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It's tee-time at Bellevue

What started as a field of dreams, will likely do more for three
local entrepreneur's business skills than it ever will for their golf games.

This weekend marks the official opening of the Quinte area's newest golf facility, and with it, Brent Woods, Scott Symons and Roger Babbs will finally realize the fruits of their labour.

The trio have opened the Bellevue Golfing Centre just north of HWY. 401 and are hoping local links lovers will use the quiet country atmosphere to hone their skills.


"We just thought the area could use a stand-alone driving range and all three of us have always wanted to do something like this, so it seemed like a logical move," said Woods earlier this week. "Some of the courses have very good practice facilities but for some people, its intimidating to go to a course, especially when they're not a member, so instead, they can come here and practice their games in a very relaxed atmosphere."

Symons, a local high school teacher marvels at the transformation of the property and said the trio have spent countless hours clearing brush and garbage. They have also fixed up a pair of barns and demolished three more.

"Brent and I are the labour force and Roger (a local beer rep)always has beer, so we can sometimes get friends out here to help out a little," he said.

The trio bought the 75 acre Bellevue Drive parcel in 2004 and Woods admits, somewhat naively thought they could simply clear some of the brush and open a driving range.


What followed was two years of hard labour and an unmeasurable number of lessons in dealing with "red tape".

"I often think about what we thought we would have to do to get this place up and running when we started all this, and what we actually had to go through.  I can hardly believe how little we knew about starting something like this,"  Woods laughed. "The labour was the easy part but we learned alot about dealing with people like the municipality and the Conservation Authority. Every-one has been extremely helpful but we certainly had a lot to learn."

What the trio have is a driving range stretching more than 300 yards complete with "cactus" yard markers. Although hitting mats will be in place during the early spring, the Kentucky Blue grass tee deck will be utilized once the growing season takes hold.  For now, golfers will have to be content hitting balls but Woods said that will change sometime in the future.


"There's no end to the ideas we have for this place, but there is only so much we can do at once," Woods said. "We'd like to add a putting green and some bunkers, and we will also provide certified golf instructors in the very near future."

Although the range opened briefly last fall, the trio are excited about opening for good this weekend. 

"I think the largest hurdle we face is just educating people on where we are," said Woods. "If you tell people Bellevue Road, they look at you with no idea, but if you say Belleville's north service road, then some know what you're talking about."

Bellevue Road runs between Walbridge-Loyalist Road and Sidney Street along the north side of HWY. 401.  "We're west of Sidney Street... the other side of the proposed Millenium Parkway extension".  The range will be open from 7am to dusk on the weekends and 9am to dusk through the week.

The Quinte Sports Review


Getting teed-off about your golf game? Then you should be getting teed-off at the right place, the new Bellevue Golfing Centre located on Bellevue Drive in Belleville.  Scott Symons and his two partners have recently opened the areas newest driving range, which offers a vast area for fine-tuning your swing.  "My partners and I felt that there was a need in the area for a stand-alone driving range,  so last year we acquired this property and started to construct it to fit the needs of golfers."

Symons explained how the house and barn on the property of 75 acres was part of the package; and knew that the barn would suit their needs perfectly. "We filled five 40yd bins of garbage just to gain access to the barn before we could start working on it," said Symons.  It's a pretty cool place for our customers and good storage for our equipment and supplies." Symons went on to describe some of the attributes that the range has to offer.  " Marc Ray, Basketball coach at Loyalist College, is a qualified golf instructor and one of our in-house pros. Marc is available to any of our customers who would like to improve their swing or their game as a whole." Symons talked about the Kentucky Blue Grass used on the tee box. "The box stretches 400 feet wide and is 65 feet deep," he explained. "It can easily  accomodate 40 players at a time without feeling crowded." The landing area is a generous 135 yds wide that stretches out 300 yds, and flanked on both sides by netting. 


Bellevue Golfing Centre opened the first week of August, with the Blue grass on the tee box more than matured enough for practicing golf swings and shot making. The yardages are clearly marked in the landing area and the new grass spread over the 10 acres is growing nicely, allowing the golfer a pleasant view while perfecting their game. Symons went on to describe how next year, the range will be able to offer the golfer and even more complete package. "We want to build a first class golf facility," he explained. "Our next plan is to construct a large chipping and putting green and we will continue from there to offer more services and supplies in the retail aspect of things." He described how, not only do they want to be able to provide the new and up-and-coming golfer a facility to learn and practice on, but also to meet the needs of current professionals in a high class facility.

From my first visit to the location, well prior to thier opening, to what I see there now, you know these guys mean what they say. They have opened a facility that is asthetically pleasing and comfortable for the golfer and shows extensive capabilities for growth in the future. Congratulations on this endeavour from the Quinte Sports Review.