Golfers react to proposed Soldiers Field Golf Course Master Plan updates

Published: Sep. 20, 2022 at 6:47 PM CDT
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Community members are responding to Rochester’s latest Master Plan for Soldiers Field.

At Monday night’s city session, the city unveiled some updates to the plan, including a proposal to change and reduce the number of holes at Soldiers Field Golf Course.

After hearing the proposed plan to reduce the course to nine holes, some Rochester golfers were not happy.

“Shock, despair and a little bit of anger,” Rochester resident Jeffery Eastman said.

“I’m absolutely bummed. It’s just an approachable course for everyone to play from seven years of age to 80 years of age,” Byron resident Philip Kish said.

The course has been around nearly 100 years.

“The most important part of this is that we’ve got a lot of historical sites in Rochester. We’ve gone a long way to save some of those. Well, this one’s just about a hundred years old. We should give that the way sort of consideration,” Rochester resident Mark Anton said.

“I started here, carrying my bag down here at seven in the morning when I was ten years old,” Eastman said.

Some golfers say they enjoy the views and walking through the historic course.

“You can run down here with your bag and jump on the course and go around in just a couple of hours and play a lot of great golf and just have beautiful scenery,” Anton said.

Golfers said the central location of the course is a big draw.

“There’s no other cities that really have a course in this position. You see it if you’re driving by the mall, if you’re driving by the Mayo Clinic. It doesn’t get any better than this,” Kish said.

“The amount of people that have played here from all over the world that have come to the clinic. Some of the views that you have on the golf course going down the fairways to the Mayo Clinic. Some of those things you’d think you want to keep,” Anton said.

Community members are asking city officials on the project to reach out to them to hear their thoughts.

“Think about it a little more deeply and maybe touch base with more of the local people and look for some more greenspace in other areas of the town,” Eastman said.

There is a public forum for the Soldiers Field Master Plan Tuesday night where community members can listen in and express their opinions on the plan.