Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Golfers take their shots at unusual driving range

TAMPA — Munro Lortie, 13, likes golfing and plays about once a month. So he was eager to try out the giant driving range set up Friday in the 500 and 600 blocks of Franklin Street downtown.

Six cranes held up a net covering the range. Numbered pinatas filled with confetti and golf balls hung from the top and a gong was set up at the end. Golfers who broke a pinata or hit the gong would win a prize.

"I'm going for the 100 or the gong in the back," said Lortie, who was there with his father and cousin, in town from Atlanta for a wedding. "Line drives are my specialty."

The Tampa-based special events company Big City Events put up the range, which was open until 9 p.m. Friday. By Friday evening, more than 300 golfers had bought an $8 bucket of balls and taken a few swings. The company wants to put on more large-scale events, especially in the Franklin Street area, to help rebrand Tampa as a "cool city," said Ferdian Jap, a partner at Big City Events.

"This downtown area at night is kind of dead. There's a few restaurants here and there. We'd love to develop Franklin Street," Jap said.

He said city officials helped them pull off the unusual driving range, once the company explained its intentions. Mayor Bob Buckhorn came out to support the event and even hit a few balls.

The event also drew some neighbors. Ryan Garnder, 27, owner of creative co-op business 715 Franklin, noticed the setup from his nearby office.

"I saw it all day," he said while hitting a second bucket of balls. "It looked that awesome and it was that awesome."

Jap said his company would love to return the golf event in November 2013. Until then, he's taking suggestions of places and events he can host with the newly acquired netting. He's kicking around the idea of a March batting cage on Franklin Street. Other ideas can be sent via Twitter with the hashtag #tampateeoff.

Times staff writer Robbyn Mitchell contributed to this report.

Golfers take their shots at unusual driving range 12/14/12 [Last modified: Friday, December 14, 2012 11:14pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Cubs bring some other ex-Rays to Trop such as Wade Davis, Ben Zobrist

    Blogs

    Joe Maddon's first trip back to the Trop is getting most of the headlines tonight, but there are several other familiar faces among the eight former Rays now wearing Cubs uniforms.

  2. Oleg Sosunov brings intrigue to Lightning exhibition opener

    Blogs

    When Hall of Famer Phil Esposito first saw Lightning prospect Oleg Sosunov, he joked he thought the 6-foot-8 Russian would hit the ceiling of Amalie Arena.

  3. Bears-Buccaneers Turning Point, Week 2: When was it over?

    Bucs

    Well, that escalated quickly.

    One moment, the Bears were dinking and dunking their way down the field. The next, they were giving the ball away. In a six-minute stretch over the first and second quarters, they turned the ball over three times. Interception. Fumble. Fumble.

    Jacquizz Rodgers scores a touchdown Sunday in the Bucs' 29-7 win over the Bears in Tampa. [LOREN ELLIOTT  |  Times]
  4. Bucs journal: At end of first half, a push for more points pays off

    Bucs

    TAMPA — The Bucs weren't perfect on offense in Sunday's 29-7 win over the Bears, but they came close on one play to set up a 50-yard field goal before halftime.

    Jameis Winston’s 21-yard completion to DeSean Jackson was the Bucs’ longest offensive play in Sunday’s victory over the Bears.
  5. After loss to Bucs, Bears stick with Mike Glennon at quarterback

    Bucs

    LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Bears coach John Fox said Monday the Bears will stick with Mike Glennon at quarterback after the former Buc struggled in Sunday's loss at Tampa Bay.