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An Open Letter to Our Associates Addressing Topgolf’s Actions Supporting Social and Racial Justice

Jun 11, 2020

To our Topgolf Family:

Last week we wrote to you reinforcing the beliefs, values and mission that guide our thinking with regard to racial equality and justice. Since then, we have been listening and learning as you have shared your experiences, ideas and thoughts through the #LiftEachOtherUp internal community discussion page and conversations with your fellow Associates and leadership. In this time, we are specifically focused on the inequities and unfairness suffered by the black community. We are grateful to you for engaging in thoughtful and open dialogue, which has helped shape thinking around what Topgolf can do to address racial injustices in our society and further strengthen a diverse and inclusive workplace. To our friends and family in the black community, we want you to know that we are listening, you matter, and we are committed to doing our part to end systemic racism.

Today, we want to share a number of specific actions we are taking. It is not enough to simply state good intentions. These actions are not a final list, but they are what we are able to communicate now with conviction based on our work of the past several days. At the heart of Topgolf is our purpose to connect people in meaningful ways, which is brought to life by our vision to create unforgettable shared moments. The actions we will take in the first phase of our journey are a reflection of this purpose. 


Developing a Partnership with the Urban League Organization

We are going to deepen and strengthen our work with local chapters of the Urban League, a historic civil rights organization founded in 1910 and dedicated to economic empowerment, equality and social justice for the black community. With their expertise, we can make a meaningful difference and create positive change together.

First, we will plan to use our fundraising capabilities to support their social justice work to drive change in underserved communities struggling today. The first fundraising event will take place at Topgolf Columbus in the fall.  

Secondly, we will leverage our extensive reach through our media assets to educate and engage communities on how everyone can make a difference and improve racial equality. We have a unique ability to reach millions through our various digital platforms and will use this to drive positive change.

Third, we will focus efforts with the Urban League on the need for education and job training for urban youth, including teenagers and young adults. The Urban League has structured programs to help young people understand the importance of education. We will support the following Urban League programs:

·       Education and job training

·       Workforce partnerships

·       Volunteering as mentors

·       Job opportunity


By supporting these programs, we can help break down barriers and challenges that urban youth may face when entering the workforce in high school or after college.

While these efforts will start in the Columbus, Ohio chapter of the Urban League, our intent is to expand the partnership and volunteer opportunities to all communities where we operate.

Introducing Internal Programs to Our Associates

We know we continue to work on ourselves inside the company. Our leaders need to be role models for the better future we are trying to help create in society. The ability to make lasting change starts with each of us, which is why we are introducing new training, development and support programs to lift each other up and break down barriers within our own organization. The more we understand and gain perspective from our own Associates, the more effective we will be.

In this early phase, we will do the following:

·       “Breaking Through Bias” Training: We will be rolling out training to all salaried Associates to help understand and acknowledge our underlying and implicit biases. We will be conducting a “train-the-trainer” class this week for all Topgolf senior leadership, who will become certified to facilitate this course. Several members of the People Team will be leading this initiative and you can expect to hear more on the training in the coming weeks. 


·       Topgolf Mentorship Program: We will be developing a mentorship program designed to remove barriers by assisting black Associates with on-the-job experiences and creating equal opportunities for advancement. A mentor program and subsequent mentor training will be ready to pilot in the fall, which will include 25 mentors and mentees paired together.


·       Associate Resource Groups: We will be creating Associate Resource Groups (ARGs) designed to improve two-way dialogue and understand barriers that may exist within under-represented groups. ARGs will be formed to learn more about how our work environment can improve and how we can remove barriers to success. These efforts will be part of our ongoing commitment to fostering an inclusive and diverse workforce while improving minority representation in leadership positions.


Making the Game More Accessible: 

We’re changing the game of golf and providing access to the sport through all our business lines. However, we feel the broader golf industry must be more accessible and inclusive to the black community. While we will continue to lead the charge in this area, we will plan to address this opportunity with our golf industry partners in the next phase of our journey. Pushing this effort into the next phase will allow us to prioritize the efforts outlined above as well as continue efforts underway to reopen our venues. 


How you can become involved in the stand for positive change

We know you may be asking how you can become more involved in these specific efforts that we will be developing and championing as an organization. We will be sharing more details in the coming weeks on how you can become involved through participation, volunteering and listening. As we stated last week, we know we are strongest when we stand in solidarity under the shield. If we all do our part to battle systemic racial oppression, then together we can make a difference. As #ONETEAM, let’s continue building an inclusive company and experience that is part of the solution and truly everyone’s game.


Erik Anderson, Executive Chairman and Dolf Berle, Chief Executive Officer


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