Topgolf tees off in East Ridge amid coronavirus pandemic

Staff photo by Troy Stolt / The open area at Top Golf if seen on Friday, Aug. 7, 2020 in East Ridge, Tenn.

Richard Werhle admits that opening a new entertainment venue during a pandemic is a challenge - even one with a scorecard of fan appeal as Topgolf.

But Werhle, general manager of Topgolf's new East Ridge complex that officially teed off Friday morning, said that he believes his team has made it a safe place to play.

"We've taken our time and found a safe way to open up," he said.

Werhle said visitors are asked to mask up via Hamilton County guidelines until they're in their individual playing bays.

The outdoor venue is opening at just 50% of total capacity, though it's using all of its 36 bays with a maximum of six players in each, he said.