Civilians and workers on post who enjoy stopping by the Fort Benning Golf Course clubhouse for lunch will have to eat elsewhere for the next few months.
Morale, Welfare and Recreation began renovation of the clubhouse in early January with an expected completion date in September. The cost of the renovation is estimated to be nearly $750,000.
Mike & Ed’s BBQ was the last restaurant to operate within the clubhouse, but as result of the renovation, the clubhouse will not have a food operation. Players looking to grab a bite to eat at the turn will be limited to hot dogs, chips, candy and drinks.
Danny Pasion, a member at Fort Benning Golf Course since 2000, said not having the restaurant will not make a difference to those who play the course regularly.
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“It won’t affect the players but it will affect the workers at Fort Benning because a lot of them eat lunch there,” Pasion said.
George Cliff, the PGA club pro at Fort Benning Golf Course, said the pro shop will be fully operational during the renovation.
Webb Construction Co., a local contractor that does a large portion of its business on post, is currently installing a new air conditioning and heating system throughout the building. Webb is only able to work on one portion of the building at a time so the other areas can remain operational. Once they install the new system in the pro shop, the pro shop will temporarily move to the ballroom on the opposite side of the clubhouse.
Cliff said the air conditioning and heating system has been a problem for customers for years.
“The customers are going to like it better because (the building) has been cold in the winter time and hot in the summer,” Cliff said. “With the new state-of-the-art air conditioning and heating system, it should be much more pleasant for the golfers after this project has been completed.”
After the new unit has been installed, the current roof of the clubhouse will be torn down and a new green metal roof will replace it. Cliff said due to the aging infrastructure of the roof, leaks have been a problem with every storm that hits the clubhouse.
Other changes to the clubhouse will include a new handicap ramp, which will be placed at the rear of the clubhouse, and a redesigned porch in front of the pro shop.Cliff said once the renovation is completed, he expects to see an increase in business as well as an increase of appreciation from members.
“When you do have a reasonably good clubhouse, you make someone proud to be a member,” he said.