New golf facility to bring ‘sheer excitement’ to QC

Iron Tee Golf
This is an artist rendering of part of the Iron Tee Golf facility project. CREDIT IRON TEE GOLF

A new golf entertainment facility and multi-sport fields in Bettendorf are expected to open next year and bring “sheer excitement” to the community.

That’s the word from the project owners, developers and community members who gathered Wednesday, Oct. 19, for a ceremony at the TBK Bank Sports Complex in Bettendorf to help launch the new facility called Iron Tee Golf.

“It’s going to be a growth engine for the Quad Cities. … Today is more like breaking new ground. This is something we are all proud of,” said Dave Herrell, president and CEO of Visit Quad Cities, at the construction start and first tee off ceremony for Iron Tee Golf.

Iron Tee Golf
Sara McLaughlin-Cross, executive director of First Tee of the Quad Cities, announces a new partnership with Iron Tee Golf Wednesday at TBK Bank Sports Complex in Bettendorf. In the background from left are: Ryan Hintze, the local businessman, owner/operator of Corn Belt Capital, and investor who is spearheading the Iron Tee Golf project; Bettendorf Mayor Bob Gallagher; and Dave Herrell, president and CEO of Visit Quad Cities. CREDIT DAVE THOMPSON

That new facility  – expected to cost between $45 million and $50 million on 43 acres near TBK – could open in the late fall of 2023. It will offer a variety of high energy and high-tech golf and entertainment activities, said Ryan Hintze, the local businessman, owner/operator of Corn Belt Capital, and investor who is spearheading the project.

“There’s been sheer excitement about this. There have been a lot of positive comments, especially since the renderings came out for the project,” Mr. Hintze told the QCBJ after Wednesday’s ceremony, which attracted more than 100 people from the business community and Bettendorf city government.

When it opens next year, the new Iron Tee Golf facility is expected to feature:

  • TopTracer Range technology in 58 climate-controlled outdoor hitting bays will be featured in the new three-level golf entertainment venue. 
  • Chef-driven menu items, top-shelf drinks, music, and year-round entertainment.
  • Numerous high-definition televisions will be located throughout the facility with one oversized 4K LED TV screen, capable of showing up to six sporting events at once in the main bar area.
  • Year-round programming will include events for kids and families, social leagues, golf tournaments, corporate events, showers, graduation parties, concerts, charity events and more.
  • A 10,000-square-foot state-of-the-art video gaming space, which will include an immersive virtual reality platform named “Hyperdeck VR”, “Lucky-Putt Golf” a tech-driven social golf experience that blends the nostalgic joy of traditional mini-golf with proprietary technology.
  • Also included will be a 3,000-square-foot main event space, a 1,200-square-foot pre-function event space, two smaller event spaces totaling 1,000 square feet and 530 square feet, respectively.
  • A future 18,000-square-foot outdoor common plaza area will be staged between the multi-sport fields and the golf venue and will feature oversized games, seating, food, and beverage.

The new facility will also partner with First Tee of the Quad Cities, the youth development organization that helps bring the game of golf to young people in the community. Wednesday’s ceremony also introduced a partnership with First Tee where Iron Tee Golf will host golfing programs for young people, said Sara McLaughlin-Cross, executive director of First Tee of the Quad Cities.

When the new facility opens, it will be the fifth program location in the region for First Tee, she added.

Also Wednesday Bettendorf leaders praised the Iron Tee Golf project. Mayor Bob Gallagher said the city has invested about $20 million through various road improvements and other projects to help make the new facility a reality.

He added that there will soon be a $48 million Interstate 80 interchange redevelopment project that will include the widening of I-80 to six lanes near the TBK Bank Sports Complex. “This is on the horizon,” he added.

The Phase 2 development at the TBK Bank Sports Complex was initially announced in February. The entire project, estimated to cost about $75 million, will bring more ballfields, a new hotel, along with the golf entertainment facility and other facilities to the region.

At the time, Mr. Herrell said the project could bring in $250 million in direct economic impact and more than 5.8 million visitor days to the Quad Cities over the next 10 years. And he believes those numbers are based on conservative estimates.

But this will likely not be the last development at the sports complex. During Wednesday’s ceremony, several officials said a Phase 3 will eventually happen.

“There will be a Phase 3. We really want to continue the momentum,” said Mr. Hintze.

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