PROGRESS 2021: Course Expansion (Blooming Prairie)
Blooming Prairie Prairie Country Club is set for a big makeover
Blooming Prairie is ready to spruce up its golf game.
As its long-time lease agreement with the Blooming Prairie Gun Club is nearing its end, the Blooming Prairie Country Club is going to shift course and make renovations that must be completed by July of 2024. The project includes the addition of land that will allow the course to run near Oak Glen Lake. The course will remain nine holes, but it will have a different look to it.
“All of the holes will eventually be west of the clubhouse,” said Jason Thompson, President of the BPCC Board. “One of our members donated the parcel north of 218 and that gave us the ability to purchase another 10 acres from a local farmer.”
BP will lose all of holes No. 2 and No. 3 in the current course and half of No. 1 and No. 4 will be gone as well. Thompson said that area may turn into an area for youths to practice in the future, but he’s mostly excited about the stretch of the new course, which will taper away from the soggy grounds that have been prone to flooding during golf season.
Thompson said the move is built towards making BPCC a mainstay for decades to come.
“The (gun club) has been great stewards for the game and I’m sure they don’t want to see us leave, but it’s time for us to provide nine holes of dry land and this gives us the best option to do that,” Thompson said. “The community support is very important to any small business and it’s only going to be as good as your community helps. It’s the heart of the community members that really drive these local businesses. We don’t want this course to be around just another 10 years. We want it to be around for another 100 years.”
BP head golf coach Carl Peterson has played golf in BP since he was eight years old. The course holds a lot of sentimental value for him, but he’s glad to see that improvements are coming.
“It’s mostly the same as it was when I was younger, although the trees are much bigger now,” Peterson said. “It is the course that I grew up on and that’s why I like it so much, but I’m actually excited about what they might come up with the new design. I’ll miss some of the old holes, but it’s going to be beautiful by the lake and I think it could be something special when they get done with it.”
The groundwork of the course is being handled by Rodney Cole, who lives in Tennessee and is a long-time friend of Aaron Ressler, who is BP’s golf pro.
The work that Cole puts in will make BPCC a better place to play golf, and the change comes at a good time as BPCC drew greater numbers of golfers this past summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I think it’s huge for small towns to keep their courses intact,” Thompson said. “I grew up in a small town with a nine hole golf course and that’s where I became passionate about it as an eight-year-old. Golf teaches integrity and all of those other relationship attributes that go along with life. Whether you’re playing with just your spouse or all of your family members.”
Peterson said having the future of the golf course locked up is good for the Awesome Blossoms and the community alike.
“Certainly we need a golf course,” Peterson said. “If you don’t have a golf course, you’re going to be looking elsewhere to play and most of those courses already have teams playing. I don’t know that we’d lose our golf team, but it would be much more difficult without a golf course in town.”
Work on the new course has already started and it will continue through the summer and fall of 2021.
“We’re taking parcel by parcel,” Thompson said. “We’re still working on funding mechanisms and we’re looking for donations.”