December 15, 2011: 2011, Issue 50
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Today’s news:

Driving range to reopen at Turtle Cove

Bronx Times

Turtle Cove Golf & Baseball Complex, which was closed last season for the first time in years, is expected to open again in the spring under new management.

National Golf Group, a partnership that includes professional golfer Anthony Esposito, won a Parks Department RFP in May, but has delayed the opening the driving range, miniature golf course, and batting cages.

The facility, located at on City Island Road, is getting a complete upgrade and Esposito and his team have been renovating the facility since the summer, he said.

“What really drew me to Turtle Cove is that it is bit different than anything else in New York City,” Esposito said. “This is more natural. At Turtle Cove I feel like I am hitting a golf ball at a fairway.”

The facility stands in sharp contrast to most urban driving ranges, which are often built using an artificial netting system, Esposito said.

“I think Turtle Cove offers a bit of a different perspective for the player, and that practice can be more realistic,” Esposito said, adding that he feels that it has the potential to be a top notch facility because of its location, in a wooded section of Pelham Bay Park. Esposito operated a similar facility in Brooklyn for eight years, he said.

The overhaul will be completed before it opens in the spring, and there will be 18 new covered and heated stalls for driving golf balls, bringing the number of covered stalls up to 30, Esposito said. There are 50 stalls total, covered and not covered.

“We are going to upgrade the gas heating system inside the stalls so that it will be a lot warmer in the winter if a golfer chooses to come and hit a bucket of balls,” Esposito said.

The miniature golf course will not be changed, but each hole is being completely rebuilt by hand, Esposito stated, with National Golf Group planning on including a “party tent” for youth parties. The pitching machines in the batting cages will be receiving new mechanisms, Esposito said.

In addition, the rear fence of the facility is being repaired, and all standing water is being removed from the body of the driving range, Esposito said. The main building is also being completely rehabilitated.

The facility needed work, and its reopening could be helpful for business on City Island, said City Island Chamber of Commerce president Gerard Giacco.

“I think that anything that makes the trip to City Island more attractive will be helpful,” Giacco said. “That trip begins along the Shore Road.”

Patrick Rocchio can be reach via e-mail at procchio@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742-3393

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