Meadowbrook, Hiawatha golf courses now giant water hazards

  • Article by: LIZ SAWYER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 10, 2014 - 5:54 AM

Flooding means the Meadowbrook and Hiawatha golf courses might close for year.

hide

Joseph Schmerler, of the Meadowbrook Golf Course grounds crew, cut the lawn around the water-soaked course, which is closed until further notice.

Photo: Bruce Bisping • bbisping@startribune.com,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Rowboats have replaced golf carts, greens are submerged and three holes have formed into one giant lake at Meadowbrook Golf Course, one of two Minneapolis public golf courses the city might be forced to close for the season.

It could cost the city nearly $1 million in revenue if Meadowbrook and Hiawatha, two of its most popular golf courses, have to stop operations.

The two were closed to the public in mid-June after relentless rain caused Minnehaha Creek to spill onto fairways, rendering them unplayable. Dozens of indoor workers were laid off and golfers were forced to tee off elsewhere.

“The whole place looks like a lake,” said Paul Schmidt, the lone attendant at Meadowbrook, as he surveyed the waterlogged course Wednesday. “It’s devastating.”

The city rented pumps and bought sandbags to limit the damage, but the greens were too wet for play.

Hiawatha was able to pump out most of its standing water, but Meadowbrook wasn’t so lucky. Fifteen of the course’s 18 holes are submerged — the worst under 8 to 10 feet of water — and maintenance workers need rowboats to reach certain parts of the course. Three holes are now connected in one giant body of water, filled with algae.

And the condition is not expected to change soon.

“We’re kind of at the mercy of Mother Nature right now,” said Sara Ackmann, who heads golf, ice and winter programs at the Park and Recreation Board. “It’s really timing and luck at this point.”

During the week, Minneapolis loses between $5,000 and $7,000 each day a golf course is closed. On the weekend, that figure ranges from $12,000 to $15,000 per day, Ackmann said. If the city were to close both courses for the rest of the year, the overall revenue loss could reach $900,000.

Dead and dying turf

But repairing the damage will be costly as well.

Officials from the University of Minnesota assessed Hiawatha’s course and ultimately recommended the Park Board simply kill the fairway and start over, Ackmann said. Workers would have to reseed all of the damaged greens by September in order to have a good shot at making that plan work, she said.

Despite the lack of business, maintenance crews at both courses are on duty because the turf that’s unscathed still requires care.

“If we were to just let everybody go and just sit back and wait, we would lose the entire golf course,” Ackmann said. “So, it is imperative that we continue to maintain what we have as if we were open.”

The city has moved Hiawatha and Meadowbrook leagues to the remaining four Park Board courses. Season passes are also honored within the Park Board system.

One silver lining, Ackmann said, is that three of the city’s courses are in the best condition in years. Columbia, Gross National and Theodore Wirth are likely doing so well because they’re at higher elevations with different soil compositions than Hiawatha and Meadowbrook.

At Hiawatha, only two holes remain surrounded by water. “Now we’re just left with a lot of dead turf,” said general manager Dan Stoneburg.

The course is still closed, but the driving range is back up and running, Stoneburg said.

  • related content

  • Flooding prompts Dayton to seek disaster declaration

    Wednesday July 9, 2014

    Gov. Mark Dayton requested Wednesday that President Obama declare a major disaster in Minnesota from heavy rain and flooding last...

  • After land slide, portion of West River Parkway closed

    Wednesday July 9, 2014

    A portion of West River Parkway that was closed three weeks ago due to a massive land slide looks like it will be shut down indefinitely.

