Last Update :12/10/2019
Breaking News: Belmont Golf Course would get $4M transformation in deal with First Tee
Michael Schwartz December 10, 2019
The century-old Belmont Golf Course could soon be transformed as part of an ambitious $4 million plan led by a local nonprofit.
The First Tee of Greater Richmond has emerged as the frontrunner to take over management of the Henrico County-owned course at 1600 Hilliard Road, after pitching a plan to modernize Belmont to include a driving range and practice areas, a six-hole short course and a 12-hole course that would rely on many of the bones of its original design from 1916.
First Tee, which already operates an 18-hole course in Chesterfield and a six-hole course in the city, would pay for the upgrades using at least $3.25 million in privately raised capital from its donors, plus $750,000 set aside by Henrico.
The plan is being presented this evening to the county Board of Supervisors, after First Tee’s bid was chosen by the county Department of Recreation and Parks as the top respondent to an RFP issued in August.
If approved by the board, First Tee would be awarded a lease to operate Belmont for at least 20 years. It would take the keys to the course Jan. 1, and immediately close the course for play to begin renovations.
Brent Schneider, CEO of First Tee, said the group expects work to be completed by spring 2021.
The deal would end the uncertainty of Belmont’s future, which had been up in the air in the face of consecutive years of financial losses and the county declaring it wanted to be out of the business of running a golf course.
First Tee’s plan would look to satisfy both the county’s desires and those of golf enthusiasts, some of whom have sought to preserve Belmont’s heritage, including the remnants of its original designer, famed course architect A.W. Tillinghast, and its status as the only course in Virginia to ever host a major PGA tournament – the 1949 PGA Championship won by Sam Snead.
This is a breaking news alert. Stay tuned to BizSense tomorrow morning for more detail.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: MICHAEL SCHWARTZ
Michael Schwartz is the editor of Richmond BizSense, and covers banking, lawsuits, finance, M&A and golf. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 804-855-1037.
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