Residents Meet to Discuss Future of Duluth Public Golf, Hear Potential Plans

Open Gathering Meeting Held at UMD

DULUTH, Minn.- It’s no secret that municipal golf courses nationwide are experiencing trouble with attendance and sales, and Duluth is no exception.

Lester and Enger Park golf courses accrued more than two million dollars in debt over the last two decades, causing the city to reevaluate their value.

A group called “Friends of Duluth Public Golf” held a meeting at UMD Monday night, to continue dialogue about the future of the courses.

The group’s goal is to clarify any misinformation about the golf courses’ future, as well as showcase plans yet to be introduced to the city.

Montague Hall was packed with Duluth residents, notebooks and pens at the ready, anxious to hear updates about the future of their beloved golf courses.

While Friends of Duluth Public Golf were anxious for them to learn more.

“What we’re trying to do is get folks educated in the community so that they can make good honest decisions,” said Chris Stevens, President of the Friends of Duluth Public Golf. “Talk to their city council members, and the mayor.”

“Park land and golf courses are assets to the city, and also as part of the taxpayers, so it’s important that they had their voice heard.”

Also in attendance was a developer interested in the parks: Sunnarborg Development LLC, who’s president has ties to Duluth public golf.

“I’m also a public golf guy, I appreciate the public golfers point of view, and I applaud the work of Friends of Duluth Public Golf,” President Tom Sunnarborg said.

“Some of my favorite golf memories are of playing, growing up playing golf with my dad and my brothers at Enger and Lester.”

Sunnarborg, a Duluth native himself, has worked on golf courses across the country.

He hasn’t made any formal agreements or plans with the city just yet.

Meanwhile a citizen’s advisory committee is also working on releasing its report on the sustainability of the golf courses.

Either way, at least for 2019, the city has said Enger and Lester Park golf courses are set to open this year.

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