Brooklyn Park lures golfers with several amenities (like wider holes)

  • Article by: JIM ADAMS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 20, 2013 - 6:44 AM

Brooklyn Park’s Brookland offers a looser golf game with bigger holes, fewer bunkers and relaxed rules.


Brookland Golf Park’s 8-inch holes are among its features designed to make golf more enjoyable and less frustrating for beginners, encouraging them to play more.

Photo: Richard Sennott •,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger


Ever had a tough time getting that little white ball into the 4-inch-wide hole on a golf green? Tempted to nudge your ball out of the rough?

If so, Brookland Golf Park wants you. The nine-hole novelty in Brooklyn Park offers relaxed rules, fewer sand traps, shorter holes and greens with two cups — one an inviting eight inches wide.

“Brookland makes golf less rules and more fun,” said course manager John Lindman. He said it’s a response to an effort led by the U.S. Professional Golf Association (PGA) to reverse the declining number of golfers. They call it Golf 2.0: making the sport simpler, faster and easier to entice more diverse, younger and time-conscious people of any ability level to try the game.

At Brookland, changes include cutting grass in the rough half an inch shorter, sodding over four of the eight sand traps, round fees of $13 (less for kids) and free loaner clubs and balls. The idea is to give kids and novices a better shot at succeeding.

“There’s nothing like hearing the ball drop into the cup,” veteran golfer Steve Burger said at Brookland one morning last week. “If you can get it in the hole more often, you play more.”

Burger and a handful of other golfers on the course said they’ve had no problems playing the regulation tees and holes alongside players using the closer tees and wider holes.

Lindman said the course, formerly Brookland Executive Nine, was renamed Brookland Golf Park to be less intimidating. It had a well-attended grand opening on May 2.

“Brooklyn Park is ahead of the game. We are applauding them,” said Ron Stepanek, player development director for the PGA of America in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. Many courses have added forward tees and family rates or free golf clinics, but Stepanek said he has heard of only one other club, in a southern state, with full time greens that have both wider and standard-size holes.

Tom Ryan, executive director of the Minnesota Golf Association, said he is aware of no courses like Brookland’s, although some add wide holes for special events or selected days.

Stopping a downswing

Golf has good reason to try something different. Brooklyn Park’s two courses, like most across the country, have seen a downward trend in revenues and rounds played for most of the past decade. The number of U.S. golfers peaked in 2003 at 30.6 million and dropped to 25.7 million in 2011, according to the National Golf Foundation.

Rounds played have declined from 518 million to 475 million in the past decade, and dropped five consecutive years through 2011.

Rounds played at Brookland dropped from 20,000 in 2003 to nearly 12,000 in 2012.

“Brooklyn Park is trying to introduce people to the game,” said Jon Oyanagi, city parks and recreation director. “In our … diverse community, we want to make sure everybody has opportunities and access to the fun game of golf.”

Most of the golf park promotion and changes were covered by TaylorMade Golf, a California golf products company, Lindman said. To speed up the game, TaylorMade tee-off areas are set forward more than halfway down the fairways. If you get stuck in a sand trap, just toss your ball onto the green, no penalty, Lindman said.

He noted that playing a round from TaylorMade tees takes about an hour, compared with nearly two hours when playing standard course and rules. Costs range from pay-your-age for kids up to 11, $11 for ages 11 to 17 and $13 for adults.

