Love III architect behind First Tee Belmont renovation
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - When it re-opens, Belmont Golf Course will be unlike any golf facility one has visited. That’s according to former PGA Tour major champion Davis Love III.
Love is the architect leading the renovations at Belmont, now owned by First Tee-Greater Richmond. He and his brother, Mark, co-founded Love Golf Design in 1994 and have blueprinted several courses in the southeast. Now he’s restoring and renovating one of Virginia’s historical golf markers for a cause he fully supports.
“I was on the board of the PGA Tour when the First Tee was created,” Love III said on Tuesday. “I’ve watched it grow from its infancy and it’s a big part of what we do in our tournament.”
First Tee’s mission is to impact the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf. First Tee-Greater Richmond reached more than 71,000 youth in 2019.
Love says that he’s been a part of a lot of First Tee projects, but nothing like the $5 million renovation that Belmont is currently undergoing. The course was designed by famous architect A.W. Tillinghast in 1917 and Love would like to keep some of those characteristics. The venue hosted the PGA Championship in 1949, won by Sam Snead, and it remains the only course in Virginia to host a PGA Tour major championship.
“We’re glad to not only give the kids an opportunity of a great place to play, but bring this golf course back to what it was,” Love said.
Once complete, Belmont will be state of the art, featuring a 12-hole championship caliber course, a six hole short course, a 35,000 square foot putting course and premier practice facilities. First Tee-Greater Richmond members will have access to the venue, as will the general public.
“I think this is the future of golf,” Love added. “Anybody that comes here needs to see that you don’t need to play 18 holes and take four or five hours to play. You can play the six-hole short course, just come out and hit balls and putt on the big putting course, which is an incredible experience. This putting green will be like nothing you’ve ever seen before.”
The project is scheduled to be completed in May of 2021.
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