Blackduck Golf Course takes a dig
Typically at this time of year, the Blackduck Golf Course starts to dry out and staff can focus on jobs other than mowing.
“I could have 10 people out there and it’s just not going to happen,” said Jim Andersen, Golf Course Manager. “We don’t have the equipment to keep up with the mowing and you can’t go out and buy a ton of equipment just for one wet year.”
The course flooded after heavy rains hit the area and was closed from June 12-18, which took a toll on its earnings for the month of June.
“For the most part, I don’t think we had revenue for a week,” said Christina Regas, City Administrator. “Compared to last year this time, we’re going to see a big loss this month.”
The golf course wasn’t able to host a the “Little Debbie” tournament, which is a fundraiser that is normally held there annually. The tournament moved to Castle Highlands Golf Course.
Coburn Creek, which flows from Stoner Lake located south of Blackduck, runs through the course and into Blackduck Lake. The course has several bridges that cross and the creek and most weren’t able to be used until June 17.
“I have had people tell me locally that this is the highest Blackduck Lake has been in over 15 years,” Regas said. “So given that, where the water comes from, the amount of water the rest of the county has, what the Tamarack is doing, even the county is asking for no wake in 300 feet of shoreline; you know everybody is hurting.”
Andersen had planned to install new tee boxes at all of the holes during June, but with having to constantly mow, the project has been delayed.
“It’s just been a constant catch-up,” Regas said. “Water reeks havoc on just about everything and the good news now is that it’s done so hopefully things will start continuing to go down and we can finish out the summer.”
Minus the flooding and closure, the golf course is doing better than last year with the number of memberships purchased and tournaments scheduled. However, Andersen, who has worked with golf courses for 26 years, said that the number of memberships still isn’t where he would like it to be.
“Of course the people that come in the summer they don’t show up until after the Fourth of July,” he added.
There are roughly 10 tournaments planned to be held at the course over the summer, including the employee tournament for Seven Clans Casino set for today. The casino also added a second tournament in September.
The Crow Bar tournament, which is usually held at Golf on the Edge in Bigfork, Minn., may also be relocating to the Blackduck Golf Course due to flooding.
“If we pick that one up that will be a plus because that is a much larger tournament than the (Little Debbie tournament.)”
Other tournaments held annually at the course include the Red Lake Youth Tournament, the Blackduck Firemen’s Relief Association tournament, the Sherman Brown Sr. Memorial tournament, the Kitchi Landing tournament and more.
The course is home to a women’s league, which meets Tuesdays mornings, and a men’s league that gathers on Wednesday evenings. Both are always accepting new members.
The clubhouse is also available to rent for $25 per hour for events like class reunions, graduation parties, wedding receptions or birthday celebrations.
“You don’t have to be a golfer to use the upstairs,” Andersen said.
“If people want to reserve it they can call here or they can call City Hall,” Regas said. “It’s available regardless if the golf course is open or not.”