Flooding Closes 2 Mpls. Golf Courses

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota continues to wrestle with the damage being caused by flood waters. And that includes some popular Minneapolis Park Board golf courses.

Two of those courses remain closed and unplayable. The Hiawatha Golf Course and Meadowbrook Golf Course have been inundated by the overflowing Minnehaha Creek.

“It was raining so hard that you just couldn’t imagine, and we knew that dike was not going to be able to hold it out there,” said Paul Schmidt, of Meadowbrook.

On a Thursday that should be brimming with golfers, Schmidt drives the only cart on the course. He’s been taking calls since last week, when Meadowbrook was overrun by flood waters. People are looking for tee times, and he’s telling them to wait until August.

There’s so much water on the course, it’s tough to get from hole to hole. Crews are using a rowboat in some places.

Course superintendent Scott Nelson says it won’t get better until the swollen Minnehaha Creek recedes.

“The timetable is up in the air,” Nelson said, “but the old saying is we’re going day by day, and that’s exactly what we’re doing.”

Over at the flooded Hiawatha course, some practice areas remain open. But tournaments and leagues are being moved to other courses, if they can find room.

“They’re disappointed, but they’re very understanding,” said Dan Stoneburg, the course manager, “and we’re hopeful we can get back to where we were, before it flooded out.”

Yet even when the water goes, damage will remain. And if the water warms too much, it would cook and kill the grass.

“It’s a beautiful course, beautifully laid out,” Stoneburg said, “but to see it go to hell like this, pardon my French, but it’s gone.”

The closure is costing both courses thousands of dollars in revenue each day. The courses are also still paying crews to maintain the greens and fairways that are still dry.

Three other park board courses are completely re-opened: Wirth, Gross and Columbia.

More from Bill Hudson
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