Countryside Golf facing obstacles
ighting to keep the Countryside Golf Course operating has become, to say the least, challenging.
In fact, “The year 2018 has been the most challenging year our club has face since work began in the early 1960’s,” said Board Member Ralph Hagen.
Although membership actually grew from 100 in 2017 to 120 last year — several unexpected issues magnified the seriousness of keeping the golf course in operation.
“April snowstorms, then rains, wiped out six weeks of our traditionally good early season income,” stated Hagen.
In addition, “Four of the six car shows had rain. Huge rain storms and flooding several times made Brandon’s work nearly impossible,” said Hagen.
Brandon Hennen is the course caretaker. In short the weather, “Wrecked many of our plans to jump-start the club.”
As a result of all that rain, there is damage to the course with tile and drainage pipes needing repair. “This was magnified in our clubhouse income and green fees were way down. The weather, and lack of participants to sign up eventually led to the cancelation of the “Club Tournament,” that has become a staple for many years.
During the winter, “The board cut expenses over the next four years by over $28,000, which will continue until 2021,” said Hagen.
“We had some staff lined up to start the year. Everyone’s vision of getting onto the right track seemed likely and long-term success seemed possible,” said Hagen. But the tough year and lack of income has forced the board to consider some “new” and some “old” issues.
“We would like to fix some tiles, add others, replace the pipe across from Hole No. 1 with a bigger one and finish the deck project,” he said. Also on the list are repairs to the kitchen. “We need to plan to replace and repair machines and to restructure our debt,” he added.
There is also work that needs to be done in the basement. The board is likely to re-set their priorities for the next year at the upcoming Saturday, December 1 annual stock holders meeting. Anyone interested is invited to attend.
“Please consider joining the board or working as a volunteer, or helping donate time or money to keep the club as a community treasure,” said Hagen. Many people volunteer and members of the board thanked them for all the time they’ve donated.
“Sixty years ago, those community members pledged their time and money to create the Countryside Golf Course. It’s a vision of the future we have benefited from,” stated Hagen. Many non-golfers support the club through members and donations.
“Your generosity and partnership in our club and in Minneota is greatly appreciated. If you know of folks who would like to join, please do so,” Hagen urged on behalf of the board.