ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) — For many in Rochester, the Soldiers Field golf course is a community staple, and those folks made their voices heard at Monday’s city council meeting.
“I feel passionate again today about protecting a golf asset,” said Rochester resident Skip Hambright.
“Golf seems to be the only sport in the city that has been abused and harassed,” said Loy Colebeck, president of the Soldiers Memorial Field Women’s Golf Association.
“The course, as I said, means so much to so many people,” said David Richardson, former golf professional at Soldiers Field and golf manager for City Parks and Recreation.
Although the course was not an agenda item, many expressed concerns that the course could be changed to a simple nine-hole course, or be scrapped altogether.
“Making Soldiers Field a nine-hole golf course would be just one more step in its complete closure,” Richardson said.
“There are very few cities this size, or larger, that have a golf course in their downtown core,” said Jennie Lemire, a member of the Soldiers Memorial Field Women’s Golf Association.
The group strongly advocates for the course because it is more accessible to more people.
“I’ve played golf with ladies in their 80s who can walk this course, but not the other courses,” Colebeck said.
“We have to keep that, we have to maintain it for the future,” Lemire said.
Although people fear the course’s days are numbered, the city’s director of parks and recreation, Paul Widman, says no changes will be made at this time.
“It’s safe in the sense that to go from 18 holes to something different will require additional funding,” Widman said.
“We’re going to see 18 holes at Soldiers Field even though a proposal has been approved.”
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