NORWALK – Local officials gathered to celebrate the new Don Knabe Golf Center and Junior Academy during its grand opening on Monday morning.
At the start of the ceremony, Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn admitted to the 200-plus crowd that her predecessor fought for the renovation.
“I had nothing to do with this,” she said. “Don Knabe was the one who had the vision for this.”
Fondly, she stated, “It’s a freaking shrine to you [Knabe], but it’s about bringing affordable golf to communities.”
With the namesake introduced, former Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe spoke of his introduction to junior golf in Long Beach.
He thanked everyone involved in the project.
The center offers a 9-hole, par 3 golf course, a double deck driving range, a practice pitching green with a bunker, two practice putting greens, a club house, and a community room named after former Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District Superintendent Ginger Shattuck.
State-of-the-art lighting was installed, allowing golfers to use the facilities during the evening hours.
Cost of the renovation comes to the tune of $13 million, funded by a Prop A bond act.
The center was formerly known as the Norwalk Golf Center, but was renamed by the city of Norwalk in honor of Knabe.
After Knabe concluding thoughts, everyone made their way to the ceremonial ribbon cutting ceremony and “First putts.”
Several local politicians were present in the audience including the Norwalk City Council with Mayor Luigi Vernola addressing the crowd to offer his appreciation.
Mayor Vernola was introduced by Los Angeles County Director of Parks and Recreation, John Whicker.
Also in attendance were Norwalk La Mirada Unified School Board Vice President Chris Pflanzer and Board Member Darryl R. Adams.
Former Norwalk Councilman Marcel Rodarte and Little Lake School Board Member Dora Sandoval were also in the crowd.
After all had calmed down, visitors were treated to free golf lessons and half-priced buckets of balls for the all-enclosed driving range.
Instruction was given on the new practice wedging and bunker greens in one hour intervals.
The center is located at 13717 Shoemaker Ave. in Norwalk and is open from 6 a.m.-9:30 p.m.
By Raul Samaniego