Drive Shack Preps for April Opening

ORLANDO – At Drive Shack’s first location near Orlando International Airport, the 90 hitting bays are filled with racks of golf clubs and comfortable furniture, just waiting for guests to arrive and start beating balls and pounding wings and beer.

In The Fairways event space on the first floor, tables and a bar are set up for groups of as many as 150 people during what is expected to be a busy opening two months.

Meanwhile, some 470 employees have been hired and are in the midst of final training before guests begin arriving, which is only days away.

By the end of March, the public will get the chance to see the country’s first Drive Shack, which has substantial financing and hopes of competing directly with Topgolf.

In golf circles, Drive Shack is better known by its former name: American Golf. The company operates 75 golf courses, 51 of which are in California. It owns 26 of those courses and leases or manages the remaining 49.

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Tom Gorman, a Boston-based golf writer, is a longtime member of the Golf Writer's Association of America. Tom is a member at White Cliffs CC (Plymouth, MA) and Fiddlesticks CC (Ft. Myers, FL). Email can be sent to teetalktom@aol.com.

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