Dick and Jacob Mast, father and son, lead revival efforts at Poplar Grove Golf Club

AMHERST COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) -- On an overcast Tuesday at the driving range of Poplar Grove, Dick Mast and his son, Jacob, talked about the game they both were raised on.

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"So with the person who's struggling with that slice, you're telling me that it's mostly in their setup?" Jacob asks his father.

"Mostly in their setup, they have to face their fears and aim where they know most of their balls go: to the right," replied Dick.

Conversations like this one prove there's no lack of expertise at Poplar Grove Golf Club.

Tucked away in Amherst County, the course itself was the final design of Hall of Famer Sam Snead, and now sits under the watchful eye of the Masts.

"Well, officially I'm the head professional, so being his boss is really cool," said Jacob.

With Dick directing instruction under him, the father-son duo has put an emphasis on returning the course to its former reputation.

"The feel at Poplar Grove was, 'Oh, it's a shame what happened to the course,' Jacob Mast said. "It's a great course. I've never heard one person say they didn't like the layout of the golf course, the variety, the challenge. But the conditions had waned. It was in limbo, is how I like to describe it. It wasn't that they were letting the golf course go entirely, they just kind of were maintaining and minimizing the damage."

So with the blessing of ownership, the first phase of a $3 million renovation project was recently completed.

When it's all said and done, the Masts say they want the grounds to offer more of a complete experience, rather than just a round of golf.

"It's hard to get to know someone if you're just playing golf, but after a round of golf, you might want to go in and have a beverage or maybe play a game of cards or watch a little golf on TV or watch your local sports team," Jacob said.

Besides upgrading the course itself, the club upgraded its fleet of golf carts and is currently renovating its historic manor house to include a new restaurant and leisure spaces.

"We're looking forward to building this place up to the way it should be, both in conditioning and championship golf course, bring tournaments in," Dick Mast said. "Hopefully bring some USGA events here, junior tournaments, even we're talking about trying to get a senior event here."

It's an ambitious project, led by a family with golf in its blood.

And while Jacob might be the boss these days, Dad still reminds him he has a lesson or two to give.

"I just want to remind the folks that I've taught him everything he knows, but not everything I know," joked Dick.

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