Topgolf Entertainment Group has announced the appointment of Artie Starrs as its new chief executive.
Starrs, who will start his new role on April 5, joins Topgolf from Yum! Brands, where he was most recently global chief executive of Pizza Hut. Prior to that, he was president of Pizza Hut US, and before joining Yum! Brands he served as chief financial officer for Rave Cinemas.
Starrs will succeed current Topgolf chief executive Dolf Berle, who had announced he would be stepping down after the company was acquired by the Callaway Golf for approximately US$2 billion last October.
Speaking at the time, Callaway CEO Chip Brewer said the deal aims to attract new customers and add a stronger digital component to golf. He added that taking control of Topgolf also forms part of Callaway’s vision for it to become ‘the Peloton of golf’.
Commenting on Starrs’ appointment, Brewer said: “We are thrilled to have Artie join Topgolf as he leads the company, together with the team, on its continued journey of accelerated growth. I am confident Artie’s leadership, track record of driving a global brand with a focus on operations and franchising, and digital transformation experience, will add great value to the Topgolf team.”
Starrs added: “I am deeply honoured and excited to be joining Topgolf as CEO. This opportunity marries my passion for the hospitality business with my lifelong love of golf. I could not think of a better time to join this brand, with so much momentum as we head into the future. I’m looking forward to joining the more than 18,000 Topgolf team members to build on their incredible business success and powerful culture.”
In other Topgolf-related news, last month saw the company announce a partnership with US-based sports betting company BetMGM, which will see more gambling opportunities open up at Topgolf’s US venues and within the World Golf Tour online game.
The multi-year agreement covers Topgolf locations in North American states where BetMGM operates. This includes driving ranges in the cities of Nashville, Detroit, Denver and Indianapolis, as well as Topgolf’s flagship location at the MGM Grand hotel and casino in Las Vegas. Topgolf currently has 70 locations in five countries.