If you consider that an office represents human life in a microcosm, and that sport is the theatre where sinner can turn saint and a common man become an uncommon hero, then a Topgolf office party must be a sociologist’s dream. Whether it’s tampering with a ball or biting someone in the penalty box, sport has the unique ability to extract the child in all of us. Competitiveness is in our DNA, and the workplace doesn’t usually provide a wholesome environment for this healthy emotion to emerge.
Here’s how it works:
“You hit a golf ball containing a personalised microchip into one of 11 targets ranging from 20 to 240 yards away. Every section of every target has a reader that detects the microchip in your clever golf ball. That reader computes your score based on the accuracy and distance of the shot and then sends the score to your bay screen. No pencil and paper needed to keep score in this game!”
Topgolf represents a solution to the need for activity-based work functions, and for good reason. Loose-lipped conversation after several drinks in the pub is a very superficial remedy to office division. You will find no better litmus test for office personality than at a Topgolf venue.
1. “The Bullshitter”
If you gave them an enema they could be buried in a matchbox. They claim to have played county golf at school, a comment so unprovable that you immediately categorise it next to his story about being invited backstage at a Morrissey gig. Unfortunately, an acute meniscus injury prevented them from realising their talents, the perfect excuse for when Amy from accounts reveals that she is the real talent. Still, their compulsion to impart wisdom on anyone who will listen is unwavering. They’re about as welcome as an abscess, just not as easy to get rid of. The only person to argue with Topgolf’s secret microchip technology, watch out for this person.
2. “The Administrator”
“Oh that darn paperwork, wouldn’t it be easier if it all just blew away?”
Not in the world of this co-worker. Admin is at the beating heart of everything they do, hardly the requisite skill set for the once quarterly office blowout. You’ve been told about how they once let their hair down at a bar, but you’re not sharing a booth with this person, professionally or socially. The administrator is constantly assessing people’s performance, aware of every shank, top and thin.
3. “The Unknown”
You’re secretly excited about seeing this person outside of a professional context. Months of speculation and you know nothing about this enigma. A secret poll voted them “most likely to turn up to work with a splitting axe” so you avoid awkward situations; lifts, lunches, taxis, you’re curious about what’s going on inside this person’s head. Hand this person a golf club and you never know what might happen.
4. “The Worst”
Unapologetically competitive, this person is a stickler for the rules. They harbour an undeserved sense of self-worth and will not flex for anyone or anything. People will adhere to the rules, people will play in turn, and the winners and losers will be clearly identified at the end of the session. You will likely find them sulking because the chicken wings weren’t evenly distributed, or the scoring system doesn’t suit their pedantic personality.
5. Jordan Belfort
Always inexplicably laden with cash to burn and rounds to buy, how this person still has a job is beyond you. For them the office excursion is nothing more than a pitstop on the way to a late night candle burn. The first to order shots, and the last to call it a night, they will invariably smell like a pub carpet the next morning. You will probably have to remind them that the evening started with golf. Still, Belfort provides some critical chemistry to a work do, just don’t expect them to be the most applied to the task at hand.