Things to Do
Looking for some safe fun? The Drive Shack in West Palm Beach, a golf entertainment complex with virtual reality, arcade games and sports bar, opened last October, next to Palm Beach International Airport. It has strict COV-19 rules for sanitizing, social distancing, mask wearing and safety in place. For more detailed COVID-19 precautions Click here.
At 60,000-square feet the venue, located just west of I-95 on Belvedere Road, measures slightly bigger than a football field but is much smaller than, say, nearby BallenIsles East course. You can play on five virtual-reality golf courses here, and one of them is a faithful re-creation of PGA National down the street.
Along with hitting bays, Drive Shack features a 150-seat sports bar and restaurant serving comfort-food dishes on its second floor, a retro arcade game room and a third-floor lounge and outdoor terrace.
What's the golfing like and how does the virtual reality work?
The centerpiece of Drive Shack is its 96 driving-range bays, from which players take aim at a sprawling, 220-foot fairway. Because the entertainment complex borders the airport, Drive Shack's fairway is girded by netting and masts to prevent stray golf balls from, say,smacking an airplane windshield. Visitors can take turns launching balls from bays on the first, second or third floors. Feel intimidated? 75 percent of Drive Shack's guests are likely to be non-golfers.
Virtual-reality games for adults include 21, a blackjack-style game where hitting virtual targets on the fairway flips over cards. For kids, there's Monster Hunt, where young golfers attempt to save a princess by toppling creatures living inside the targets. The virtual-reality technology allows golfers to play on five famous golf courses from around the world, including St. Andrews Links in England, Muirfield Village in Ohio and Bethesda Country Club in Maryland.
What's the food and entertainment like?
There are roughly 300 high-definition TVs scattered around Drive Shack, and 100 of them are in Drive Shack's Bar and Grill alone. The venue's second-floor restaurant serves dishes priced between $8 and $16, including a variety of tacos and flatbreads, poke bowls and burgers, chicken wings and sandwiches, and shareables such as charcuterie boards. There are 32 specialty cocktails ($9-$16), including a Cotton Candy Cocktail with vodka, a Lavender Margarita and a Peachy Palmer, an Arnold Palmer-style drink with Jameson whiskey.
How much to tee off?
Drive Shack, at 1710 Belvedere Road, in West Palm Beach, is open 9 a.m.-midnight Sunday-Thursday and 9 a.m.-1 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Renting a driving-range bay costs $25 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., $35 from 1 to 5 p.m. and $45 from 5 p.m. to close. For more information, call 561-771-5354 or go to DriveShack.com