SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — With snow on the ground, this usually isn’t the time of year golfers hope to get out onto the course.
In this week’s Flashback Friday, we take you back to 1987 with KELOLAND’S Perry Groten and show you where golfers were able to play a few rounds.
The greens are more white than green, but when the sun burns off the early morning frost, golfers flock to the Rapid City Municipal Course.
“We’re out everyday. We come out rain or shine, snow or sleet. We enjoy it.”
“This is the latest and the earliest we’ve been open. I mean, we’ve been playing golf ever since November 20th, and this is the earliest we’ve ever opened. I’ve been here for 4 years, and we’ve never been, it’s never been like this.”
At a time when ski resorts report fewer numbers, the warm winter is making people think tee rather than ski. Mann says the municipal course is average 50 golfers each weekday, as high as 175 a day on weekends, and that’s money in the bank for Rapid City.
“It’s proved an extra bonanza to us. What’s happened is we’ve had a number of extra days that we’re open, and as a result of that more people have been golfing. But we find, I think we estimate that it’ll increase our revenue about 10%, so we’re looking at in the neighborhood of an additional $30,000 generated for the golf course.”
Like a good golf score, the warm weather is producing low numbers elsewhere for Rapid City. Fewer dollars are being spent on city utility bills. Rueger estimates a $150,000 savings in gas and electric rates. And while the golf carts chug along, snow plows sit idle, saving $100,000 in removal costs. But they’ll be back in action with the next snowfall, an event these golfers hope never happens.
Perry Groten, KELOLAND News, Rapid City.