Fargo's Rose Creek golf course now fully open
FARGO—For the first time in 424 days, golfers can complete a full 18-hole round at Fargo's Rose Creek golf course.
The Fargo Park District course, located off of South University Drive, opened its back nine holes Monday for the first time since April 21, 2016 --- when holes 8 through 16 were closed due to construction of a dike that went through the course.
"Life is good right now," Rose Creek golf professional Matt Cook said. "We're looking forward to getting back to being normal."
The project reconstructed a levee on the north side of the course to meet federal codes, replacing one that was hastily built during the 2009 flood. The project, paid for by the city, cost around $2.4 million.
Rose Creek took a significant hit last summer because of the project. The course recorded 17,777 rounds in 2016—compared to a record 28,710 rounds the year before.
"It was a challenge," said Cook, who said the city's reimbursement on the easement of the land used for the levee helped offset lost revenue. "People still saw us as an 18-hole course, but could only play nine holes."
Golfers will notice the most dramatic changes on holes 14 through 16, where more than 200 trees were removed for the levee.
Trees used to line the left side of hole 14, but no longer. Golfers can now see traffic on University Drive to the east of the hole and easily spot the water pond that used to be hidden by trees. The trees that used to line the left side of hole 15 just beyond the tee box are now gone. And many of the trees that used to be located on the left side of hole 16 are gone.
"The whole area opens up quite a bit," Cook said. "As a whole, I think those who played the course thought 14 was a little easier, 15 maybe a little more challenging, while 16 was a wash.
"Off the tee on all three of those holes, it looks pretty open. And for that 180-yard to 240-yard hitter, it is fairly open. But for that player who is a little stronger, things start to pinch in. It does get your attention in that case."
The fairways on holes 14, 15 and 15 now have a significant rise in elevation—which is the levee.
"There can be some uneven lies out there which makes it unique as well," Cook said. "But I thought they did a great job in disguising the levee. If you weren't aware of the project, you wouldn't even know it was there."
More than 400 new trees have been planted—not only on holes 14, 15 and 16, but on holes 12 and 14 as well.
With the holes 8 through 16 closed for so long, it also provided time for course officials to install drain tile and underground drainage on holes 9 and 10.
"It's going to be so much drier," Cook said.
Course officials also used the time to make the tee box of the par-3 No. 11 all one big tee area, while increasing the size of the par-3, No. 13 tee box as well.
The levee was also moved closer to the No. 8 fairway.
"We built those tee boxes up a little bit and we gained some length on that hole," Cook said, referring to the 374-yard length from the black tees. "You get more of a perception that the hole is a slight dogleg to the left now."
The other big improvement, according to Cook, is the driving range.
"The driving range tee is part of the levee," Cook said. "We gained 25 yards to the back of the tee area, so now the driving range is 300 yards long. Plus, we now have better drainage and irrigation on the driving range."