Golf center building course for veterans, people with disabilities

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JEFFERSON CITY - The Turkey Creek Golf Center is close to completing a new course that will be accessible for people with disabilities.

About three years ago, Missouri Golf Association Director Scott Hovis and owner of Turkey Creek Danny Baumgartner decided to build a new 20-acre, 9-hole, par 3 course to benefit people with disabilities and veterans. 

"Hopefully this is going to give them the opportunity to still play an athletic sport that maybe they wouldn't have the chance to play," Baumgartner said. 

What makes this course unique is the grass the designers will be using on the greens and tee boxes. 

"It's a synthetic turf. First time I've ever been involved with it. I know there's a lot of sand that goes on it. They work it in a lot, and it starts out at an inch and a quarter," he said.

This synthetic turf will allow wheelchairs, handicap supports and carts on the greens and tee boxes. There will be other tee boxes with the normal short cut grass, but all the greens will have the synthetic turf. 

Baumgartner expects the course to be finished in October, but due to the weather conditions, it won't be open for a few more months. 

"We're going to keep it closed until the spring, and then we're probably going to open it up with a tournament and let people come out and play right then," he said. 

This course will offer veterans and children 12 and under to play for free. One veteran was very gracious of that. 

"It's a good for everyone to get out in the fresh air and sunshine, get a little exercise and just have a good time goofing off and just have a little fun," said Marine veteran Kenny Kleffner.

Kleffner said it might even help his golf game a little bit. 

"It might. It ain't going to hurt it none," he said. 

While the course will benefit people with disabilities and veterans, Baumgartner wants everyone to feel free to play on the course. 

"It's basically an opportunity for everyone to use. People that aren't disabled can improve their short game," he said. 

To complete the whole project, Baumgarter said it will cost close to $1.5 million.