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Edgewood mulls plan to keep holes dry

Three holes at Edgewood Golf Course would be redesigned to help lessen flooding impact under a proposal presented to the Fargo Park District on Thursday.

Three holes at Edgewood Golf Course would be redesigned to help lessen flooding impact under a proposal presented to the Fargo Park District on Thursday.

Colorado-based golf course designer Kevin Atkinson showed the district's golf committee a concept to change holes 2, 3 and 4 so they will remain playable at higher water levels when the Red River floods.

"Our goal is to try to mitigate flood damage," said Atkinson, who designed Osgood Golf Course. "Let the water come in, but let's find a place for it to live. ... Let it come in and let it go out."

Atkinson's redesign would relocate or elevate tee boxes and greens for all three holes. A portion of the current No. 2 fairway would be converted into a pond, which would help control flood waters.

"We identified this area, these holes, as the first ones to go under and the last ones to come out," said Edgewood golf pro Greg McCullough. "It's one (proposal) we haven't seen before."

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The second hole would change from a par 5 to a par 4, the third hole would switch from a par 4 to a par 3 and the fourth hole would shift from a par 3 to a par 5.

In its infant stages, the proposal would be executed in two phases in order to keep the course fully playable during the transition.

"It's really exciting," board president Ron Sorvaag said. "This is the first thing that has really been on paper. ... As a board, price is extremely important to us."

Jim Larson, the district's director of finance, said if the district chooses Atkinson's concept, the price tag would be around $500,000.

"And it could go up or down from there easy," Larson said. "There are definitely things that need to be changed up."

If accepted, the project wouldn't start until fall 2009 at the earliest, Larson said.

He added on years when the Red River reaches 25 feet that the course loses $50,000 to $70,000 under the current setup. The new concept could help alleviate some of those losses.

An engineering study of the land is still needed to see if Atkinson's proposal would be feasible. Another meeting is planned for Oct. 23 to further discuss the project.

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"Where we are at right now is we're at a conceptual level," Atkinson said.

Atkinson's plan is attractive because all 18 holes would likely be able to remain open during the redesign. His concept also tackles playability issues and aesthetically fits in with the look of the current course.

"It seems like he's addressed a lot of issues in the proposal; we want Edgewood to stay Edgewood," Sorvaag said.

"I don't want the change to look like a change," Atkinson said. "You don't want it to look like a renovation."

Readers can reach Forum reporter Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson's blogs can be found at www.areavoices.com

Peterson covers college athletics for The Forum, including Concordia College and Minnesota State Moorhead. He also covers the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks independent baseball team and helps out with North Dakota State football coverage. Peterson has been working at the newspaper since 1996.
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