Ace Golf in Riverview has been in business for nearly 20 years.
An Osprey Observer newspaper from 20 years ago featuring a story about Ace Golf expanding onto Boyette Road in Riverview.

Twenty years ago, the Osprey Observer published a front-page story in our June 2002 FishHawk edition about Ace Golf’s owners, husband and wife Bill Place and Su Lee, expanding onto Boyette Road in Riverview. The story reported that the “plan would bring a driving range, batting cages, mini golf and even a picnic barn for parties to an 18-arce parcel” at the location, and Ace Golf Range in Riverview has grown much throughout the years.

And ever since the Brandon location closed, Ace Golf in Riverview has gotten busier. This increase in business has been a continuing trend, even during the COVID-19 pandemic, as the golf range was one of the few places where people could feel safe while outside having fun.

Along with still hosting parties in the barn, it’s become more active in lessons and camps, like junior golf camps every summer, and it offers kids a Free Bucket or Mini Golf program throughout the summer. Daycare groups are known for visiting often in the summer and during the holidays. Plus, there are adult group classes for learning golf, a driving range, batting cages, mini golf and a pro shop.

Not only is there much fun to be had, but Ace Golf in Riverview also prides itself on being a very clean and well-maintained facility. As proof of that, it has won the Golf Range Association of America’s award for Top 50 Stand-Alone Facilities every year since opening, which Place credits partly to having things that are nicer than you’d usually find at other golf ranges, like rolling canopies and over 1 acre of Celebration Bermuda grass.

Recently, the owners received an offer from a builder that could potentially lead to Ace Golf in Riverview closing, and rezoning efforts began.

“Some people started posting ‘Oh, they’re closed,’ or ‘They’re closing this month,’ and I had no idea where people got this information, but it was completely wrong. There will be more than adequate notice if that does come about,” said Place, who added that Ace Golf will continue operating normally as well as keep upgrading and improving things.

Rezoning has been delayed, and though it might continue later, the location isn’t closing for at least a year. In fact, it’s possible that Ace Golf will remain open for years to come, as the owners are still considering the offer, and whether the rezoning will continue depends on many other factors.

Regardless, Place wants to celebrate Ace Golf in Riverview’s 20th anniversary next year, as it opened in 2003, so the community can look forward to joining in. The specific time and type of celebration are to be decided later.

“What’s kind of a funny thing about the location, when we first went in there, we actually had a lot of resident opposition to us building the golf range there, and we finally did get the approval to build, and within six months some of the same residents that opposed had requested a crosswalk to be established—a signalized crosswalk to the neighborhood across the street—and they were successful in getting that put in. Now, flash-forward to where this builder has proposed putting in homes, we’re finding some people are actually expressing opposition to us leaving now,” said Place. “I’ve seen a big outpouring from a number of people in the community that they’ve really enjoyed having the recreation.”

There’s even a woman who told Place that she brings her father to Ace Golf because he has dementia and playing miniature golf is something they can enjoy together often. After many years since opening, Ace Golf in Riverview has become a place beloved by the community.

“It’s been a great 20 years so far, and we appreciate all the support that people have shown,” said Place.

Ace Golf in Riverview is located at 12910 Boyette Rd. Its hours are Sunday through Thursday, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. (closes at 8 p.m. on Monday); Friday, 9 a.m.-10 p.m.; and Saturday, 8 a.m.-10 p.m.

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Taylor Wells
Taylor Wells is a relatively recently hired news reporter for the Osprey Observer, having been with the paper only since October 8, 2018. Aside from writing articles, he helps edit and upload them to the Osprey Observer site, and is always available to help other staff members in his spare time. He graduated from Saint Leo University with a bachelor’s degree in professional writing and lives in Valrico.