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Many Municipal Golf Courses Struggling

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Minnesota might be known as the State of Hockey but tourism-seeking Explore Minnesota indicates there are more than 500 golf courses in the state. Research by Freedom Foundation in Minnesota indicates among those courses there are 100 owned by approximately 70 cities in the state.

Adam Watson says, "We have never been here before and we heard some good things about it and we wanted to check it out.

Adam Watson golfs regularly "Just being out here, hitting the ball is a lot of fun."

While it's a great place for some to spend an afternoon, it can be struggle for management to make ends meet.

Madelia Golf Course Manager, Shawn Swenson says, "The main goal is to break even it's always a struggle and you always look at ways to cut cost, whatever it takes."

Last year they had make changes in staffing and also make a few cuts.

Swenson says, "Number one strategy was to cut expenses... huge expenses in irrigation with the drought and since we are municipal and we do draw water from the city we have to pay for it. So our water expenses last year were $20,000 more than they should be."

While they struggled significantly last year and were as much as $200,000 in the red, this season the Madelia Golf has shown the improvement. They currently have nearly 100 members and had nearly 2300 in green fees each ranging $12 to $14.

Swenson says, "Last if something could go wrong it would and this year. Everything seems like it's falling into place."

Swenson says it's a good start but there's still room for improvement.

The Madelia Golf Course opened at the end of April and will close toward the end of October.
They will be hosting the 2013 Governor's Pheasant Hunting Opener taking place on Friday, October 11 from 10:30 to 4.