By AARON WORMUS
Palms West Monthly
Posted Nov. 12, 2019
If you’ve driven past Palm Beach International Airport recently you’ve seen the giant nets towering over Belvedere Road. Welcome to the brand-new high-tech golf entertainment center Drive Shack, which is now open and provides another exciting option for local entertainment.
I’m not a golfer, but I was immediately made comfortable as I took a tour of the very cool facilities which include a full-service restaurant and sports bar, a rooftop terrace lounge with fire pits, retro arcade games and 96 golf bays.
My friends and I started at the terrace lounge (very cosmopolitan) with views of both the airport and the driving range. The bar had a decent list of craft beers, but I decided to start off with one of Drive Shack’s specialty cocktails. The bartender quickly whipped me up a Cotton Cocktail which consisted of pineapple vodka, crème de peche, pineapple and lemon which you then pour over cotton candy into your glass. Very fancy.
Next, I picked up the brunch menu. “Mulemosa” and “Cosmosa” are both on the list of specialty mimosas and you can treat yourself to a boozy breakfast of Fruit Looped or Loco Puffs, which is Cocoa Puffs with a mix of Bailey’s Irish Cream, caramel and milk.
But I came here to play golf, so let’s get to it.
As I entered a golf bay I quickly discover that technology is the star of the show. The augmented reality computer systems which drives the golf experience were impressive.
The computer system is loaded with virtual courses from around the world. All we had to do was pick which golf course we wanted to play, type in the names of the players, then grab one of the Taylormade drivers and tee off.
As I hit the ball down the range, I turned and looked at one of the big screens where the doppler-radar-based technology had already picked up the ball and tracked its path down the virtual golf course. It’s as if you’ve stepped out of Drive Shack and onto a world-class golf course playing in a televised tournament.
I was reminded that I wasn’t actually on the golf course when our server came with our appetizers and refreshed drinks.
After I teed off, the computer system told me how many yards my drive was and lined me up for my next shot. I pretended that my server was also my caddy so I asked him to suggest which club I should use for the next shot. He pointed to an easy-to-use chart on the wall where I determined that I needed a 5-iron.
I worked my way down the hole, ending up with a triple bogey. (My next trip should include one of the Drive Shack Academy clinics or one-on-one time with the on-site PGA Pro Instructor.)
After playing a couple of holes, each with similarly predictable scores, we switched things up and loaded Monster Hunt into the system. This creature-slaying game filled the big screens with monsters and challenged us to target each of the monsters with the goal of rescuing the Drive Shack princess. This was more my style and I was quickly defeating the monsters and on my way to saving the princess.
As we were taking turns playing, I noticed that it had started to rain. Thankfully, the bays are covered and the fun continued completely unaffected by the quickly-changing Florida weather.
I was having way more fun than I expected. Once the sun set, the lights came on and the experience changed completely. Each ball we hit illuminated as it flew down the course.
It was time to head down to the second level and check out the restaurant. This is a serious sports bar, and ranks at the top of my list of places to catch a game. TVs and high-top tables surround the massive bar.
The menu looked fantastic with flatbreads, salads, tacos, classic charcuterie, cheese board and more. They also boast a good-looking dessert menu.
I’m always happy to find new things to do around West Palm Beach, and Drive Shack is a game-changer. The entertainment options seem endless. Even if you aren’t a golfer give it a try, you’ll like it.