BY: TONY L. STARKS, photos by Don Sweeney
Renovations to the range and a new clubhouse are driving activity and revenue to the Northern Virginia facility
Since opening in 1970, Burke Lake Golf Center has provided residents of Northern Virginia with a space to keep their golf game sharp – weather permitting. Winters in that part of the country can be unpredictable. Look no further than the triple dose of nor’easters they’ve gotten in the last couple of months alone if you’re looking for an example.
“We had to close for days, sometimes weeks at a time if there was any kind of precipitation or winter weather,” says Lewis Musolf, Manager of the Fairfax County Park Authority facility. “We had to cancel lessons because of inclement weather. The amount of revenue it was costing us became too much to bear.” Musolf notes the decision to renovate the entire property, utilizing voter-approved Park Bonds, was easy. “This way we could have yearround activity,” he adds.
Burke Lake shutdown on October 3, 2016, and by spring of the following year reopened with a new double-decker range. The bottom level is completely covered and every bay is heated for winter practice. The upper deck, while mostly open to the rays of the sun, also has a covered area with seating for guests or larger groups – a setup similar to the nearby Topgolf facility in Alexandria. Golfers can also choose from six uncovered ADA accessible hitting stations adjacent to the lower level. Additional lighting fixtures were added so that the facility can stay open later into the evening.
Beyond the upgrades to the range, which also included an enhanced short game area, a brand new clubhouse was constructed. They have since expanded their food services and golf shop offerings to fully maximize revenue in each phase of the operation.
“We’ll never have to close or cancel a lesson because of weather again,” says Musolf. “We’ve made improvements to our facilities, offering our golfers top-notch practice conditions for any time of year. At the same time, we’ve truly expanded our revenue streams and created more security for our business – so that Burke Lake Golf Center could be here for another 50 years.”
Burke Lake Golf Center is owned and operated by the Fairfax County Park Authority.