MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s been nearly 14 months since two city-run courses took a major hit from the weather.
As we found out Wednesday, things aren’t much different than they were last year.
Flooding last June decimated Meadowbrook Golf Course in Hopkins. The course has been completely closed ever since.
Hiawatha Golf Course in south Minneapolis has been only partially open since the Minnehaha Creek spilled into the course. The water was up to 10 feet deep, and the back nine is still closed.
It’s leading to some frustrated golfers in the Twin Cities.
Granted, they’ve had some extra time to work on those putting skills, but regulars here say they want to play 18 holes and they’ve already waited 14 months. Just two of the Hiawatha regulars were surmounting their putting and counting the days on Wednesday.
“We’ve been ready, a long time,” Don Kos said.
A sentiment shared by a 40-year patron and a 7-year one who hopes to make it to the tour.
“I’ve been ready for a year, since the day that it flooded,” Ben Drackert said.
They say playing half a course is half as fun.
“You prefer one scoop of ice cream or two? I prefer two,” Kos said.
The back nine was 10 feet under water. The water has been gone now for 14 months.
“Initially you can understand why it was closed but right now, why keep it closed?” Kos said.
So we asked.
“We obviously could have just restored, throw seed out here and cross our fingers that a big flood of this proportion wouldn’t happen again but that wouldn’t be the wise thing to do,” Keith Kalny said.
The head of the courses say they are working with FEMA and watershed, and to reopen Hiawatha and Meadowbrook, which is completely closed. There’s a lot of red tape and planning.
“It’s unfortunate but the one message we got from the golfers in these open houses was do it right and take the time to do it right,” Kalny said.
He says greens, tees and irrigation satellites will be priority, and the process will take patience. That’s something golfers should know a thing or two about.
“That they open it by this fall, that’s what I hope,” Drackert said.
Ben’s wish will not come true, he’ll need more of that patience. Construction is set to start on both courses next spring. Play won’t be allowed until 2017.
There will be a meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Parks and Recreation Headquarters to discuss the future of Meadowbrook, and there is one next month for Hiawatha.
Meadowbrook Public Meeting
2117 West River Road
Hiawatha Public Meeting
Sept. 15, 6-8 p.m.
Nokomis Community Center Gym