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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Ready for the long drive

Friday, September 2, 2011

A new place to drive. Jacob Fair takes advantage of one of Monett's newest businesses, the Field of Dreams Driving Range. [Times Photo by Jared Lankford]
Business success is all about finding a niche and filling a void. It was with that mindset that Lance and Emily Mettlach and Bob Heim set out to open a business that would benefit Monettans and put idle land to use.

Heim owned a strip of property at the corner of Chapell and Cleveland that for years had only been used to raise cattle and cut hay. The challenge was to find a way to incorporate the land into a business, when the land in question is located in a flood plain.

"Our choices were very limited," said Lance. "But after doing our due diligence and researching our options, one choice made perfect sense."

The "choice," which was made almost two years ago, became a reality when the Field of Dreams Driving Range opened last month at 2306 E. Cleveland.

"We have put a lot of work into getting this business off the ground," said Heim. "We tried to do as much as possible ourselves. We did a lot of land clearing and cleaning out fence rows. We have definitely learned a lot along the way."

While the Pro Shop is still a couple of weeks away from being completed, golfers can still stop by and work on perfecting their swing.

"We felt a driving range would be a perfect complement to the area amenities," said Lance. "You don't have to be an avid golfer to enjoy hitting a few drives. We really do feel that this range can be beneficial to the area."

The Field of Dreams Driving Range is open year round, weather permitting, of course. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to dusk Monday through Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

The range offers a small bucket of balls for $5, which contains around 40 balls, a medium bucket for $7, which is approximately 70 balls and a large bucket for $9, which includes approximinatley 110 range balls.

Once completed, the Pro Shop will actually house two businesses. The Mettlachs also own Upper Deck Expressions, a screen printing and embroidery business, which will be located on the top floor.

"We will have a lightly stocked Pro Shop," said Emily. "Hats, gloves, towels and polo shirts. We tried to keep it very simple and basic."

One of the first area golfers to take advantage of the driving range was Monett High School senior Jacob Fair.

"I like it, I like it a lot," said Fair. "Having a driving range in town means you can still get practice swings in during times that the golf course is closed or unplayable. If I am struggling to hit one particular club, I know I have a place to go where I fix the problem."

Field of Dreams is planning a grand opening celebration later on this year.

For more information, check out the Field of Dreams Golf Range & Upper Deck Expressions Facebook page

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