- December 9, 2014
Although Tiger Woods wasn't in attendance, PopStroke held a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday morning on the east side of the University Town Center Mall in Sarasota.
Woods forged a partnership in 2019 with his TGR design team, Tiger Woods Ventures and the PopStroke Entertainment Group. That partnership hopes to open its third PopStroke location (Ft. Myers and Port St. Lucie are the others) as early as January, 2022.
It's also the first entertainment piece of Benderson Development's mixed-use plan for the East District at UTC, which eventually will include office space, hotels, restaurants and multifamily housing.
PopStroke is a technology-infused golf and entertainment concept featuring professionally designed putting greens, along with food and beverage and other activities, such as cornhole and Foosball. A two-story restaurant is being constructed alongside the two 18-hole, synthetic-green, putting courses. The venue will be built on the shore of a small lake on the north end of Nathan Benderson Park and will have views of the incoming Mote Science and Education Aquarium and the finish tower.
"UTC is the epicenter of the area and PopStroke will draw every single age group," said PopStroke founder Greg Bartoli. "This is the perfect environment. We truly are offering something that will be as much fun for a 5-year-old as it will be for a 75-year-old."
Mark Stevens, the president of Stevens Construction, said in a perfect world, construction could be complete by Jan. 1, 2022, but he expects February or March to be more likely target dates for completion. Although the groundbreaking was held Wednesday, much of the below-the-ground work on the site has been done. A slab for the building will be poured in the next few weeks and then the project will go vertical.
Stevens said the PopStroke is another example of Woods' impact on golf and his desire to bring golf to the masses.
“Our goal has always been to design courses that bring people together and are fun for golfers of all abilities and ages,” Woods says in a quote on PopStroke's website. “Some of my happiest memories are spending time with my pops on the golf course having putting contests."