CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WWBT)- For the last six and a half weeks, golf courses have been permitted to remain open, provided patrons practice proper social distancing. The First Tee in Chesterfield is preparing to re-open after a five-month renovation and is looking forward to giving people a place to escape some of the craziness, get outside and work on their games.
"If you would've asked me two months ago what our grand opening would look like, this certainly wasn't quite in the cards for that," said Kelly McAnally, senior vice president of operations at the First Tee.
The Chesterfield facility was closed in December to begin the work, which was pre-coronavirus. The location will re-open this weekend but will have measures in place to help keep the environment safe for golfers and employees. Carts, golf balls, baskets and equipment will be cleaned consistently, only one rider will be permitted in a golf cart at a time, and single-person restrooms will be in order.
“Our main goal is the protection, the safety of everyone here,” said McAnally. “Our staff, our customers, and hopefully we’ll see a few of our families and kids enjoying the space but with social distancing in full effect.”
While the First Tee's Chesterfield location provides a golf course that is open to the public, the organization has one clear mission- to help teach life lessons to youth through the game of golf. Staff members have made adjustments in order to keep that promise.
"They're running the same classes, just via Zoom instead of out here on the golf course," McAnally pointed out. "It's nice to still see all of their smiling faces, but we'll be looking forward to getting them back."
When the clubhouse can be used for classes and group events again, golfers will notice a difference. The $700,000 project focused on maximizing the use of space, and even includes a TrackMan, a virtual device that analyzes swings, measures swing and ball speeds and offers a power measurement component as well.
"It's just made it a little bit more functional, allows us to take the space that was maybe under-utilized before and allows us to re-purpose that to make it more functional for our patrons and our youth participants."
For now, McAnally is happy to be able to provide a place for people to get out of the house and enjoy the outdoors.
"We know there are a lot of people out there who can't currently work and we're just looking forward to being able to provide a great outlet for our community to get outside, get some exercise while still maintaining that social distancing."
The First Tee’s Chesterfield location will re-open on Saturday and is one of many area golf courses that are operational. For those interested in booking tee-times, visit the website.
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