Kevin Norby is working on the nine-hole public course at Edgewater Country Club in New Town, North Dakota, following the State’s decision to build a road through the middle of the course.
“The North Dakota Department of Transportation was proposing a new bypass road around the city of New Town to handle all the oil tanker truck traffic,” said Norby. “They essentially had three options: To go over Lake Sakakawea – difficult environmental impacts and very expensive; to go through some subsidised ‘section eight’ housing on the Indian reservation – difficult to get approved because they would have had to relocate residents and get federal approvals; or to go through the golf course. Initially the golf course opposed but eventually said they would agree.”
The road goes through the middle of the course and, as a result of the decision, the State is building three new holes, a new driving range, new clubhouse and new maintenance facility. “It ended up being a pretty good deal for the golf club,” said Norby.
“The three new holes – six, seven and eight – are very exciting. We’re building two new par fives and a new par three. We have nearly 100 feet of elevation change over the site and nearly 70 feet alone on the 586-yard downhill par-five ninth. The par-three seventh plays 210 yards from the tips and 105 yards from the forward tees. It plays uphill slightly to a green guarded by one bunker. The par-five sixth plays downhill and then slightly uphill to an elevated green guarded by two bunkers.”
Grassing began at the Edgewater course a couple of weeks ago, and Norby says that the nine is expected to be ready for play in June 2019.
“The new holes will be quite different from the existing holes as many of the existing holes are lined with rows of mature spruce trees,” said Norby. “The new holes are built on rolling native North Dakota prairie with not a single tree in sight. The State required that we plant new trees to replace the trees that we cut down on the existing course. Most of those will be planted along the new roadway. We are also planting a fair amount of native chokeberry which is a large spreading shrub that we’re using much like gorse.
“The wind blows all the time, so we made the greens large and the fairways quite wide. The new holes have stunning views of Lake Sakakawea and are surrounded by some of the most beautiful native shortgrass prairie I have encountered.
“The course will be a lot of fun. We’re hopeful that eventually we’ll be able to build another nine and be able to remove some trees on the existing course. When that happens, this will be a nice compliment to the golf in western North Dakota.”
Once the new holes are ready to play, Norby will take the existing holes one, five and six and the existing driving range out of play and begin work on the new driving range.