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Over $1.2 million in renovations slated for nonprofit’s golf course, facilities in Northside

The First Tee of Richmond’s six-hole golf course will be open to the public and used by VCU’s Golf Team following the extensive project.

RVAHub Staff

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In a joint announcement held Monday, the City of Richmond, The First Tee of Greater Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University announced a partnership that will include $1.2 million in renovations that will transform The First Tee golf facility in the city’s Northside.

Renovations include the restoration of a six-hole golf course, which will become the short-game practice facility of the VCU men’s golf team, in addition to being available for public use. The driving range and course are expected to be completed and open to the public in October. In addition to the golf course and driving range, the current clubhouse will be revamped into a youth-centric space that is a safe, innovative learning environment.

Photo: The First Tee

“Our new facility will be among the finest practice facilities in all of Central Virginia and a destination for golfers of all ages and skill sets,” said Brent Schneider, executive director and CEO of The First Tee of Greater Richmond. “We’re grateful to partner with VCU and the City of Richmond in turning our vision of a splendid, interactive facility to meet the needs of our programs and the Richmond golfing community into a reality.”

First Tee, a nonprofit organization, aims to impact the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character and instill values through the game of golf.

“The First Tee has made a tremendous impact on the city’s youth for nearly 15 years while bringing golf to downtown Richmond,” said Mayor Levar Stoney. “The City of Richmond is proud to partner with the organization and VCU to continue to make an impact on our children and offer a world-class facility to our residents.”

The turf renovations to the six-hole course and driving range will be supported through private donations as part of a partnership with VCU Athletics, with 80 percent of the funding coming from VCU and the remaining 20 percent coming from The First Tee of Greater Richmond. The clubhouse renovation will be funded entirely through private support of The First Tee of Greater Richmond.

“We pride ourselves at VCU on improving our facilities and helping to enhance the community while we do it,” said Ed McLaughlin, VCU Vice President and Director of Athletics. “Partnering with The First Tee of Greater Richmond and the City of Richmond gives us the opportunity to provide a first-class short-game practice facility for our golf program while also enhancing the golf experience for people in Richmond. We look forward to building even more partnerships with Richmond and the surrounding community in the future.”

Details of the renovations from The First Tee are as follows:

  • Six-hole golf course: Re-establishing the turf, converting the greens to Champion Bermuda grass and upgrading bunkers with premium sand
  • Driving range: Laser-leveling and re-sodding the practice tees with Latitude Bermuda grass and reshaping the range to feature targets for patrons to take aim
  • Clubhouse: Transforming it into a youth-centric space that provides a safe, innovative learning environment that includes:
    • An interactive community room
    • Two Trackman 4 simulators
    • A collaborative afterschool hangout to excite youth participants and enable coaches and mentors to increase the impact on all patrons
    • A small retail center

Renovations at the Elson Redmond Memorial Driving Range, which opened on School Street near Battery Park in 2003, began in July of 2016 with the overhaul of the six-hole golf course and have continued through the summer with the rebuilding of the driving range.

The design improvements are being led by renowned golf course architect Lester George, who created the initial design for the site as well as The Tattersall Youth Development Center at The First Tee Chesterfield course, and Hourigan Construction has been contracted to renovate and recondition the clubhouse. Flourish Spaces is assisting in the design aesthetics of the new clubhouse.

See the full renovation plans here (PDF).

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