What’s making news in Minneapolis, reported by the Star Tribune’s team of city reporters. Send news tips to baird.helgeson@startribune.com.

Greens fee: $34 million, golf consultant says

Posted by: Updated: February 13, 2014 - 6:57 PM

The  seven Minneapolis public golf courses need $34 million in improvements to keep operating financially independently, a golf course consultant told the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Wednesday.

In a report that board President Liz Wielinski described as "brutally honest," consultant Jim Keegan presented a litany of shortcomings -- bald greens, fairways sinking into saturated soil, "pathetic" websites, demoralized (and expensive) staff, and even "dated and disgusting" clubhouses -- the courses need to address to attract golfers and avoid using money from the board's general fund.

Specific recommendations include investing heavily to make Gross National, already a top performer, even more attractive regionally. Gross, Wirth, Hiawatha and Meadowbook should get clubhouse renovations or even expansions. Also recommended were raising green fees at Meadowbrok, lowering them at Columbia, Ft. Snelling and Gross, and raising them for seniors, many of whom, Keegan said, can easily afford it. But Columbia, the report indicated, probably would not repay significant investment.

Parks superintendent Jayne Miller, who said the deteriorating golf courses were one of her first concerns when she arrived in 2010, said the board will need to determine within weeks what improvements it can make this year. She wants to board to develop a long-term plan over the next several months.

Possible options outlined by Keegan include hiring private operators or closing some courses. Privatization of public courses is a significant trend nationally, he said. Meadowbrook and Wirth require the most investment -- nearly $9 million each -- but Meadowbrook is one of two Keegan said have the greatest potential to generate income. The other is Gross.

Commissioner John Erwin noted it could be "a tough sell" for middle-income taxpayers to pay for improvements at Meadowbrook, for example, since it's in Edina, and since, as Keegan's report noted, golfers are typically affluent whites. Keegan said that reinforces the need for Minneapolis courses to be able to cover their own operating and capital costs.

Another interesting challenge noted in the report (page 148): Golf in an older person's game, but Minneapolis population is younger than that in other cities.

ADVERTISEMENT

NY Mets 3 FINAL
St. Louis 2
Pittsburgh 4 FINAL
Atlanta 2
Miami 7 FINAL
Washington 11
Detroit 4 FINAL
Philadelphia 4
Minnesota 6 FINAL
Baltimore 5
NY Yankees 7 FINAL
Houston 0
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL
Boston 3
Baltimore 4 FINAL
Toronto 2
Cincinnati 8 FINAL
LA Angels 6
Chicago Cubs 2 Top 8th Inning
Kansas City 0
Los Angeles 4 Bottom 6th Inning
San Francisco 6
Chicago WSox 4 FINAL
Cleveland 1
Milwaukee 0 Bottom 8th Inning
Oakland 6
Seattle 4 Top 8th Inning
San Diego 6
Texas 3 Bottom 6th Inning
Los Angeles 7
Colorado 8 Top 7th Inning
Arizona 6
Arizona 1 Bottom 8th Inning
Colorado 2
Houston 99 FINAL
Washington 91
LA Lakers 99 FINAL
Brooklyn 107
Minnesota 88 FINAL
New Orleans 110
Philadelphia 86 4th Qtr 3:26
Cleveland 87
Detroit 25 1st Qtr 1:36
Miami 23
LA Clippers 31 1st Qtr 0:49
Boston 20
Dallas 6:00 PM
Indiana
Memphis 6:00 PM
San Antonio
Oklahoma City 8:00 PM
Phoenix
Washington 5 FINAL
NY Rangers 2
Calgary 4 2nd Prd 2:26
Nashville 1
Boston 1 2nd Prd 5:22
Carolina 0
Detroit 4 2nd Prd 6:26
NY Islanders 5
Florida 1 2nd Prd 5:18
Ottawa 0
Anaheim 6:00 PM
New Jersey
Chicago 6:30 PM
Winnipeg
San Jose 6:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Michigan State 76 FINAL
Louisville 70
Gonzaga 38 2nd Half 11:34
Duke 43
Philadelphia 0 2nd Half 25:00
Chicago 1
Toronto FC 6:00 PM
Real Salt Lake
(7) Florida State 74 FINAL
(3) South Carolina 80
Villanova 70 FINAL
West Virginia 75
Michigan 69 FINAL
Southern Miss 60
Temple 55 2nd Half 6:03
Middle Tennessee 43
Siena 37 2nd Half 9:11
Louisiana 44
St Marys-CA 56 2nd Half 6:05
UCLA 71
(5) Baylor 7:30 PM
(2) Notre Dame
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT