With work possibly beginning as early as next spring, the plan is to build eight new holes and a new clubhouse on farmland just outside of the current course, and also includes construction of the community’s ring dike. The entire project is expected to take up to three years to complete, and funding for the golf course portion of the project will come from the $32.5 million local share.
The timeline is coming into focus for a renovated Oxbow (N.D.) Country Club, with work beginning as early as next spring on the community’s ring dike, which would include the golf portion of the project, the Fargo (N.D.) Inforum reported.
The plan is to build eight new holes and a new clubhouse on farmland located just south of the current course. Diversion Authority Chairman Darrell Vanyo said the golf course renovation and ring dike will be built even if federal approval for the $1.8 billion diversion does not materialize, the Inforum reported.
The entire project is expected to take between 2½ to 3 years to complete, the Inforum reported.
“It’s starting to feel real,” said Oxbow General Manager Joel Livingood. “It’s starting to happen and take shape.”
There are many details yet to be finalized, including the configuration of the course. Livingood said indications are a drawing released to the Inforum last week, called “Concept A,” will not go forward because the club wants No. 9 green close to the new clubhouse.
Moreover, Bruce Charlton, the President and chief design officer for the golf course architectural firm of Robert Trent Jones II, has yet to see the final plot of land inside the levee, Livingood said.
“The footprint of the levee has changed,” Livingood said. “Now there’s more land inside of it.”
Funding for the $65 million Oxbow ring dike, which includes the course renovation, is being shared equally from state and local funds. The entire golf course project, however, will come from the $32.5 million local share, the Inforum reported.
The state made it clear its funding share would not include the golf course, Vanyo said. Forty-four homes will need to be bought out and one option for those homeowners is to take a lot around the new course. Oxbow residents voted for the ring dike by a 75 percent approval rate, the Inforum reported.
Vanyo said building the ring dike even though the diversion has yet to be fully approved makes sense because Fargo would probably put up a barrier on the south end of town in the event of a 500-year flood. That temporary levee could back the water up and flood Oxbow, the Inforum reported.
“We would like to start construction as soon as the design is ready,” Vanyo said.
The construction timeline for the course will keep it from being shut down while work is being done, Vanyo added. “We want to ensure the course never has any down time. That’s the tricky thing.”
That would mean removal of six holes on the current front nine would not happen until the latter stages of the project. Those six are on the eastern edge of the current course and are the lowest elevation-wise along with No. 18, the Inforum reported.
“The way we have it structured in our talks with the Diversion Authority, our course will be fully operational until the new (holes) are done,” Livingood said. “We won’t see any dirt moved on our course until the new course and clubhouse are ready.”
Another reason, Livingood said, is some of the dirt for the levee may come from the digging of ponds by the new holes, the Inforum reported.
“There’s a lot happening at once,” Livingood said. “There are so many pieces to the puzzle. Obviously, there will be a lot of feedback back and forth between membership, the board, staff and Robert Trent Jones. All will be involved so we can have something that is just as good or better than what we have now.”
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