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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Golf giant Callaway acquired the rest of sports entertainment company Topgolf in an all-stock deal Tuesday, with the latter valued at ~$2 billion.

The backdrop: Topgolf was founded in 2000, and just six years later Callaway made its first investment, which included an exclusivity deal across all locations. In 2018, Callaway increased its stake to 14%; now it owns the entire company.

Topgolf transforms the traditional driving range with a gamified experience, where players earn points by hitting targets. Most aren't coming to work on their game; they're coming to eat, drink and hang out with friends.

  • Revenue: $1.1 billion in 2019
  • Customer demo: Over 50% of Topgolf's 23 million guests last year identified as non-golfers.
  • Scale: 71 locations across five countries, 30 states and Washington, D.C., are either open or coming soon.

The big picture: This deal will help Topgolf scale its operation and give Callaway access to millions of prospective golfers, all while providing a case study for the industry as it finds new ways to appeal to younger and more casual players.

  • 18–34 year olds represent 25% of on-course golfers (24.1 million), but 40% of the 9.9 million off-course golfers (i.e. Topgolf), per the National Golf Foundation.
  • Meanwhile, 15.7 million people who didn't play on a course last year said they'd be "very interested" in doing so in the future. Callaway hopes its Topgolf presence will help convert some of those folks into customers.
"Topgolf is the best thing that happened to golf since Tiger Woods. It's going to be the largest source of new golfers for our industry."
— Callaway CEO Chip Brewer

Go deeper

Blockbuster Supreme Court day

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The Supreme Court will give conservatives a lot of what they want — but not quite everything.

Driving the news: It voted 9-0 to carve out religious objections to same-sex marriage, saying foster-care agencies have a First Amendment right to turn away same-sex couples. But it also voted 7-2 to preserve the Affordable Care Act, saying Republican attorneys general did not have the legal standing to bring their lawsuit.

Biden signs bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday

President Biden and Vice President Harris with members of Congress after the signing in the White House on June 17. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

"Great nations don't ignore their most painful moments," President Biden said before signing legislation Thursday that establishes Juneteenth as a federal holiday, just two days before the occasion.

Why it matters: The holiday, which will be known as Juneteenth National Independence Day, is now the 11th annual federal holiday and the first one established since the creation of Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 1983.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
2 hours ago - Podcasts

House antitrust chair discusses the bills to bust up Big Tech

House lawmakers last week introduced a series of five bipartisan bills designed to curb the power of Big Tech, targeting Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google in all but name.

Axios Re:Cap speaks with Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), chair of the House antitrust committee and a sponsor on most of the bills, to learn how he plans to get these measures over the finish line. The congressman from Rhode Island also faces a slate of other priorities and in the wake of a spending package to bolster the U.S. tech sector’s ability to compete with China.

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