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The Preserve: Nearly $1 million in golf course improvements being made

While it would traditionally open in May, The Preserve Golf Course at Grand View Lodge is expected to have a July opening date due to nearly $1 million in improvements that began Oct. 1, 2014.

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Hole number 1 at The Preserve at Grand View Lodge during reconstruction. Submitted Photo

While it would traditionally open in May, The Preserve Golf Course at Grand View Lodge is expected to have a July opening date due to nearly $1 million in improvements that began Oct. 1, 2014.

Main improvement plans started with filling in 10,000 square feet of marsh to make the course's notorious hole No. 5 easier.

"You tee off over a small marsh to a landing area," said Nate Erickson, head golf professional at The Preserve, which is just off County Road 107 south of Pequot Lakes. "Once you are in that landing area you have anywhere from 150-200 yards to hit it over another watery marsh, which for juniors, women, seniors and higher handicap players, it is a very difficult hole."

That initial plan was waylaid until February.

"We thought it was going to be a fairly easy process, but with wetlands you can never bank on anything, so the process went all the way through February when we received the permit," Erickson said.

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In the meantime, after the official season closing, construction crews dug into the turf at The Preserve for other improvements.

"We went through a normal season through September and then shut it down," Erickson said. "At that point they started breaking ground and working on the tee boxes. From the golf shop side of things, it was kind of routine shutting down and winterizing everything, except for the golf course. A lot of my staff transitioned out to there cutting sod, moving earth around. That's kind of where it all began."

Crews made alterations to tee boxes for every hole at The Preserve. At the first hole, the oval-shaped tee boxes were removed, and in some cases combined and replaced with large, square tee boxes that are easier for mowing and setup of tee markers.

"It (the previous boxes) just didn't work out well for placing tee markers," Erickson said. "Then you were limited with space. We squared them off and now we can even work on the corners if we want to. If we have a full, big tournament day, we can move those tee boxes. It's much more flexible. We can even speed up play with those. The ones that didn't get combined, we just cut them out and now they are all going to be squares."

With an early winter, outdoor construction halted approximately a week early. Interior improvements, such as painting and carpeting, took place. Outdoor construction is expected to commence soon. Near the top of the list are the 20-year-old cart paths, which will be resurfaced, and alterations to the clubhouse deck, which will improve visibility of the vistas over the golf course.

The marsh, however, has yet to be filled in.

"That's going to be the next project coming up here once the ground thaws," Erickson said.

Erickson said the main reason for improvements is to increase playability for all who may want to play at The Preserve.

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"I think we'll see a lot more women and children and higher handicaps out there. I'm hoping they will incorporate a junior tee out there, too," Erickson said.

The cost of improvements was budgeted and paid for as a capital expenditure.

1599029+031915.PEJ_.thepreserve2.jpg
Hole number 1 at The Preserve at Grand View Lodge following reconstruction. Submitted Photo

Related Topics: GOLF
Travis Grimler began work at the Echo Journal Jan. 2 of 2013 while the publication was still split in two as the Pine River Journal and Lake Country Echo. He is a full time reporter/photographer/videographer for the paper and operates primarily out of the northern stretch of the coverage area (Hackensack to Jenkins).
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