There's a name change in the works for the Le Mars Municipal Golf Course, but right now that's the last thing on the minds of Doug and Julie Schultz, who manage the course.
Soon to be called Willow Creek Golf Course, the public course is in the middle of an even bigger transition: moving into the renovated clubhouse and preparing the new nine holes for opening.
Construction on the $1.3 million project, which is part of the Community Betterment Project (CBP) aimed at increasing recreational opportunities in Le Mars, began around September 2005. Now with mostly finishing touches and landscaping left to do, the Schultz's are transitioning business back into the renovated clubhouse -- met with raving reviews.
"People are just in awe," Doug said. "They've done a great job of preserving the old part of the building."
The clubhouse has quite a history, dating back to a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project in 1937. The renovations accentuate the historic Mankato stone and develop the lodge feel of the building, including a large free-standing fireplace.
The pro shop is in the process of moving into the renovated facility, and the banquet hall and bar that open onto the new 2,000-square-foot deck are up and running.
The banquet hall, which seats approximately 200 people, has already hosted several events, and, during recent golf outings, Schultz said the bar area, which seats 75, and the deck were packed.
"Now that were going to have 27 holes we need a facility this big to accommodate the larger number of people participating in tournaments and golf outings," Doug said.
As for the new nine holes, the Schultz's are predicting opening them up for play around the Fourth of July.
"We need to pour the concrete path to numbers five and six on the east part of the golf course," Doug said. "After that we'll probably open up in the afternoons to give the irrigation system time to work in the morning."
The new nine, designed by a group of individuals including local golfers, are incorporated into the other 18 holes. In fact, two of the existing holes on the nine added in 1989 -- numbers four and five -- are now part of the new nine holes, while two new holes have been added to that existing set.
Names for the three sets of nine holes have not been set in officially chosen yet, but since they are set apart by different colored ball washers, Doug said they may be dubbed the black nine, red nine, and green nine.
A grand opening or chamber coffee for the golf course will likely be held in the future, but for now the transition and keeping things smooth for regular golfers -- about 125 a day -- are keeping the Shultz's hands full.
"It's been busy," Doug laughed.