Red Wing Golf Club To Become Public Facility
After operating as a private course for nearly 100 years, the Red Wing Golf Club is now a fully public facility following a vote by its board of directors.
Located in the heart of the city of Red Wing, nestled among beautiful bluffs and sandhills, the golf course and all parts of the facility are now open to the public. This includes the event center, which overlooks the entire course and accommodates up to 200 people. An onsite commercial kitchen serves the needs of the event center, and also provides daily food options in the clubhouse bar and grill.
"We're excited by this move, and what it can mean for our club and the community of Red Wing," said Red Wing Golf Club board member Craig Kronbeck. "We expect this strategic decision will allow us to further improve our course and facility through access to more potential golfers."
Changing nature of golf helped drive decision
"This decision was inevitable and has been in the works for some time. It's simple supply and demand," said Kronbeck, referring to long-term industry trends toward fewer rounds for an overabundance of courses. He also said that the board is unanimous in its belief that such a unique and quality golf course should be made available to everyone, not just members.
"Area golfers have numerous choices of where to play, with more than a dozen golf courses within a 30-minute drive of Red Wing," he said.
Rounds of golf played in Minnesota are down significantly this year, according to industry sources such as the National Golf Foundation and the PGA PerformanceTrak report. This situation continues a national trend of declining rounds played since the late-1990s that has forced more than 1,000 U.S. courses to close in the past decade.
The Red Wing Golf Club and other private courses have further felt the effect of a changing culture, which has resulted in a steadily declining number of full-time members.
"We are taking a proactive stance by fully opening our doors to the public while also continuing to offer a strong value proposition for those who wish to remain or become members," Kronbeck said. "We're confident that this change will result in more rounds played at RWGC and fully utilize the course, which then allows us to continue to make improvements and provide a superior quality golfing experience for years to come."
Adapting to an expanded audience
PGA professional and Red Wing Golf Club General Manager Lee Kinney said this traditional-style golf course built in 1915-one of the first in Minnesota-offers a terrific golf experience for everyone, with its tree-lined fairways, beautiful vistas, ample landing areas and four sets of tees. "Red Wing Golf Club is known as a challenging course, and it is well suited for the accomplished golfer," Kinney explained. "This fact will not change, but we have taken steps and will continue adapting to make the course more playable and enjoyable for golfers of all abilities."
Kinney, who also serves as the Red Wing High School varsity boys golf coach, said each hole is being assessed for playability and changes will be made as a result. "On some holes, it might be as simple as shortening the height of the grass in the rough. On other holes, we may widen the fairways or adjust the location of the tee boxes."
This year the club has opened its doors more than ever before to a wider audience. It became the home course for the high school varsity golf teams this spring, and it established a juniors' program this summer in response to a community need. In the past, Red Wing residents were allowed to play one time a month without being a member. This year, beginning in July and continuing the rest of the year, players from the community and surrounding area have been able to play golf at the club seven days a week for highly reasonable green fees.
There will be very few limitations going forward, with the exception of preferred tee times on Ladies' and Mens' day and weekend mornings for members. "In fact, Red Wing residents will benefit from a lower daily rate, and they will have access to season passes as well," said Kinney.
"In addition, full memberships will remain available, and members will enjoy an even higher level of benefits," Kronbeck emphasized. "From free rounds for children to complimentary use of our event center to pro-shop discounts, guest rate discounts, and social events, club membership will be an even more attractive option for residents and businesses in the community."
"I think this is an exciting development for the future of the course, and our role in the community," said Christine Chandler who has enjoyed her family membership at the club. "Red Wing Golf Club has a bright future ahead of it."
To recognize its new status as a public course, the Red Wing Golf Club will hold an open house on September 22nd. Anyone interested is welcome to attend to meet its board and members, and learn more about its options for golfing, meetings and events.
Posted September 1, 2013 || Viewed 4,393 times || View Course Profile