Topgolf CFO William Davenport. Photo by Danny Fulgencio.

Dallas-based Topgolf Entertainment Group will merge with Callaway Golf Co. in a multi-billion dollar deal, Dallas Business Journal reports. The union melds Callaway’s $1.7 billion in 2019 revenue with nearly $1.1 billion from Topgolf and values Topgolf at approximately $2 billion.

Internationally headquartered at Northwest Highway and 75, Topgolf operates 63 locations in 5 countries. Their newest site in Monterrey, Mexico opened in September, and a property in Dubai is expected to open before year’s end. There are four Topgolfs in D-FW, including the Lake Highlands location at Park Lane and Abrams, which opened in 2008.

The merger announcement Tuesday follows months of speculation about Topgolf’s future. The sports entertainment company with $1 billion in 2019 sales had been planning an initial public offering, according to Bloomberg, with an expected value of $4 billion. The pandemic shutdown affected the entertainment industry overall and put a kink in Topgolf’s IPO plans.

Advocate Magazine spoke to Topgolf CFO William Davenport in January. Davenport graduated from Lake Highlands High and lives in the neighborhood with wife, Lynn, and their three kids.

“If you’re from Lake Highlands, you probably only know the Park Lane venue, which is one of the first ones we built in the U.S.,” recalled Davenport. “The Lake Highlands community has been incredibly supportive of it. But we’re much bigger than that. We focus on bringing technology and entertainment together with hospitality in lots of different formats.  We have our Toptracer business, which is a company we acquired in 2013. If you watch golf on TV, it’s the trace of the ball that you see, so it makes broadcast golf a lot more interesting. And now we’re taking that technology, and we’re putting it in driving ranges around the world. We’re gamifying the experience in driving ranges and making it much more fun and inviting. The other business we have is Swing Suite. The Double Tree Hotel has one of our installations, so we do casinos, hotels, arenas, office buildings. This is a way that we’ve taken golf-simulator technology that another company makes, and we put our brand and our games on top of it.”

Davenport said the beauty of Topgolf is the enjoyment it brings to families, friends and others like him who don’t play golf at all.

“It’s fun and inclusive,” said Davenport. “I didn’t go to the original Topgolf for many years in Dallas because I’m not a golfer. I thought it was just about golf. It wasn’t until I was introduced to it that I realized it’s not just about golf. It’s about entertainment. It’s about having fun. We do feel like we are transforming the game of golf by making it more fun, more approachable. We know that over half of our guests tell us that their first time to play golf is by playing at a Topgolf, so we are helping the game of golf, but we really see ourselves as entertainment, and it’s much broader than that.”

The newly merged company is expected to draw revenue of more than $3.2 billion by 2022, with a net loss of $7.2 million. Sales are projected to be split between Topgolf (46%), golf equipment (30%) and soft goods (24%).