Set to hibernate

It is finally time for Minot to pack away the clubs, as Souris Valley Golf Course concluded its 2013 season Sunday afternoon.

The year was not without its hiccups, with a delayed start due to inclement weather and only nine holes available through July after parts of the course were damaged during the spring thaw. Despite this, while the public links were only anticipated to bring in about $375,000 this year, at the final tally, Minot Park District director Ron Merritt figured that SVGC brought in about $389,000 after sales taxes were paid.

“We had a wonderful year,” said Steve Kottsick, the course’s manager and golf professional.

With embankment repairs completed and the grounds being treated to prevent snow mold from developing, the Minot Park Board golf committee is beginning to look ahead to future projects. At its meeting midday Tuesday, Kottsick said they discussed a plan that would make golf a year-round pastime.

“We’re really looking at building an indoor driving range up by the Maysa Arena,” he said.

Merritt explained the proposal as currently envisioned would include an indoor putting area, with a combination of netted driving bays and even a full-fledged golfing simulator or two allowing play to continue throughout the winter. Presentable plans for the proposal should be drawn up by next month’s committee meeting.

A more pressing matter also discussed was the eventual relocation of Jack Hoeven Wee Links from its current situation at 900 Forest Road. The City of Minot’s future flood control plan’s first stage of dike construction would shunt the junior golf course off into the flood plain.

“That was the best place to put it,” Merritt conceded of the levee layout. “This might be a ways out,” he added, saying the city’s plan still needed to secure funding and that the planning stages could take longer than a year to materialize.

Which is no reason for the park district to wait on forming a plan of its own. A section of property adjacent the Maysa Arena that includes a buried landfill does not allow for structures to be built atop it, but would make a good spot for some PGA-grade links. The district would first have to submit an application to the Environmental Protection Agency for approval, which Merritt said can take a while.

“We’re going to get started on that.” No time like the present, like the indoor driving range a Wee Links relocation plan will be hammered out in the coming months’ park meetings.