The Back Nine Celebrates Grand Opening With Ribbon Cutting
by James Coulter
How would you like to play a round of golf, rain or shine, without having to tread an entire golf course? Even better, how would you like to enjoy a cold glass of beer or a hot meal afterward without having to go to a country club? You can do all of that and more at the newest eatery in Lakeland.
The Back Nine in Lakeland offers three simulators that allow guests to play a virtual round of golf, as well as other games and sports, including soccer, hockey, football, or even carnival games. Golf tournaments and leagues will also be offered.
“At 3,500 square feet and boasting 3 Full Swing Golf simulators, we are excited to be Lakeland’s first premier golf center,” their website states. “Our simulators will allow new and experienced golfers of all ages access to 80+ courses including Pebble Beach and TPC Sawgrass.”
After expending energy on the virtual golf course, players and other guests can also enjoy “upscale bar food,” including hamburgers, sandwiches, wings, and appetizers like Cuban eggrolls. Their talented chef offers different specials every week, so customers can expect something new every time they drop by, explained owner Jenna Smith.
Jenna and her husband, Ethan, both work as teachers, teaching fourth grade at Churchill Elementary. Both of them wanted to start their own business, preferably an eatery. Her husband loved golf, so the idea for a virtual golf experience seemed an exciting endeavor for them, even though she’s not a golfer, she said.
“We grew up in North Lakeland, and we wanted to create something fun for families to do,” she said. “[We] have been working on this concept for five years. This has been a long time in the making. We wanted to bring something to Lakeland that people can come in and spend time with their family and enjoy some good food.”
Jenna and Ethan officially dedicated their new establishment on Tuesday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony hosted by the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce. Corey Skeetes, Chamber President and CEO, expressed his love of the place and his willingness to visit with his family.
“I think it is an amazing addition to the north side of Lakeland,” he said. “I will be bringing my family here. Any opportunity to mix great food with recreation with a golf simulator, I think it is a wonderful thing for families.”
Jenna wanted to provide a venue where residents and their families could enjoy quality time together. “We want people to get off their phones and spend time with their families and enjoy themselves,” she said. “It gets people active, it gets people moving, [and] it gets people having a good time.”
Not only is she hopeful that The Back Nine will be successful, but that it will succeed to the point of spawning additional venues in other cities. She hopes that enough people give it a chance that other people in different cities will want something similar for their hometown.
“We would love to open more Back Nines,” she said. “We have the idea and the concept and our team. Our employees are great, our chef is awesome, our kitchen staff is awesome, and we would like to grow more and give back to our community more.”
The Back Nine is located at 7331 US Hwy 98 N, Lakeland, FL 33809. For more information, visit their website at: https://www.thebackninelakeland.com/