Reports of their demise were not premature, because one of these Minnesota golf courses was indeed shuttered and the other was set to be. But, having been one of those who reported that these two courses were permanently closed, I am compelled and pleased to re-report that they now are open again:
Mississippi National, Red Wing: After having lain fallow during the 2013 season, all 36 holes — both the Highlands and Lowlands courses – have reopened for 2014.
The course, which opened in 1990, shut down after the expiration in autumn 2012 of a lease between the City of Red Wing, which owned the land, and Wendell Pittenger Operations, the longtime manager of the golf course. But a group of Mississippi National players was determined to not let the course die. They organized as Red Wing Municipal Golf Corporation and pursued reopening the course. The city required the group to raise $400,00, according to new MNGC pro Nathan Gale, which the group did, as well as forming a new business plan. The city accepted, and the course reopened this spring, with a five-year operating lease for Red Wing Municipal Golf Corporation.
The course remains as it did before closing. Renovations are being made to the clubhouse, among other infrastructure changes. Longtime course superintendent Randy Juliar has returned. Gale is the new pro; he most recently worked for the First Tee program of Minneapolis and before that for Trump International in Florida.
One change to the fee structure is the addition of a resident rate, $25 for Red Wing residents. The course’s website is http://golfredwing.com.
Sundance: Google “Sundance Golf Bowl,” and every indication is that the course in Dayton (north of Rogers, northwest of Anoka) has been closed. That was the expectation through much of this winter, but the Allen family, which owns the course, reconsidered and reopened.
That is no doubt a popular decision in the northwest metro. Though there is little chance Sundance will ever bid to host, say, a Ryder Cup, the nine-hole, public layout is popular with league players and those of beginning to intermediate skills. The course, opened in the 1960s, “was established for that blue-collar worker,” said Todd Anderson, the new general manager at Sundance.
Rates will remain the same as in 2013, Anderson said, adding that a senior rate has been established. Mark Wittig is the new pro at Sundance. The course will have a new website, sundancegolfbanquet.com, Anderson said. (At last check, that website was not active, though Anderson indicated it would be soon.)