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Driving range development underway in Republic

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Last edited 1:03 p.m., Oct. 2, 2019

A golf driving range development in Republic is expected to open early next year.

Construction began in July on Backwoods Golf LLC, a planned driving range with climate-controlled bays and Toptracer Range technology. It’s expected to open March 1, said co-owner Austin Cloud.

Anchored by a 15,000-square-foot clubhouse at 6155 W. Republic Road across from Republic High School, the 19-acre development plan calls for 28 driving bays with room to double to 56 bays during the first six months of operation. The clubhouse, designed by Ireland Architects Inc., also will have a restaurant and bar service, he said.

R.E. Smith Construction Co. was hired as general contractor, Cloud said, declining to estimate project costs.

The Toptracer Range technology shows the flight path of golf balls and detailed data to help golfers improve their game, according to the Toptracer website. The system also allows golfers to play virtual courses from around the world, according to a Backwoods Golf LLC Facebook post.

Cloud said he and business partner Charlie Locher, owner of Monett-based Architectural Systems Inc., want to eventually grow their business outside of the Springfield area.

“We are wanting to have multiple facilities,” said Cloud, a Monett native who's worked for nine years in the golf industry, including in The Hamptons. “We want to brand this out, not just in the area.”

For now, he said the local golf-enthusiast community makes Springfield a good place to start.

“Our main target is the people who are trying to work on their craft and their game,” Cloud said. “Springfield is a prime location for golf.”

Springfield Business Journal list research shows 24, 18-hole golf courses in the area, including the Bill & Payne Stewart Golf Course and Rivercut Golf Course. Big Cedar Lodge also recently topped Golf Magazine’s inaugural list of the best family golf resorts, according to previous SBJ reporting.

Backwoods Golf joins another driving range development underway in north Springfield. At the corner of Kearney Street and Glenstone Avenue, Peoria, Illinois-based BigShots Golf LLC is planning a technology-centered driving range via franchisee Tim O’Reilly, a Springfield hotelier, according to past SBJ reporting. It’s fallen behind in its original development plan due to sewer easement issues and other construction permitting.

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Chris Brewer

Why on earth Republic? Possibly cost of land, but I can't see golfers driving all the way into Republic for this. I would love for these guys to succeed, just can't see the numbers working out for this location. Great if you live in Republic though.

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