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Facing budget shortfall, Duluth will not open Lester Park Golf Course

Updated: April 20, 2020 06:40 PM

Facing an anticipated $25 million budget shortfall, Mayor Emily Larson announced Monday that Lester Park Golf Course will not open in 2020. 

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"It's going to be a difficult budget year," Larson said. 

While portions of Enger Park Golf Course will open earlier than usual, Lester will remain closed. 

"This is one of the first announcements that I think will start impacting people in a very personal way. There will be many to come," Larson said. "I know that because I know the decisions that are likely ahead of us." 

The city plans to open Enger's driving range on Wednesday or Thursday and have 18 holes available for golfers starting on Friday.

"We will ultimately be opening up 27 holes at Enger Park Golf Course," Director of Property, Parks and Libraries Jim Filby Williams said. "It is typical for us to phase the opening of golf facilities the outset of the season. And so driving ranges come first, then we open up 18, and fairly soon thereafter we'll go to 27."

Duluth's public golf courses lose an average of $150,000 per year, and Mayor Larson said only opening one course this year is the best way to "preserve golf at all." 

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