City, Elk River Golf Club hit the green on Pinewood agreement

by Rachel Minske
Contributing Writer
The Elk River Golf Club will now operate the city-owned Pinewood Golf Course on Waco Street, according to a management agreement approved March 6 by the City Council.

Under the agreement, the Elk River Golf Club will make repairs and prepare the clubhouse and grounds for each season. The city will assist with the startup costs of the building, providing things such as heat and water.

The city will pay the Elk River Golf Club a monthly management fee of $4,000 from April through September for the next two years. The city will pay for all operating expenses and will receive all revenue from operations at Pinewood, which also includes a 1,700-square-foot clubhouse and pole barn maintenance building, according to the agreement.

Over the last few months, city staff has worked with the Elk River Golf Club to develop a contract for the nine-hole course. The city attorney and specialists at the League of Minnesota Cities collaborated in the development of the final agreement, according to city documents.

The Elk River Golf Club Board has reviewed and approved the agreement, according to city documents.

“It’s exciting to have the opportunity to open a new course,” said Chris Singer, the general manager and head professional at the Elk River Golf Club. “It’s a great course for juniors, seniors and beginners.

“It’s going to be fun to bring it back and get it to a level where people can be proud of the course.”

Details about the course
The future of the Pinewood Golf Course had been unclear for some time.

Paul Krause, a Pro Football Hall of Famer and a former Minnesota Vikings player, and his wife, Pamela, sold the course to the city for $1.8 million in 2006. The Krauses became entangled in a three-year legal battle when the city missed its final payment of $1.5 million for the golf course.

When city sought to renegotiate its final payoff in 2013, the Krauses rejected the request and filed suit to force the full payment.
The Krauses and the city of Elk River reached a settlement agreement in April and the city agreed to pay the couple $1.55 million. In return, the lawsuit was dismissed and the city received the title to the golf course.

The course did not open for the 2014 season and has been closed ever since.

The city advertised and received two proposals in November 2016 for the management and sale of the Pinewood Golf Course. The council’s consensus at a work session that month was for City Administrator Cal Portner to meet with the Elk River Golf Club and work out details toward entering into a formal agreement.

The Elk River Golf Club was not the only proposal for the city-owned golf course; a second proposal from Chase Michael Homes-Dalbec Property Management was also submitted. The proposal called for the purchase of the golf course for at least $300,000 and maintaining the property as a golf course for at least the next 15 years.

Some council members said they were uncomfortable with selling the golf course and opted for the proposal from the Elk River Golf Club.

Under management from the Elk River Golf Club, the city course could be open as early as spring 2017. Prices for 2017 have been set; adults will be able to play nine holes for $14 on weekdays and $17 on weekends. Memberships for a single adult are $455 and $395 for a single senior.

Singer said the exact date the course will open is unknown at this time. The decision is contingent upon weather, which will have an effect on how quickly the course can be readied.