APPLETON - A facelift for Appleton's city-owned golf course to help prevent flooding in the neighborhood is almost complete.
The almost $4 million project at Reid Golf Course will create two storm water retention ponds.
The end of the project is in sight and golf course officials are happy about that, since it has cut course attendance nearly in half.
The sounds of construction equipment are not sounds a golfer wants to hear on the golf course.
"There was a lot of frustration, naturally, people don't want to deal with change," said longtime Reid Golf Course member Ben Scherg of Appleton.
But a plan by the city's public works department to create two storm water retention ponds on Reid Golf Course serves a purpose greater than just making the course tougher to play.
"It's a big piece of the puzzle that is needed to make storm water improvements in this area," said Pete Neuberger, project engineer
The course is now about 85 percent complete and several months ahead of schedule. And Neuberger says more than 200,000 tons of dirt has been moved to make the project a reality. One that golf course managers say will make for a better playing experience in the future.
"The excitement is going to be overwhelming in the spring time. I think people are going to be excited to come out here and play and I think that is going to make up for what we lost this year," said Stacey Gassner, clubhouse manager
"The good news is the course will reopen as 18 holes next year and we're planting hundreds of new trees, so actually it will be a win win," said Doug DeVries, course superintendent.
The project has left only a nine-hole layout for golfers this summer. But many say they are willing to deal with the changes if it makes the course more challenging.
"I've got friends that don't like to come over and play with me because they say it's too easy, but I'm going to be excited to get them out here and see how easy it is for them. Will it give them a stiffer challenge? Oh I'd like to see their first ball go into a new pond and ask them how easy it is now," said Scherg.
A question that will be answered next spring.
Construction on the project should be done by mid-August. That will give the new parts of the course time to fill in before reopening next spring.
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