Love Golf Design to transform Belmont golf course

Love Golf Design to transform Belmont golf course
Richard Humphreys
By Richard Humphreys

Love Golf Design has been appointed to transform Belmont golf course in Richmond, Virginia, following the award of a 20-year management contract to non-profit organisation The First Tee of Greater Richmond.

The firm’s plans will see Belmont’s current 18 holes converted into a 12-hole course and a separate six-hole short layout. The project also includes a putting course, driving range, practice areas and walking paths for residents to access.

“The 12 holes that will remain are part of AW Tillinghast’s layout and will be within the original routing, which is on pleasing ground and makes for a great walk,” said Scot Sherman, lead architect for Love Golf Design. “Our thought is to restore the bold bunkering and green contours that were always part of his designs. So, our work will be part archaeology and part creativity. We are excited to get started.”

Davis Love and his brother Mark will be working with Sherman on the project.

“This is going to be a big-time golf course,” said Brent Schneider, CEO of The First Tee of Greater Richmond. “Though only 12 holes, in our opinion it could be some of the best holes around.

“We’re dealing with a unique piece of property. Our vision is to create a new Belmont that will be an affordable, inclusive public golf facility that’s open to all, and where the history of American golf meets the future of American golf.”

The upgrades are being funded by at least $3.25 million in privately-raised capital pledged by donors and $750,000 from Henrico County.

As part of its proposal, The First Tee was required to come up with a plan to boost youth participation in golf at Belmont. The organisation was inspired by clubs that have chosen an alternative option to the traditional 18 holes, including the nine-hole reversible Bobby Jones golf course in Atlanta, and the nine-hole Sweetens Cove Golf Club in Tennessee.

Belmont’s clubhouse will also be renovated to accommodate retail operations and space for The First Tee’s youth activities.

Schneider expects work to be completed by spring 2021.