Kansas City’s Casual Country Club
By Bill Clevlen
When it comes to proposals for events, Tyler Morrison admits, “I’ve never said no.” After opening fall 2019, The Clubhouse Experience in Kansas City has found ways to make almost every scenario work in their mixed-use entertainment facility just north of the downtown’s Power And Light District.
Morrison, who is the Director of Technology and Guest Experience, joined The Clubhouse Experience team after holding a corporate position with Top Golf. That background helped shape some of the unique, crowd-pleasing options that appeal to visitors as “your favorite country club, without the pretension.” As a bonus, you don’t even have to wear a collared shirt or worse – a tie.
The vibe at The Clubhouse Experience is more laid back than other game-centric facilities. Groups can book private bays to play interactive games with access to a full-service food and drink menu. Each bay holds about 12 guests at a time; however, additional bays can be rented together to expand the crowd size. There are six total bays, and the entire facility can hold up to 350 people.
Inside each of the private bays are stylish couches, upscale decor, and of course, a large video screen that can double as television screen for presentations. “A local nutrition company recent booked a few of our rooms for an awards banquet. They used the screens for a PowerPoint display, and once it was over, they were literally able to play games on the same screens in about two minutes”, says Morrison.
More than ever before, technology is making event spaces like The Clubhouse Experience easier to keep everyone happy. With a touch on his cell phone, Morrison can adjust almost anything in the entire complex – including what’s on television, lighting, music, and the interactive game screens. In fact, the only thing he can’t do from the phone is clean the dirt off the shuffleboard courts.
The games that guest can play include golf, with 120 different golf courses to choose from, and even something called Zombie Dodge Ball. All the games are hands-on, with interactive hockey being one option. Using a real hockey stick, a participant shoots a puck at targets that are highlighted on the screen. A baseball simulation lets you throw pitches at virtual batters. The football experience, called the Quarterback Challenge, has you throw a football at virtual receivers anxious to catch your pass.
If sports aren’t your thing, you can also play a virtual carnival game where you simply “pop” balloon targets on the screen. If you prefer a variety, you’re able to switch from game to game during your allotted rental time.
While you aren’t required to order any food, good luck passing up some of the options that are available on the Clubhouse menu. Appetizers (called “table grazers”) include caramelized brussels sprouts and guacamole deviled eggs. They offer sandwiches, salads, flatbreads, and full-blown entrees. You can dine on roasted chicken breast, prime sirloin, or pork tenderloin that comes with something called “bacon jam”. Gluten free options are available as well.
Location is everything – and The Clubhouse Experience is easy to get to from Kansas City’s Convention Center or one of the many boutique hotels downtown. Nearby guests can even hitch a ride on one of their snazzy multi-person golf carts for easy transportation.
A recent viewing party for Chiefs fans on Super Bowl Sunday illustrated the potential for corporate gatherings. Guests can view televisions from pretty much anywhere and have room to gather indoors or outside in a patio setting with string lights above.
Morrison admits that they’re still a secret to many people in the area, but odds are they won’t be for much longer. Much like their hometown football team – this place is a winner.
Bill Clevlen is a contributing writer from St. Louis, MO.