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Bigger, better Twin Brooks to re-open Friday

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

St. Pete’s Twin Brooks Golf Course is reopening Friday after being closed since May and it’s way better than it was before. The new course is bigger, nicer and more community resourceful.

After undergoing a $1.5 million facelift, Twin Brooks shifted from an 18-hole par-3 to a nine-hole par-3. Even though there are half the holes, the ones now dotting the massive property have fancier mounds better simulating play on a regulation course, a giant putting green, manmade lake and new scenic views of Clam Bayou and the Pinellas Trail.

There are also now 12 electric golf carts to traverse the property that once was accessible only by foot.

Other improvements include better drainage so the course can re-open to golfers quicker after heavy rains.

The makeover wasn’t just intended to make a nicer facility for retirees to work on their golf swings, it was also for the kids. First Tee, a non-profit group that offers youth services like mentoring, is planning to build a 3,000 square-foot educational facility.

The $750,000 facility will include computer labs and a fitness room with mentors on hand during business hours to help with homework, general challenges kids face and, yes, golf.

First Tee offers regular golf instruction and allows kids to participate in tournaments. Families pay on a sliding scale for the program and no one is ever turned away.

The facility, slated to open in Spring of 2016, is a huge step up for First Tee. The organization is working out of a 100-Square foot room at Mangrove Bay.

This is the first upgrade Twin Brooks has gotten in 40 years.

Rounds of golf at Twin Brooks are far more affordable than most courses. Peak season rates are just $11. Summer rounds cost just $8. With electric carts now available, customers can take advantage of that perk for just $4.50 a game.

The city will host an official Grand Opening on November 21 at 2 p.m.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email janelle@floridapolitics.com.

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