DULUTH – It took nearly three years of legal wrangling for the golf course on the corner of Pike Lake to change hands.
When it finally did, in March, the new owners of the Pike Lake Golf and Beach Club didn’t waste a single day to start remodeling the clubhouse to reopen in time for this year’s golf season. It will be the first time since 2016.
“The three year wait is almost over!” the club announced on Facebook.
The nine-hole course and the beach that for decades beckoned local residents should open in mid-May.
Gov. Tim Walz will soon allow golf courses to open with social-distancing restrictions.
Roger and Diane Anderson bought the property from AAA, the national auto club, which had owned it since 1931.
The sale, originally proposed in 2017, was challenged by members of the Pike Lake Advisory Committee. They took issue with plans for housing on the site and sued over a 1982 agreement that required AAA to “continue to own and operate … the Pike Lake golf course and related facilities,” according to court filings.
A district judge ruled that the agreement had lapsed, and the Court of Appeals agreed. The state Supreme Court in November declined to further review the case, settling the matter and clearing the way for the sale.
Mark Carlson, who will oversee the clubhouse, course and beach operations, wrote on Facebook the course “has served as an excellent family recreational facility in the Pike Lake area for many years.”
“We hope to keep that tradition going and improve and expand on it in the future. The PLG&BC will be an important part of the community providing golf, beach and family recreation combined with fun social and business outings,” Carlson wrote. “The Andersons have an exciting long term vision that includes residential housing and additional amenities.”
The owners did not return messages seeking comment Thursday.
Larry Modean, president of the Pike Lake Area Association, said residents are generally glad to see the course and beach reopening, removing years of uncertainty around the site.
“Our association wanted to support someone who would maintain the integrity of the place, and that’s basically what has happened,” he said. “I think everybody in this whole area has a story about the beach up there.”
A new bar and grill is in the works. Beach access will cost $3 per person and include a soda, coffee or bottled water.