. Always crowded with families and business men entertaining clients. Quite a scene.
      Thanks for driving a comment over this way


      • katecrimmins / Aug 20 2014 2:42 pm

        Yes, I did a post once. The gist was “when did become ok to shoot someone who angers you instead of just yelling an obscenity or maybe a punch on the nose.” Guess those are old timers methods. The new stuff is so permanent.


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 20 2014 2:53 pm

          Apparently those posts need to be frequently written. Not good, but better with fists. We told the kids to stop hitting – and they did. What a muddle. Redo! Do over! Do over!
          Thanks for adding that astute comment


  2. jubilare / Aug 20 2014 1:58 pm

    “that’s giving swingers all they could possible want.” O_o I read that and had to do a double-take.


  3. Paul / Aug 20 2014 2:24 pm

    Whew, they always go it big in Texas. Stacks of golfers all being fed and “watered” I guess they are too well libated to actually walk.Whew. Imagine if instead of golfers they were shooters. Man, that’s a lot of bullets – bullet sales along would be terrific. Much like printer profits depend on selling ink – so too a shooting gallery would make it on bullet sales. I have a friend who manages a golf course and driving range. His biggest pet peeve is running the ball gathering machine on the driving range. Although it is caged well, still golfers will “inadvertantly” hit it. In fact collecting the balls now involves siting in the machine while there is a continous rain of balls on the bars. This machine would have to be heavily modified for collectng spent bullets. Ha! Perhaps there could be a rewards program where after a specified number of bullets were shot one would get a free drink. Much like Vegas, where the free drinks encourage gambling. A giant buulet proof mirror could be erected on the opposite side of the range and this would allow shooters to target the reflections of other real shooters. Again, perhaps a reward system for the number of “kills”.More drinks..

    This is a very workable system you have presented Phil. Put it together as a business plan and you could be rich. I’ll help if you like – I have experience doing business plans. The backroom stuff of bars for the ladies not partaking (or men, as the case maybe) and kids venues can remain the same. (Or perhaps a practice jr level shooting gallery – you know how much the wee ones like to mimic Mom and Dad’s behaviours With mocktails, of course.)

    Thanks for a great post Phil. I’ll be eagerly following to see any updates. .


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 20 2014 2:50 pm

      What a place, right? Actually it’s an out of state concept and a bunch are around the country. The first location did so well here, they built another west of town. They have them in the UK, too. Check out all the locations (and more on the way):
      Actually I can see a high end shooting venue. Great idea. There’s at least one shooting range here that is nice enough women can feel comfortable visiting, with instruction targeted towards that group, and of course the boutique. Someone needs to develop this concept. People are buying guns – many not having grown up with all the cautions/ basic gun safety knowledge so many of us were taught (all the dads and uncles had guns after WW II). THere needs to be a place for people to learn and practice – someplace they are comfortable going and don’t worry they are acting like a hillbilly or redneck. Could reduces the novelty and intrigue for kids and replace it with safe practices and respect for firearms. Like with golf sticks.
      Thanks for shooting a comment over into this range


  4. Ally Bean / Aug 20 2014 8:49 pm

    I’ve never seen a golf place like the one pictured above. Most of our places look more like former root beer stands re-worked to be a golf practice venue.

    As for guns and booze, I don’t think that it’s a good idea to promote the two together. Like you said above, many of these newer gun owners didn’t grow up around dads and uncles who knew what they were doing with firearms. Better to let the newbies + the longtime gun aficionados learn about gun safety without clouding their minds with alcohol… or the scent thereof. Besides, there’s always a place down the street where you can get a drink. Why not go there after target practice?

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 20 2014 9:23 pm

      Topgolf was so successful, they built a second one here. A new concept to me, but apparently they area all over the country and in the UK for quite some time.
      I definitely agree shooting ranges don’t need to serve alcohol of any sort. Need to pay attention there (Notice the “prototype” pictured didn’t seen to be working too well). A bit concerned with a push in state agencies’ hallways by distributors/lobbyists to allow sales where at gun ranges/gun clubs. Let’s not ask for trouble.
      Thanks for targeting the comment pile with an astute observation


  5. Kourtney Heintz / Aug 20 2014 10:45 pm

    Wow that’s a new concept to me. And I’ve seen a lot of concept places in NYC.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 20 2014 10:52 pm

      Apparently these places are everywhere – but new to this area. It’s quite a complex. They were very smart where they built this one on the west side of town – just the right market.
      Wonder what will show up next? It better have AC and big screen TVs. Thanks for tossing a comment this way


  6. PiedType / Aug 21 2014 2:06 am

    Topgolf sounds like a great, fun place. If it’s not already in Denver, it should be. Or maybe in one of our mountain resort destinations. As for gun clubs serving alcohol … I’m outta here! That’s a recipe for tragedy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 21 2014 2:47 am

      These places are in lots of states. I’ll have to check and see if any in CO – you are right. It would fit in perfectly with the tourism and recreation areas.
      Keeping a watch to see what develops with state regulations. Don’t think gun ranges really need adult beverages – not quite the same as golf. (although those sticks are called clubs…) The early western prototype didn’t seem to work very well…It was all a little humor, you got that right? (worried now…is your area than much more conservative than here in some aspects?)
      Thanks for shooting a comment over here


  7. marthaschaefer / Aug 21 2014 2:10 am

    You hit that one right out of the park, Phil. Oh wait, that’s a baseball reference isn’t it? Sorry, sports are not my thing. Well done!


  8. EllaDee / Aug 21 2014 5:14 am

    Makes a moot point of the goal of getting to the “nineteenth hole” 🙂


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 21 2014 12:44 pm

      Looks like a hole new game. (You know how they made grading requirements easier so students wouldn’t feel bad if they didn’t meet the marks…self esteem is important…so are drink sales…giggles stirred in here.)
      Thanks for the bubbly comment


  9. gingerfightback / Aug 21 2014 6:57 am



  10. aFrankAngle / Aug 21 2014 12:26 pm

    Wow … what a place (and I’m a golfer). I checked it out and this franchise has about 20 locations in 10 states. … but you made me think of this style of venue for guns … oh boy … that’s gotta be on the new horizon.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 21 2014 12:41 pm

      Hey, good to see ya’. (Hope the fun there is in total abundance.) TopGolf is even in UK. I was really surprised at how many were around (How could anyone possibly miss these?) Worrisome, but is a new sporting venue possible? (at least it would be one expected location. Perhaps a “social” atmosphere might lessen the “forbidden” appeal, who knows. Wish something would pull things back into sensible) Might as well get a chuckle. Thanks for chortling along.


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