The back of Brookland’s score card cites few rules — no club tossing or swearing — and offers mostly encouraging comments, such as:

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Tennessee 7 2nd Qtr 9:27
Jacksonville 0
Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
San Diego 12/20/14 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
New York 45 3rd Qtr
Chicago 52
New Orleans 25 2nd Qtr 10:35
Houston 25
Milwaukee 9:00 PM
Oklahoma City 9:30 PM
Golden State
Florida 1 3rd Prd 11:25
Philadelphia 1
Colorado 0 3rd Prd 9:05
Pittsburgh 0
Toronto 1 3rd Prd 12:00
Carolina 2
Washington 3 3rd Prd 12:47
Columbus 3
Anaheim 1 2nd Prd 15:47
Montreal 0
St. Louis 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Edmonton 9:30 PM
San Jose
St Thomas (TX) 61 FINAL
Rice 72
Stony Brook 59 FINAL
Canisius 60
Temple 82 FINAL
Delaware 62
Long Island 69
Lehigh 65 FINAL
Quinnipiac 80
South Alabama 54 FINAL
Richmond 65
Seton Hall 89 FINAL
South Florida 69
Ga Southern 76 FINAL
Stetson 67
Yale 57 FINAL
Vermont 56
Cleveland State 54 FINAL
Virginia 70
Wright State 69 FINAL
Western Carolina 56
Nicholls 52 2nd Half 3:11
Louisiana Tech 74
Morgan State 42 2nd Half 4:22
Rider 55
Idaho State 60 2nd Half 0:59
South Dakota St 58
Oakland City 30 2nd Half 14:05
Austin Peay 49
Eureka 29 2nd Half 15:09
Bradley 53
Appalachian St 39 2nd Half 16:50
Charlotte 37
Connecticut 25 2nd Half
Duke 30
Southern Miss 16 2nd Half
Jackson State 38
Coastal Carolina 48 2nd Half 14:42
Ole Miss 38
Montana State 25 1st Half 3:16
South Dakota 25
LSU 5 1st Half 15:22
UAB 14
Ohio 9 1st Half 15:13
Evansville 8
CS-Dominguez 9:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
Walla Walla 9:00 PM
DePaul 9:00 PM
Oregon State
Nevada 9:00 PM
Portland State 9:00 PM
San Francisco
CS-Bakersfield 9:05 PM
Utah State
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 12/20/14 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 12/20/14 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Niagara 76 FINAL
Cleveland State 58
High Point 59 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 81
Towson 64 FINAL
Wake Forest 74
Presbyterian 50 FINAL
Charlotte 66
Chicago State 62 FINAL
Bradley 59
Northwestern Coll 58 FINAL
Drake 102
Vanderbilt 67 FINAL
Marquette 80
Temple 78 FINAL
Howard 48
Southern Miss 66 FINAL
Ole Miss 68
Rider 67
Miami-Florida 74 FINAL
St Mary-KS 51 FINAL
South Dakota 115
William & Mary 71 FINAL
Wofford 51
Troy 82 FINAL
Evansville 94
Loyola Marymount 54 FINAL
USC 96
St Francis-PA 52 FINAL
Duquesne 92
Indiana-Southeast 45 FINAL
Delaware State 52 FINAL
Detroit 74
Tenn Temple 48 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 68
West Virginia St 58 FINAL
Radford 52
Fairfield 47 FINAL
Seton Hall 79
Dartmouth 44 FINAL
New Hampshire 60
Ball State 47 FINAL
Pittsburgh 59
Jacksonville 61 FINAL
Tennessee St 64
Trine 45 FINAL
Western Mich 81
Tenn Tech 48 2nd Half 1:09
Lipscomb 67
Samford 16 1st Half 1:29
Tulane 25
New Orleans 21 2nd Half 20:00
Tulsa 35
Incarnate Word 26 2nd Half
TX-Pan American 28
Ark-Little Rock 15 2nd Half 20:00
South Dakota St 29
CS-Northridge 29 1st Half 3:15
Northern Ariz 36
Santa Clara 8 1st Half 15:00
Oregon 9
(19) Oklahoma St 4 1st Half 17:14
Weber State 3
Washington 8 1st Half 15:40
San Diego State 5
Cal Poly 6 1st Half 15:23
New Mexico 5
(10) Louisville 8 1st Half 17:08
Grand Canyon 2


question of the day

Poll: Who is your favorite pro sports coach in the Twin Cities?

Weekly Question





Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters