by Ashley Mayo, Golf Digest Senior Editor  | 

(The Final 8 teams who made the cut after Round 1 Stroke Play at the Denver Regional at Topgolf Centennial.)

"THE CLOSEST YOU'LL EVER COME TO COMPETITIVE GOLF WITHOUT EVER HAVING TO SET FOOT ON A GOLF COURSE... BUT WITH MORE BEER."

Topgolf knows how to draw a crowd. Whether it's through competitive games and brightly-lit targets, or through delicious food and thumping music, the venues have mastered the art of getting golfers and non-golfers alike pumped about hitting golf balls. And now, Topgolf wants to go one step further.

Topgolf Tour is designed to add a layer of competition that spans across the nation. Sixteen venues, from Tampa and Virginia Beach to Scottsdale and Portland, are hosting regional competitions that award one two-person team a ticket to the Topgolf Tour Championship in Las Vegas this November.

The first of these events was hosted on Sunday, Aug. 7, at Topgolf Centennial, located just outside Denver. Fifty two-person teams showed up for a chance to win a trip to Vegas, and these golfers spanned a wide demographic — men, women, high handicappers and professional golfers all gathered for the opportunity to represent Denver in the Tour Championship.

The competitors began arriving at around 7:30am, and they walked through a registration process that felt similar to one you'd find at a traditional golf tournament — gifts and rules were handed out while shiny medals were on full display. The first of three rounds of competition began at 8:30am, and 50 two-person teams were cut to eight for the second round, which began at around 10:30am. Even those 84 people who were sent home after the first round said things like, “I'm going to recommend this to all my friends,” and, “that was, by far, the most fun I've had for just $75,” and, “I'm definitely coming back next year."

Ultimately, the Topgolf Centennial regional event came down to two teams, and each pairing could not have been more different. One of them was comprised of two good golfers who seemingly performed better with every beer they sipped and with every M&M they ate, and the other team was made up of two newly-professional golfers who were disciplined enough to stick to water and coffee. It was an exciting final round that came down to the 15th shot (there were 20 in total). This shot, in most Topgolf games, carries the potential to offer a significant amount of bonus points, and only the professional golfers were able to capitalize. So it was there, right after the 15th ball was struck, that the drinking duo knew their chance at Vegas glory had passed.

The two winners, Steven Kupcho and Braden Baer, were elated. They've won numerous golf tournaments in their lives and they're currently competing at the highest level, and yet they felt a tremendous sense of pride when the first-place medals were draped around their necks. They punched their ticket to the Topgolf Tour Championship in Las Vegas, and the fact that it felt like an accomplishment is a tremendous testimony to the way Topgolf has created the Topgolf Tour. To compete in any one of these regional events is, indeed, the closest you'll ever come to competitive golf without ever having to set foot on a golf course.

TEAM KUPCHO/BAER MOVING ON TO VEGAS!

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TEAM LASH/HAHN (ON THE LEFT) WERE NEVER WITHOUT A DRINK IN HAND ALL THE WAY TO THE FINAL MATCH.

Unfortunately, this team fell just short of claiming the tickets to Vegas.