YORKVILLE — By this coming winter, golfers will be able to work on their game even when Mother Nature tries to bogey their skills before next spring.
Ramiro Romo, owner of Range Time, LLC, along with Racine County officials including County Executive Jonathan Delagrave and officials from Peter Schwabe, Inc., the construction company, broke ground on Thursday at Ives Grove Golf Links, 14101 Washington Ave.
Romo, father of former NFL quarterback turned CBS sportscaster Tony Romo, thanked his wife Joan and county officials for making this endeavor happen, along with Ives Grove head golf professional Pete Eitel and his wife Nancy.
“This is something I really believe in and love,” Romo said. “Golf has been in my family for a long time… we love the game very much and we want to bring that love to our fellow community.”
Range Time is a private/public partnership with the county and will consist of a driving range with 30 heated bays along with a clubhouse. The day-to-day operations are to be managed by Eitel.
Romo, owner of Range Time, plans to finance the building and operation of the driving range in exchange for paying 5% of the net profits and no less than $6,000 per year to the county for 25 years, with an option for an additional five years.
Although he had his clubs in the trunk of his car, Romo decided not to bring them out.
Construction on Range Time is scheduled for next week.
The clubhouse plans to include in the layout of the new driving range which plans to include bathrooms, a lounge area, a place to purchase some food and drink, and windows that look out to the first few bays of the driving range.
“You could’ve done this anywhere,” Delagrave said to Romo. “And to do it in a county golf course, again, it’s just another great thing for the community.”
Gives student athletes ‘advantage’
While Range Time might be a destination for adults looking to work on their game in the winter, it will also be a place for area high school and college students to get ready for the upcoming season.
Romo said this driving range is a way to pass on the game of golf to a younger generation.
“All of these institutions are going to want to utilize these facilities and we welcome them wholeheartedly,” Romo said.
Eitel said those student athletes will have an advantage once the season starts.
“Boys’ high school seasons are spring and as we all know the springs are very difficult around here,” Eitel said. “So for these guys to start up their game and are expected to play well right away is difficult. The ability for them to come out in February, March and actually work on their game… their ready to go.”