Reader's View: Reconsider closure of Lester golf
Closing he Lester Park Golf Course this year resulted in the loss of one of Duluth's prime amenities; it should be reconsidered
Once again the question of what to do with the Lester Park Golf Course is being discussed within the golf community and Duluth City Council. During the past golf season, the Lester course was entirely closed, with minimal maintenance on the original 18 holes and no apparent maintenance at all on the Lake Nine, as the city tried to market a portion of the property for development. That effort, so far, has not borne any fruit.
When the Lester course was closed, the city undoubtedly hoped golfers would simply move for the season to its municipal course at Enger Park. This happened only moderately as early-season weather, COVID-19 restrictions, and poor greens and fairway conditions resulted in many golfers voting with their feet and choosing to golf at other courses in the area. One comment we heard repeatedly was, "The city should have closed Enger and kept the Lester course open."
One good option for the 2021 season may be to reopen Lester for only 18 holes, keeping the Lake Nine available for a future sale. The city could also decide to open only 18 holes at Enger, as several of the fairways still need extensive renovation.
Back in the 1990s, Duluth golf operated with 18 holes at each course and broke even. The city's decision to add an additional nine holes at each course has not worked out and should be revisited as part of a long-term plan.
More recently, the decision to close the Lester Park Golf Course this past year has resulted in the loss of one of Duluth's prime amenities. It should be reconsidered. Lester Park Golf Course deserves a chance for the 2021 golf season!
Jim Steenerson and Vern Stocke