HELENA – Snowy conditions Wednesday didn’t stop the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Pro Shop and Club House at Bill Roberts Golf Course.

City leaders, golfers and construction crews plunged shovels to the snow outside the club house to symbolize the beginning of construction.

The $2 million project will bring three golf simulators to the course that will operate year round. Currently, the course only has one simulator that operates during the winter and is disassembled in spring.

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With the renovations, the Pro Shop and the Sports Grill will sit under one roof and offer year-round food and beverage service. According to PGA Golf Pro Scott Longenecker, the upgrades are largely an effort create more revenue for the municipal golf course by making the golf season longer.

“We’re trying to keep golf going all year long, and it’s not just a spring and summer sport anymore. It’s going to be really fun for the community and it’s definitely going to be family entertainment,” Longenecker said. “We’re going to be focusing on getting families and younger people out here more.”

No taxpayer money is being used for the upgrades,  and construction is expected to be completed by next June. With the improvements, the course will also become fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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