  • Paul Schmidt

  • Much of Meadowbrook Golf Course is flooded, weeks after storms and heavy rains hit the area.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Tampa Bay - WP: J. McGee 6 FINAL
Toronto - LP: B. Morrow 5
Cleveland - LP: B. Shaw 4 FINAL
Detroit - WP: P. Coke 6
Washington - WP: J. Zimmermann 3 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: J. Niese 0
Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Turner 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: E. Volquez 7
Miami - WP: A. DeSclafani 5 FINAL
Philadelphia - LP: J. Papelbon 4
Cincinnati - LP: M. Leake 2 FINAL
Milwaukee - WP: M. Garza 9
Boston - WP: J. Kelly 8 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Vargas 4
Minnesota - WP: T. May 6 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: H. Noesi 4
Colorado - LP: J. Lyles 1 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: M. Gonzales 4
Atlanta - LP: M. Minor 3 FINAL
Texas - WP: C. Lewis 10
Houston - WP: D. Keuchel 6 FINAL
LA Angels - LP: H. Santiago 1
Los Angeles - WP: C. Kershaw 4 FINAL
San Francisco - LP: Y. Petit 2
San Diego - LP: O. Despaigne 6 FINAL
Arizona - WP: Z. Spruill 8
Oakland - WP: J. Lester 4 FINAL
Seattle - LP: C. Young 0
NY Yankees - LP: D. Robertson 2 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: D. O`Day 3
Miami 10 FINAL
Buffalo 29
Jacksonville 10 FINAL
Washington 41
Dallas 26 FINAL
Tennessee 10
Arizona 25 FINAL
NY Giants 14
New England 30 FINAL
Minnesota 7
New Orleans 24 FINAL
Cleveland 26
Atlanta 10 FINAL
Cincinnati 24
Detroit 7 FINAL
Carolina 24
St. Louis 19 FINAL
Tampa Bay 17
Seattle 21 FINAL
San Diego 30
NY Jets 24 FINAL
Green Bay 31
Kansas City 17 FINAL
Denver 24
Houston 30 FINAL
Oakland 14
Chicago 28 FINAL
San Francisco 20
Philadelphia 7:30 PM
Indianapolis
Tampa Bay 9/18/14 7:25 PM
Atlanta
Boise State 38 FINAL
Connecticut 21
Indiana 42 FINAL
Bowling Green 45
Ga Southern 38 FINAL
Georgia Tech 42
Syracuse 40 FINAL
Central Mich 3
UCF 10 FINAL
(18) Missouri 38
Massachusetts 31 FINAL
Vanderbilt 34
Ohio U 14 FINAL
Marshall 44
West Virginia 40 FINAL
Maryland 37
Kent State 0 FINAL
(23) Ohio State 66
Pittsburgh 42 FINAL
FIU 25
East Carolina 28 FINAL
Virginia Tech 21
Louisville 21 FINAL
Virginia 23
Wyoming 14 FINAL
(2) Oregon 48
Air Force 48 FINAL
Georgia State 38
(13) Georgia 35 FINAL
(14) So Carolina 38
Arkansas 49 FINAL
Texas Tech 28
Iowa State 20 FINAL
Iowa 17
Miami-Ohio 10 FINAL
Michigan 34
Kansas 3 FINAL
Duke 41
NC State 49 FINAL
So Florida 17
Arkansas State 20 FINAL
Miami-Florida 41
Miss State 35 FINAL
South Alabama 3
Louisiana 15 FINAL
(10) Ole Miss 56
Minnesota 7 FINAL
TCU 30
Illinois 19 FINAL
Washington 44
Army 0 FINAL
(16) Stanford 35
Western Mich 45 FINAL
Idaho 33
Eastern Mich 3 FINAL
Old Dominion 17
Southern Miss 12 FINAL
(3) Alabama 52
Northern Ill 48 FINAL
UNLV 34
Tulsa 21 FINAL
Fla Atlantic 50
ULM 0 FINAL
(8) LSU 31
Wake Forest 24 FINAL
Utah State 36
Western Ky 47 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 50
TX-San Antonio 13 FINAL
(25) Oklahoma State 43
Purdue 14 FINAL
(9) Notre Dame 30
Kentucky 30 FINAL
Florida 36
New Mexico St 24 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 42
Tennessee 10 FINAL
(4) Oklahoma 34
(17) USC 31 FINAL
Boston College 37
Navy 35 FINAL
Texas State 21
(12) UCLA 20 FINAL
Texas 17
Penn State 13 FINAL
Rutgers 10
Rice 10 FINAL
(6) Texas A&M 38
(15) Arizona State 38 FINAL
Colorado 24
(24) Nebraska 55 FINAL
Fresno State 19
Nevada 28 FINAL
Arizona 35
(5) Auburn 9/18/14 6:30 PM
(20) Kansas State
Connecticut 9/19/14 7:00 PM
So Florida
Old Dominion 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Syracuse
Tulane 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Duke
Hawaii 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 9/20/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 9/20/14 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 9/20/14 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 9/20/14 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 9/20/14 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 9/20/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 9/20/14 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 9/20/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9/20/14 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Los Angeles 1 FINAL
San Jose 1
Montreal 16 FINAL
Edmonton 33
Toronto 33 FINAL
Calgary 40
Winnipeg 9 FINAL
Brt Columbia 26
Saskatchewan 3 FINAL
Hamilton 28

ADVERTISEMENT

Advertisement
Golden Gavel by Star Tribune

Countdown to great deals

Bid Sept. 21-29

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Grade the Vikings offense

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

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

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close