PLATTSBURGH - If you look outside, you may not think it's golf season. However, if you look inside one local building, the season's in full swing.
The City of Plattsburgh Recreation Department has opened a new indoor driving range at the City Recreation Center, located on U.S. Oval. Recreation department superintendent Steve Peters said since the driving range opened Feb. 11, the new feature has received a lot of use.
"Business has been good," said Peters. "Word of mouth has really helped it take off."
The driving range occupies space once used for a movie theater, said Peters, used when the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base was still in operation.
"We recycled all the lumber out of it, pulled everything out," said Peters. "There's about 8,000 linear feet of tongue in groove maple that we've saved."
Any other materials possible to recycle for the driving range were utilized, Peters added, saving a great deal of money for the project.
"We even used an event floor that went over top of the old ice rink at the [Crete Memorial Civic Center]," said Peters. "There's a natural slope here from when this was used as a theater. What we did was augment that with the panels. So, after the balls are hit, they'll hit the net and roll back down."
The driving range is more than 60 feet long by 25 feet high by 40 feet wide, and can accommodate up to three golfers at a time. Golfers have the option to practice with any club and can work on chip-shot skills with the integrated targets.
The best part about developing the indoor driving range, said Peters, was that it was done all within the department's regular operational budget.
"This will actually be a revenue generator for our department, which is not the focus, but it will help us offer better services through this building," said Peters.
Hours for the indoor driving range coincide with the hours of the City Recreation Center - Monday through Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Use of the range is first-come, first-served. Rates are fixed at $5 per bucket of 50 balls.
"There aren't any other indoor driving ranges in the area. That makes us unique and, this way, any time of year, people can come in and work on their golf game," said Peters. "It makes us happy to provide this to the community,"
For more information, contact the recreation department at 324-7709.