Latest Soldiers Field Master Plan draws criticism from city council

Published: Sep. 19, 2022 at 10:45 PM CDT
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Golf balls were flying off the tee boxes Monday at Soldiers Field golf course, but it may not be long before those fairways look a little different. The city of Rochester, in partnership with urban planning firm HKGI, unveiled its latest updates to the Soldiers Field Master plan.

The plan included major changes to the park, such as adding space to the pool area, expanding trails, and adding an arboretum, but these additions will need space, and will chip away at several holes on the course.

“It would be a significantly altered and downgraded nine holes. The number of par 3s that that nine would have, I wouldn’t expect it to be that popular with the golf community,” said David Richardson, the former head golf pro at Soldiers Field golf course.

The potential changes to these holes were a part of the short term plan for Soldiers Field. But, what really drew the attention of several councilmembers was the statement that the course would eventually be reduced to nine holes.

“I think we have a good plan on golf that 18 holes is what’s needed there, it has a unique experience for Rochester,” said councilman Shaun Palmer.

“It takes away a really important asset to so many in our community with an 18-hole course downtown,” said Council President Brooke Carlson.

Richardson added that the location makes it a prime space for development.

“It is again, it’s the location. I think that makes it a very attractive area,” Richardson said.