The club is replacing the golf course’s Poa Annua grass with 007 bentgrass—a strain of grass that is more resilient to cold winters and requires less water and fertilizer. The project will also include upgrades to the club’s driving range, chipping and putting areas and pool facility.
Golden Valley (Minn.) Country Club is beginning an $8 million renovation that will involve closing the golf course for a year to regrass, the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal reported. The regrassing is expected to start in June 2023 and take a year to complete, during which time the course will be closed to members.
The project will also include upgrades to the club’s driving range, chipping and putting areas and pool facility, the Business Journal reported. It comes on the heels of the club replacing nearly all of its bunkers last fall.
Members voted on the club’s proposal Dec. 6, and 73% of votes cast approved the renovations, which will carry a special assessment fee of $12,000 per membership, General Manager Don Kovacovich told the Business Journal. Half of the $8 million will come from members and the rest will come from a land sale projected to close in March 2023.
“It’s a game-changer; the improvement will be substantial and noticeable,” Kovacovich said.
The motive behind the regrassing is stay competitive with other nearby courses by replacing the course’s Poa Annuagrass with 007 bentgrass — a move that a handful of other clubs in the metro area have already made, the Business Journal reported.
In a document shared with the Business Journal, the club, which has been around for more than a century, laid out the necessity for the change.
“After a 96-year run, it is time to renovate the playing surfaces at Golden Valley Country Club. It has become a roll of the dice each spring if the turf will survive the winter; the costs of the required labor and inputs continue to increase and it is becoming increasingly difficult to match the playing experience provided by clubs who have already regrassed,” the document read.
The club said over the last 30 years, greens have come out of winter in very poor condition 17 times and that the greens have had a history of failing in the summer months with turf thinning out and algae setting in around mid-July, the Business Journal reported.
By switching to the 007 bentgrass, the club expects to spend less on maintenance, as the strain of grass is more resilient to cold winters and requires less water and fertilizer, the Business Journal reported. The club said the switch to bent grass could save up to $135,000 in annual costs.
Kovacovich said membership is currently full, the Business Journal reported. Earlier this year, Kovacovich said the club raised its yearly fee from $15,000 to $20,000 and that he expects another increase following the renovations.
Following a near-sale of the club in 2017 to Concert Golf Partners, the course began the sale of two parcels of land in an effort to raise capital for club improvements and renovations, the Business Journal reported.
One of those deals included a new housing development on 2.5 acres of land that the club sold to Ron Clark Construction, which is in the process of building seven villas that will be priced around $1 million, the Business Journal reported.
Another is an expected sale to Artessa Development, which plans on building a five-story senior cooperative building with 78 units on 2.5 acres on the club’s southeast corner, the Business Journal reported. The club said it expects the sale to be finalized in March.