Fate of Soldiers Memorial Field Park worries golfers

(ABC 6 News) – The Parks Department is seeking further public input on the possible plans to update Soldiers Field Memorial Park. One of the biggest changes could be to the golf course.

The Rochester Park Board met on Tuesday night where it got a glimpse of three options for the future of the park.

The three options involve either keeping all 18-holes, eliminating nine of the holes, or getting rid of the golf course altogether.

Soldiers Field Golf Course has been around for almost 90 years.

Many golfers hitting the links on Wednesday said they would be very sad and disappointed to see the course go.

Golfers like Loy Colebeck said if the course is turned into nine holes, that the whole course will eventually die.

"That nine holes will not be feasible at that golf course," Colebeck, President of the Soldiers Memorial Field Women’s Golf Association, said.

Soldiers Memorial Field Women’s Golf Association has been active for more than 50 years. These significant changes could end the Women’s Golf Association completely for 45 women.

"We would not be in existence anymore. All the friendships and everything. I mean, yeah, the ladies can golf at other places too but our league has been in existence for almost as long as the golf course," Colebeck said.

Another aspect many golfers agreed on was how accessible this course is for seniors compared to other courses in Rochester. One golfer said he golfed with an 87-year-old last week at Soldiers Field.

Two local high school golf teams also practice on this course, which would leave them without a home course.

Just last month, U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith announced that Rochester will be getting $5 million in federal funding for improvements to Soldiers Field Park.

The Park Board said these three potential options will be presented to the public at various upcoming events in the community.

For a breakdown and maps of the three options in detail, visit this Master Plan Update.