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The attraction is planned at the former Kmart building on Kearney Street.
Graphic provided by city of Springfield
The attraction is planned at the former Kmart building on Kearney Street.

BigShots Golf coming to north Springfield

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Peoria, Illinois-based BigShots Golf is coming to Springfield via Tim O’Reilly, and is planned at the intersection of Kearney Street and Glenstone Avenue where a former Kmart once operated.

“It’s a golf entertainment establishment similar to Topgolf,” he said.

BigShots will have 54 driving range bays for golf on two stories, an outdoor putting green, a full restaurant and bar, an activity center for kids and a golf academy on over 11 acres at 1930 and 1950 E. Kearney St. and 1903 and 1941 E. Turner St., according to the Springfield Board of Adjustment’s Dec. 4 minutes. The design would also include meeting and social events space.

O’Reilly Hospitality Management LLC hired Peoria, Illinois-based Demonica Kemper Architects LLC for the design.

“We are about to finish our architectural design documents for it,” O’Reilly said.

The project will be taken out to bid for general contracting once the design is completed.

O’Reilly plans to start construction in the first quarter of 2019, and the project is estimated to be completed within 10 months.

He said a budget for the project has yet to be finalized.

The inclusion of digital screens at BigShots is something not seen at traditional driving ranges.

“What differentiates BigShots is a digital technology as you’re driving the ball,” O’Reilly said. “They have a Doppler radar on them. There’s a screen placed next to bays to select games.”
Some of the games include target practice, or playing a virtual version of real courses like ones at Augusta National Golf Club or St. Andrews Golf Club. Once the ball is hit, a golfer can watch on-screen a virtual re-creation of where their shot would land.

O’Reilly said the local high schools and universities would be invited to use the academy and bays for year-round training.

“I haven’t talked to them in detail, but it’s part of the model to have a golf academy,” he said.

For the restaurant, a full menu has been picked out, with American-fare, healthy food choices and some surprises like sushi.

BigShots would employ 30 to 40 people, both full and part-time, O’Reilly said.

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