First Tee — Greater Richmond, Henrico County, and Love Golf Design celebrated the grand re-opening of Belmont at a ceremony on Monday, May 24.
Officials from all three parties offered remarks at the event, with Davis Love III saying, “We [Love Golf Design] have never created a course that will have such an impact on golf.”
Henrico County Board of Supervisors Chairman Dan Schmitt commented, “I have been honored to represent Henrico on First Tee’s Board of Directors and have seen firsthand how committed [First Tee – Greater Richmond Board Chairman] Ben Pace and his team are to their mission.
“I cannot wait to see it in action, with kids, adults and families out here enjoying and learning this wonderful game on this beautiful, majestic course.”
First Tee – Greater Richmond CEO Brent Schneider said, “We are extremely thankful to be here today and have so many groups and people to thank for their belief and help. To the Henrico County officials here with us today, Love Golf Design, our First Tee – Greater Richmond Board of Directors, donors and staff – thank you for all your efforts in getting us to this point.”
Six First Tee – Greater Richmond participants hit the course’s first shots on Little Bell No. 1, with World Golf Hall of Famer member and 1997 PGA champion Love displaying the coaching that led him to be a two-time Ryder Cup and 2022 President’s Cup captain. First Tee – Greater Richmond participant Meg Lavinder nearly aced the hole, while D’Yan Robinson provided a chip in from the back bunkers of the 80-yard “Tiny Tim” template hole.
Love also “rang in” the course with a new bell that represents First Tee – Greater Richmond’s community-centric ethos at the facility while also calling to mind the old bell on Belmont’s fifth hole.
Belmont will formally open to the public on Saturday, May 29, with tee times now available at PlayBelmontRVA.org.
Love Golf Design led the renovations at Belmont that started in May 2020, culminating in Monday’s event. Designed by famed architect A.W. Tillinghast in 1917 and renovated by Donald Ross a decade later, Belmont Golf Course hosted the 1945 Richmond Invitational, won by Ben Hogan, and the 1949 PGA Championship, won by Sam Snead.
Belmont remains the only golf course in Virginia that has hosted a men’s major championship and one of only two Tillinghast courses nationwide that has hosted a major and is still open for public play — the other being Bethpage Black in New York.