There is now only one public golf course located in Duluth
Summertime and outdoors bring a whole list of sporting options and one that comes to mind is hitting the links. In Duluth, there are two public golf courses, but only one is open now, and soon, things will be changing permanently.
On Monday night, at a city council meeting, the future of one public golf is on the agenda.
“One which is very difficult and one which is very exciting. The difficult piece is that we downsizing from two courses to one, closing Lester Park. The exciting news is that we’re investing in a major way in our remaining course, the Enger golf course. Replacing its irrigation system will just be the first of multiple phases of improvements there,” said Duluth’s Director of Parks, Libraries, and Properties Jim Filby Williams.
Lester was closed in 2021, and city administration had previously thought about reopening it in 2024 while renovations to Lester and Enger courses would be done. Since the cost to do that has now about doubled, that plan has changed.
“Ideal we would have kept the two courses as 18 holes, and we would have not expanded them to 27 holes many years ago, but that is not our reality. The reality is we have one course with 27 holes that very much resemble reinvesting. To do two courses, you are doubling your expenses and potentially not being in enough revenue to cover them, and that has always been the concern,” Duluth City Council At Large Arik Forsman explained.
Community members like Tim Allen, attended Monday’s meeting voicing their concerns and putting forward options to closing Lester forever. “Well, I think they’re missing the boat with not wanting to bring the Lester Park golf course up to playability. I think it’s a confusing and difficult course to play at Enger Park. People have a hard time getting there, and it’s not playable for a lot of people.”
The council voted to move forward with the $5.5 million renovation for Enger. The golf course will now be the only public golf course in Duluth, which will come with a price tag of $1.2 million, because it also needs some update work done to it.
During the 2024 golf season, not only with the irrigation system be replaced, an irrigation pond, improvements to the fairways, an updated clubhouse, and more. 18 holes will be available for play while renovations are done, with the ability to have all 27 holes open on the weekends.