18 hole golf course to stay at Soldier’s Field for 5 years

(ABC 6 News) – Golfers who enjoy teeing off at Soldier’s Field can breathe a sigh of relief.

The city had been considering reducing the size of the course or eliminating it. But a decision Tuesday evening by the park board means the course will stay just as it is – at least for a little while.

In a 5 to 1 vote, the board approved the short-term plan that the city council is also on board with. But the plan will have to be revisited in five years.

This adoption will also come with an aquatics review for the Rochester pools.

Rochester residents still showed up to park board meetings expressing their opinions over the possible removal of a favored Rochester golf course.

“Out of the four golf courses, there’s only one golf course I can play. I’m retired military, 80 percent disabled,” one Rochester resident said about Soldiers Field golf course.

“I think the one answer is Soldiers Field is an 18-hole golf course,” said Roy Sutherland, another Rochester resident.

Now that the short-term master plan is approved. The park board will need to reevaluate it in 2028, which is also when the long-term master plan will be discussed.

Director of Rochester Parks and Rec Paul Widman said the long-term Soldier’s field master plan will serve as a guide.

He said the board will not be held to delivering all of the projects in the long-term plan, but it will be a guide toward the city’s future

“I would like to see where our options are with the aquatics and if we can make the impacts from the golf perspective more minimal I think that’s great, but if it can’t be done when we get to the nitty gritty on the design plans, that’s when we have to make that decision,” one park board member said.

Most requests from the community feedback from last month’s public hearing were to leave the golf course untouched.

“18 holes was the, there was no dispute among council members that they’d like to see us move in that direction, maintaining 18 holes at soldiers field,” Widman said.

And in a community survey with more than a thousand responses, 64 percent did favor making a change to the golf course – either bringing it down to nine holes or getting rid of it.

Just 36 percent wanted it to stay how it is.

Even with the golf course remaining as is – there are still preliminary plans to expand the pool at Soldier’s field at some point.

There are still preliminary plans to expand the pool at Soldier’s field at some point.

The park board also approved a master plan for Silver Lake.

It will be broken down into four phases, but it’s still unclear exactly what will happen with that pool or the silver lake dam.