Dallas-Based Topgolf Tees Off in Gaming World with Mobile Game ‘Shankstars’

Topgolf has 70 driving range game venues as far-flung as Germany, Australia, and Dubai. But now it's launched a mobile game you can play anywhere. "Shankstars" features a club-wielding UFO alien, a Tee-Wrex skeleton, a punk goddess, mermaid, and more playing on courses strewn with volcanos, pyramids, and giant waterfall-spewing skulls.

"Shankstars is a perfect example of how we're focused on enabling more people to have fun and enjoy the game of golf in their own way," says Topgolf CEO Artie Starrs.

Topgolf transformed the golf world in 2000 with its electronically tracked, microchip-enhanced driving range games. Now, after growing to 70 venues worldwide, it’s giving people a wild and crazy new way to enjoy golf—with their fingertips.

Today Topgolf announced the launch of “Shankstars,” a mobile game that lets would-be hackers, duffers, and shankers play an imaginative round anytime. No clubs, tee, or ball required.

Enabling people to ‘enjoy the game of golf in their own way’

“Shankstars is a perfect example of how we’re focused on enabling more people to have fun and enjoy the game of golf in their own way,” Topgolf CEO Artie Starrs said in a statement. “Introducing innovative ways to modernize the game and connect communities through new ways to play is at the core of who we are as a brand.”

Topgolf says Shankstars is “designed to diversify the game of golf and welcome players of all ages to experience the sport in a new way.”

The game is now available as a free download in the Apple App Store for iOS devices, with Android device availability “coming soon.” Like many mobile games, it comes with in-app purchases for the full experience, from a $1.99 “fistful of gems” to a $4.99 “adventure ball starter pack” all the way up to $99.99 for a “mountain of gems.” (The game is rated for ages 4 and up, so you might want to tell your 4-year-old to lay off the mountain of gems.)

A Tee-Wrex skeleton, a UFO alien and more

Topgolf’s new mobile game “Shankstars.” [Image: Topgolf]

Shankstars features a wild variety of characters—from a wedge-toting UFO alien to a lucha libre wrestler to a Tee-Wrex skeleton, a mermaid, a gravity-defying astronaut, a peg-legged pirate, a tractor-driving punk goddess, and more.

The characters play on courses that look a little different from, say, Stevens Park in Oak Cliff. One hole tees off over a canyon with the Great Pyramids of Giza looming in the distance. Another winds around a giant waterfall-spewing skull. Another is set in a palm tree paradise with a volcano set to blow nearby. 

Players will experience “whimsical hazards, wacky worlds, and increasingly epic journeys as they advance and level up,” Topgolf says.

Choose your ball wisely

Topgolf’s new mobile game “Shankstars.” [Image: Topgolf]

In real-life golf, a ball can make all the difference. You can snag a dinged-up $1 clunker from a bucket in the pro shop, or you can spring for the same Titleist Pro V1 many tour players use. But Shankstars gives you even better ball options through in-app purchases—including the Atom Smasher, the Mach Wonder, and the Drill-O-Matic 9000.

“Shankstars is loaded with exciting and unexpected surprises that everyone of all ages will enjoy,” Topgolf Media COO JF Prata said in the statement. “Regardless if you play solo or challenge people across the globe, if you’re having fun, you’re doing it right!”

“We designed this game to be something different than what you’ve seen before,” added Topgolf Media Director of Marketing Ashley Groth. “Play is at the center of our experience, and the launch of Shankstars continues our commitment to bring fun and a new personality to the game of golf.”

For single players or head-to-head matchups

To get the most out of the game, Shankstars players must build a team that includes the best of the best characters that they will earn and unlock, Topgolf says. Each character has their own strengths and unique abilities to help get the ball to the hole. Players can tee off alone or go head-to-head against “real-life combatants to see where they stack up globally.”

Topgolf is just part of what’s made Dallas a ‘golf Mecca’

Headquartered in Dallas, Topgolf has 70 driving range game locations around the world—from Park Lane in Big D to sites as far-flung as Germany, Australia, and Dubai. It’s just one of many companies that have made the Dallas area become known as a “golf Mecca,” from the PGA of America’s HQ move to Frisco to Invited’s $100 million BigShots expansion to Drive Shack, Puttery, and Arcis Golf, which like Invited are all headquartered in Dallas.

More looks at Topgolf’s Shankstars

Topgolf’s new mobile game “Shankstars.” [Image: Topgolf]

Topgolf’s new mobile game “Shankstars.” [Image: Topgolf]

Topgolf’s new mobile game “Shankstars.” [Image: Topgolf]

Topgolf’s new mobile game “Shankstars.” [Image: Topgolf]

Topgolf’s new mobile game “Shankstars.” [Image: Topgolf]

Topgolf’s new mobile game “Shankstars.” [Image: Topgolf]

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