MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It may not make sense on paper, but the city of Bloomington made a decision on the future of one of its golf courses.
A few months ago it seemed there was little hope for Hyland Greens, a par three course. The city’s been losing money on it for a decade, a story we’ve seen echoed all around the state the last 10 years. But the city has decided not to add their nine-hole course to a list of more than a dozen courses that have closed since 2005. They’re getting creative.
In the afterglow of the Masters, weather-proof middle schoolers Charlie Leaf and John Tucker are more than inspired.
“I thought that Jordan had it in the bag but then he kind of choked at the end, so I was pretty surprised,” Leaf said.
“We love golf and no matter what the temperature is, we’re out here usually every day,” said Tucker.
Golf enthusiasm is what’s helping keep Hyland Greens open.
“It’s a wonderful place for people to learn how to play and practice the game of golf, especially for older players and younger players,” Diann Kirby, community services director of the city of Bloomington, said.
But times have been rocky, Kirby says.
“It had been losing money for at least a decade and our other golf course had been supporting it, but it was getting to the point where it just couldn’t be supporting that golf course anymore,” she said.
But after a task force weighed their options, the city’s decided it’s worth the hit.
“They felt like it was a wonderful amenity. They really wanted to keep it in Bloomington,” Kirby said.
They are far from alone, as golf courses have seen some tough times as of late. Parkview and Carriage Hills in Eagan were turned into housing developments.
With renovations quite costly, the U of M course is anchoring themselves with a partnership with the U.S. Golf Association who’s using the course for research.
Hyland Green’s already started foot golf. The city will hire a consultant, possibly turning an unused 10-acre part of the course into housing.
“Looking at the marketing, looking at the budgeting, looking at staffing, at fees, revenues, definitely, it is a business and we want to operate it that way,” Kirby said.
It seems it’s something worth taking another swing at.
Some courses are investing more in banquet and wedding facilities. Hyland Greens says they’re also considering an indoor facility.