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Golfers Tee'd Off Over Aspect of Soldiers Field Master Plan

Created: 06/04/2014 7:09 PM KAALtv.com

(ABC 6 News) -- The city of Rochester has received several requests for development in the "Soldiers Field" park area over the past few months. That prompted the parks department to come up with a "master plan" for the area, as Rochester continues to grow.

The first idea contractors came up with; however, doesn't sit well with some golfers in town. "It is my favorite course because it's the only course that you can really walk because it's flat, and you can walk 18 holes," said golfer Connie Fournier. She has been golfing at the Soldiers Field course since 1986.

Her favorite course could be getting a downgrade in the future. "There was a plan in which they would reduce the golf course to 9 holes," said the Men's Club President Rodney Dretsch.

That was a suggestion from contractors, to take it from 18 holes, down to nine. "This is a recommendation, it has not been approved by the board," said Parks and Recreation Director Paul Windman.

Even so, regular golfers there don’t even like the sound of it. "No way! We're an 18 hole league. We've been playing here for years, and years, and years, and we don't want to change that," said Fournier.

Windman says no matter which route the board chooses, the plan would be phased in. "This is looking 20, 30 years out, of what are the best uses to meet the recreation needs," said Windman.

Whether it remain as an 18-hole golf course, or just nine with an added form of recreation, they do plan to keep it as a park area. "We want to preserve that park for the best use intended and we also need to respond to our growing and diverse population," said Windman.

Golfers we spoke with say, they'll be taking their clubs to a different course if it means cutting this one in half. "I guess I wouldn't even play here because I want to play 18 holes," said Fournier.

"I don't want to see that happen. I don't know if that will happen," said Dretsch.

Windman tells us phase one wouldn’t even touch the golf course, and that could take several years. The park board is expected to discuss this at their next meeting July 8th.