Play a round, keep your pizza hot
Virtual golf/restaurant opens on N. Chestnut

       There's a new place on the Westside where a person can play golf… while having a hot meal and a cold drink sitting on a table a few feet away.

Golfers use the two laser practice centers inside Legends Golf Pub & Grill.
Courtesy of Legends Golf Pub & Grill

       Legends Golf Pub & Grill, 3350 N. Chestnut St., offers these usually separate amenities in a format developed by the main owners, Jeffrey Carpenter and John Snuckel.
       According to Carpenter, who formerly played on the PGA tour, technology in recent years has made virtual golf realistic to the point where, in the club's two “Laser Practice Centers,” players can use a real club on a real ball, see where it would have gone on an image of an actual fairway - customers can select from numerous golf courses for that purpose - then view computerized info about such swing nuances as clubhead speed and launch angle.
       Also available are individual golf lessons. At the Legends pro shop, any clubs that are purchased are customized to the golfer, Carpenter said.
       The food-and-drink side of the house offers a full bar and a daily menu for lunch and dinner. Included are popular recipes from country clubs where Carpenter has worked or managed, he said.
       The location on Chestnut Street is where Howard's Barbeque had been for many years, and which most recently housed the Carey-On Saloon. The building's 10,000-square-foot interior was completely renovated for Legends, Carpenter said. The interior walls are decorated with golf photos, including a large shot of the famous St. Andrews course in Scotland, with the bridge where Jack Nicklaus waved farewell after his last British Open in 2005.
       Carpenter added that it is just coincidence that the business site is next door to the former Champions Golf & Games (off Chestnut and Vondelpark), where Carpenter and Snuckel had once run the pro shop and driving range. The current location just happens to fit the profile that the twosome and their group of 10 to 12 investors were looking for, he explained.
       It was at Champions that Carpenter and Snuckel - both experienced golfers and instructors - decided to start a winter golf school. Hailing from Florida, where golf is played year-round, Carpenter had noticed that most golfers in Colorado Springs put their clubs away in the winter. He didn't know how his instructional plan would fare, but “we were packed the first year,” he said.

Co-owner Jeff Carpenter poses in front of a Legends wall that features a hyper-enlarged photo of the historic St. Andrews golf course in Scotland, with the Swilcan Bridge in the foreground.
Westside Pioneer photo

       After Champions closed, Carpenter and Snuckel rented a warehouse and started a business they named Fit Fore Golf. It was a carryover of what they'd done at Champions and attracted the same strong customer response, Carpenter said.
       The Legends Golf Pub & Grill business plan developed in the belief that success could be found by matching virtual golf with a full bar and restaurant. “We just wanted all the income streams under one roof,” Carpenter said.
       For more information, call 634-4653 or go to fitforegolf.info.

Westside Pioneer article