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Drawing new users
Apple Valley hopes the payback from its $3 million clubhouse becomes evident this year, according to Jim Zinck, manager at Valleywood. The new facility opened late in 2012, and one-time expenditures to furnish it offset revenues in 2013, he said.
The clubhouse has begun producing revenue from offseason events such as concerts, wine club meetings and private parties, including weddings. During golf season it can host larger tournament banquets.
“We see benefits in both directions — introducing ourselves to new people to come out and play and from golfers booking the clubhouse for other parties,” Zinck said.
Valleywood has been one of the municipal courses benefiting from the demise of some privately owned courses that have been bought up and turned into housing developments. Its junior league expanded last year to accommodate young golfers who had played at Parkview Golf Course in Eagan after it was sold to a large national homebuilder. A church league that had played at Parkview recently signed up to play at Valleywood this year.
Zinck has mixed feelings about the course closings. He believes they will correct the oversupply on the market but says many of those that are closing, like Parkview, are less-challenging courses that appeal to beginners.
“These are the courses that golf as a sport and an industry needs,” Zinck said. “They are the breeding grounds for new golfers.”
Susan Feyder • 952-746-3282 Meghan Holden, a University of Minnesota student on assignment for the Star Tribune, contributed to this report.