Young Southside golfers get bigger school

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(Courtesy The First Tee of Hampton Roads)

(Courtesy The First Tee of Hampton Roads)

Young golfers in Hampton Roads will be going back to school this fall, and not just on the links.

The First Tee of Hampton Roads, a youth-development golf program of the YMCA of South Hampton Roads, recently began construction of a second instructional classroom. The new space, to be named the Goode Family Learning Center, will be attached to the main building, known as the Batten Learning Center, at 2400 Tournament Dr.  The project broke ground in July, with completion targeted for early October.

“It’s going to allow us to serve even more kids through classes and camps,” Nancy Moore, The First Tee’s director of operations and development said in a phone interview.

The First Tee is a 55-acre golf complex designed for children between ages of five and 17, according to its website. It is located next to Virginia Beach National Golf Club and is open year-round, seven days a week, from 9 a.m. to dusk. The First Tee’s Membership dues are $18 monthly for members of the YMCA of Hampton Roads and $35 monthly for nonmembers.

Currently, the Batten Learning Center consists of one classroom, a pro shop and a clubhouse area. The second classroom will allow for more programming and more students; the goal, over the next few years, is to double enrollment, Moore said. The added space will also enhance The First Tee’s ability to provide indoor instruction year-round, even when bad weather prevents golfers from practicing and playing outside. And, if donor funding materializes, it will enable the The First Tee to add technology-based instruction, such as a golf simulator or indoor hitting bays, Moore said.

“We’re extremely excited about it,” Moore said.

For more information, go here.

Construction is being done by Virginia Beach-based Miller Custom Homes, according to Moore; funding for the new learning space came from donations by David Goode, a First Tee national trustee and retired Norfolk-Southern CEO.

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