Rochester community provides feedback to park board on local golf courses – ABC 6 News

(ABC 6 News) – The fate of the Soldiers Field golf course in Rochester has been in the news for months now.

The park master plan was presented to the city council with three options for the golf course. The first option would retain all 18 holes, the second option would remove nine holes, and the last would remove all 18 holes.

Avid golfers or not, the park board heard from dozens of Rochester residents at the Mayo Civic Center in a public hearing Tuesday night. Most expressed their feelings about the potential changes to Rochester’s four golf courses, primarily the Soldiers Field golf course.

“I would like to see the four courses in the city kept as they are now because they all have unique aspects,” said a Rochester resident.

Some residents even said they wouldn’t mind raising season pass prices just to keep all four courses running. These include Northern Hills, Eastwood, Soldiers Field and Hadley Creek.

“You know, our revenue expenditures are a big factor in the decision making,” said Paul Widman, director of Rochester Park and Recreation.

The potential closure of the Soldiers Field golf course would not only impact that course and the people who play there. Area high school golf programs use local courses every day, which limits the number of courses available to other teams and the public.

“At Eastwood, the shooting and practice greens are filled with both Mayo girls, boys, Century boys and the public. Adding another team to the lineup would take away our practice time and our ability to practice due to the workload,” said Avery Meyer, captain of the Mayo High School women’s golf team. Meyer is also a coach for The First Tee Rochester at Hadley Creek, which she was part of when she was younger. She said that’s when she learned to play golf and learned many life lessons.

Golf in Rochester has brought strangers together. From longtime residents of the Mediterranean city to visitors to the Mayo Clinic.

“When I came here, I didn’t know anyone 25 years ago. When I went to Eastwood I was kissed in the men’s club…. I hear my story over and over,” said a community member.

Some say it’s more than just a game, it’s a sense of belonging.

“It really includes you in the community, includes you in the city, and that’s a value that I don’t know that we can capture with just numbers or dollar signs or that sort of thing,” he said. declared.

And for others, it’s a family tradition.

“So we have four generations of municipal golf in Rochester with our own family, mostly in Eastwood,” another Rochester resident said.

Others mentioned that replacing the four courses in Rochester gives every corner of the city and its residents a place to go and pay a round and feel welcome.

“Golf is open to everyone and that includes the underrepresented.”

Next steps for the city and park council include another inquest which will take place this month and next. The park board will review the survey results and recommend them to city council at the Nov. 21 study session.

Community members are also invited to attend in-person engagement opportunities at one of the city’s four golf courses. These are open house type events that will allow residents to ask questions and provide their input on designated issues. Here are those dates:

  • September 21 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at Northern Hills Golf Course (4721 W Circle Drive)
  • September 22 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Eastwood Golf Course (3505 Eastwood Road SE)
  • September 23 from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. at Soldiers Field Memorial Golf Course (244 Soldiers Field Drive SE)
  • September 28 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Hadley Creek Golf Course (2390 Hadley Hills Drive NE)

Michael C. Ford