Out Of The Rough

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Not many of you are probably thinking about the game of golf right now, after all it is December.

But a Sioux Falls real estate investor is.  Rick Gourley bought the nine hole golf course in Beaver Creek, Minnesota just across the South Dakota border this past fall. It hasn’t been open for almost 12 years. 

But Gourley is hoping to give it another shot.  

This 9 hole golf course in Beaver Creek is getting a muligan, thanks to real estate investor Rick Gourley. 

“I guess I saw it as an opportunity that it’s a good investment,” Gourley said. 

Gourley, who owns several other properties in Sioux Falls, bought the golf course in October and is now in the process of reopening it to include this events center and bar.   He thinks it’ll be a perfect venue to host wedding receptions, Christmas parties and other events. 

“Between Luverne, Brandon and Sioux Falls there will be a good draw for that as well,” Gourley said.  

The golf course opened in 2003 and there was plenty of excitement for it and the housing that would line the fareways.  But it closed in 2007 when the economy was sub-par.

“We had the crash of ’07 and ’08 and that killed the sale of lots and killed building construction here and that is what put a real wrench to the financial plan of the business model,” Gourley said.

Even though Gourley now owns it and is doing the repairs mostly by himself, he doesn’t want to operate it.  

He’d rather lease it to someone who is looking for what he says is a ‘great opportunity.’ 

“I’m going to really give somebody a great deal to come in here, it’ll be a price basically a couple of weddings will pay the rent ,” Gourley said. 

The golf course will be run separately by an outside company, who that is, he doesn’t know right now. 

The 9 hole course is in pretty good shape, considering the place has been closed for almost 12 years.  

“The fareways and the tee boxes are in wonderful condition there’s a great bed of blue grass down there,” Gourley said.  

He admits the greens need to be reworked, but that too will happen next summer. 

“Much of the sprinkler system is in good shape, but we are finding breaks and cracks in the irrigation lines,” Gourley said. 

Plus, there are 24 lots still available on the course for sale where people can build their dream homes and they have some time to do that. 

“It won’t be until 2020 that we get the golf course open, but I think we will have a beautiful course, it’s a beautiful venue,” Gourley said. 

Locals, who we talked with, share in Gourley’s excitment.

“I bought a golf cart back then and I still have it I’m waiting for it to open up, I just retired so it would be a good thing for me,” Lloyd DeBoer said. 

“Any business that comes into a small town helps, it puts people to work you know there’ll be jobs available,” Ron Rauk said.

Back at the golf course, Gourley has hired a full-service wedding planning and event design company to stage the hall, so potential business entrepreneurs can see what it could look like once they take it over, because Gourley believes this part of the business will be up and running in no time. 

“The bathrooms are operational, the kitchen is operational, all the tables and chairs and glassware is here,” Gourley said. 

Here waiting for someone, who Gourley hopes will operate it efficiently enough, to get it out of the rough.  

Gourley says he’s hoping to find an operator for the events hall and restaurant as soon as possible. The golf course probably won’t open until 2020.  

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