An “ambitious” plan for the renovation of the Lakeview golf course in Mitchell is put in place


The goal is to find the ideal golf course for much of the golf industry: how to make the course playable for golfers of all ages, while continuing to make it difficult to organize competitive tournaments and provide a test for experienced golfers.

This means that on every hole on the course Lakeview plans to build new front tees. Study by the Golf and Cemetery Board and consultant Kevin Norby of Minnesota-based Norby Golf Course Design found that Mitchell has one of the longest forward courses, or red tees, in the state of South Dakota. Currently he is playing 5,688 yards, but the addition of new tees would create a 4,690 yard course for beginners and less skilled players.

The master plan was presented on Monday by Mitchell Golf and Cemetery Director Jason Gunnare to Mitchell City Council, who did not have to vote on the presentation, which was informative in nature. The plan has eight variable cost phases, and if all phases were completed, the estimated cost was estimated at $ 3.55 million. The plan will guide the golf course’s capital demands over the next 10 years, Gunnare said.

Norby has been involved in a number of projects in South Dakota, including renovations to the Elmwood Golf Course and Bakker Crossing Golf Course, both in Sioux Falls, and general planning at the Brookings Country Club.

“We want to make the course more playable for all skill levels and make it more difficult for the best golfers,” Gunnare said. “Red tees are historically known as women’s tees, but it’s important that they are better suited to ability. “

Some of the more ambitious long-term goals include redeveloping the driving range with new hitting stations and targets, creating a short three-hole course loop that could potentially be extended to 11 holes one day, and building a Himalayan putting course. self-contained 32,000 square feet. on the site of the old bowling alley.

The goal, Gunnare said on Monday, is to continue the momentum that the course and the game of golf have seen through the COVID-19 pandemic, as outdoor and socially distanced sport has seen a renaissance of players. old and new. Lakeview has nearly 600 members this year, he said. The short course and putting course – which would have large mounds and bumps with holes that could be changed throughout the year – would offer additional golfers the opportunity to play nights and weekends with no hours off. departure.

“The golf course wants to encourage new golfers,” Gunnare said. “We have had a very good year and we would like to continue this momentum. one of the benefits of COVID is that we’ve seen an increase in the number of new golfers and people who haven’t played golf for a long time are coming back to the game. ”

These projects are the most expensive, at a cost of $ 745,000 for the refurbishment of the driving range and the three-hole short course, and $ 678,000 for the putting course and eight additional holes on the short course.

Other long-term changes to Lakeview’s plan in Phases 2-4 include:

  • Remove and move lots of wagon paths to widen fairways and add bunkers, and clear up unhealthy and unwanted trees.

  • Realign the 11th par-4 hole and move the greens complex south to where the current 12th tee is.

  • Drop the current 12th hole par 3, which plays uphill at 150-170 yards, and build a new 12th hole par 4 that will play 310-365 yards.

  • Construct a new pond north of the current 13th hole for drainage purposes, which would be reconstructed.

  • Build a new 14th par 3 hole, which would play for about 160 yards and replace the removed par 3 by removing the 12th hole. The change would also mean that the 15th par 5 hole would be shortened to a par 4 from 385 to 455 yards and make the par 71 of the course, instead of the current 72.

Phases 5 and 6 would include moving Green # 7 to protect it from the nearby 8th hole and rebuilding the green at # 8. Gunnare said the first five phases of the project are the highest priority.

“There has to be a level of engagement on the city side, not in spending a certain amount of money, but that you agree with the direction we’re taking. … There has to be some direction, so we know where to go.

City council members were generally in favor of what was in the master plan.

“There are some big ideas in the plan, but if we don’t make the plan and put it out there, we’ll never make any progress,” said Steve Rice, city council member. “There are some exciting things that can be done to improve the playability and the pace of play.”

“I really like this plan. … If we don’t invest in the gem we have, it will be just another golf course, ”said Jeff Smith, Board member.

Gunnare said the goal would be for the first phase to be carried out in 2022 with tree work and starter boxes, although what can be done will depend on the city’s budgeting process. He said some of the work could be done during the winter seasons and the goal would be to keep the course open for the duration of the renovations.


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