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Mayor’s memo: ‘Tis the season to get out and golf

The 2018 golf season is all teed up and the City’s golf courses are ready for people to get out and enjoy the expansive greens and warm weather.

It will be business as usual at Hyland Greens Golf and Learning Center through the golf season this year after the City Council chose to retain the former driving range at Hyland for the short term while assessing the impact of pending changes at the golf course in operations and management. The City Council agreed to retain the property for the short term to allow time to assess what a new management structure will bring after rejecting four proposals for the sale and development of the unused driving range in late 2017.

A big welcome to new golf course manager, Peter Kurvers. He will manage Dwan Golf Club and Hyland Greens, replacing the longtime manager who retired last year. Kurvers was the head golf professional and general manager for the Crow River Golf Club in Hutchinson, MN, for seven years. He managed a staff of 65 in golf operations, grounds maintenance and food and beverage service while working there. Prior to that he was clubhouse manager at the Dacotah Ridge Golf Club in Morton, MN, for 10 years. He is a PGA Professional and past president of the Minnesota Section of the PGA. Hyland Greens and Dwan also have marketing staff in place to promote the golf courses, as recommended by the Hyland Greens task force.

The City Council will revisit the situation at Hyland Greens following the next golf season. The development proposals were part of a recommendation from the Hyland Greens task force to partially develop the east side of the site while maintaining the golf course to address financial concerns at the venue. The City has been studying Hyland Greens for more than three years. In 2016, the task force recommended that the City continue to operate the course and implement measures to improve the bottom line, such as developing the unused driving range. Hyland Greens has been experiencing annual losses for more than a decade. In 2016, the course received a property tax subsidy for the first time in an effort to reduce its working capital deficit of more than $1 million.

The property tax subsidy was $225,000 in 2016 and increased to $300,000 in 2017. The City subsidizes each round of golf at Hyland Greens by more than $10 per round. There is an expectation that the City’s golf courses should cover their own costs. For more information, contact Parks and Recreation Manager Randy Quale at 952-563-8876 or rquale@BloomingtonMN.gov.