By Amir Vera and Tiara Frazier, The Progress-Index
PETERSBURG — Dogwood Trace Golf Course unveiled its newest renovation on Wednesday- a long-awaited clubhouse.
The addition, known as the Russell Bland Clubhouse, includes a private dining room and a pavilion. The clubhouse was named after Russell Bland, whose contributions to youth sports and golf mentoring have been recognized throughout Petersburg.
“This is one the biggest events of my life,” Bland said. “I am very appreciative for the people that made this possible.”
Jamie Fagan, Dogwood Trace general manager, said he wanted to add this new amenity to the golf course because it would add to the beauty of the area and would make Petersburg a place that is attractive to live, work and play. The clubhouse cost roughly $700,000 to build.
“We became a complete facility. We now have dining options for not only our golfers, but for the citizens of Petersburg,” Fagan said.
Two separate spaces were created to ensure guests get the full experience of the facility’s purpose. One space is more geared toward golf. The other side, Fagan said, is dedicated to showing African American history in Petersburg. Fagan said the clubhouse has a commitment to being a facility that brings history to life. He also said he wanted this side to have nothing to do with golf, where business community of the city could dine and have meetings.
“We wanted to create a space where the citizens of Petersburg felt comfortable coming,” Fagan said. “We wanted to educate people who play golf and to help the people of Petersburg bring their friends and say ‘this is who we are.’”
Showing visitors and citizens Petersburg’s identity is exactly what Bland has been doing at Dogwood Trace since its inception in 2007 and in the city of Petersburg for over 50 years. City Manager William E. Johnson said he couldn’t think of a better person to name the clubhouse after.
“When it comes to sports and caring about our kids, Mr. Russell has acted as coach, referee and is involved in a youth mentoring program,” Johnson said. “He has been a true beacon in the community.”
Construction for the Russell Bland Clubhouse began in January 2015. Groundbreaking for the project took place February 2015. It was during the groundbreaking that Bland found out the facility was being named after him.
“I enjoy working with kids, and just giving them the opportunity to be exposed to golf is a wonderful thing,” Bland said. “It puts joy in my heart.”