Brookview Golf Course, owned by the City of Golden Valley, has worked hard to become a successful, top-notch public golf course.
Early Years: A Private Country Club
The original course was built in the 1920s by Archie Walker and his father, lumber magnate T.B. Walker. They operated it as a private country club until 1947. Under new ownership the course was named Brookview Golf Club and remained a private 18-hole regulation course, complete with a swimming pool, a clubhouse with a full dining room, a bar room, a pro shop, and locker rooms.
1960s: City Of Golden Valley Purchases Brookview
In the mid-1960s, Mayor Carl Nadasdy appointed a three-member Golf Negotiating Committee, representing the City Council, the Park Commission, and the Planning Commission, to discuss purchase of the Brookview Golf Club. Negotiations began in March 1966 and resulted in a purchase agreement. In June 1967, Golden Valley voters overwhelmingly passed a $1,600,000 bond issue for the purchase and development of the area. Having taken possession of the club and golf course in November 1968, the City of Golden Valley began official operations at Brookview Golf Course in 1969.
In the early years, fees were $3.25 for an 18-hole green fee and $2 for nine holes. Women and juniors could play after noon on weekends and holidays. These fees helped pay for a new grill and pro shop addition that were built on the lower level on the west side of the building, away from the Park and Recreation offices that were located on the upper level.
1970s: Par 3 Course Added
After several years of operation, the 11th, 12th, and 13th holes were rebuilt to accommodate the construction of the Par 3 course, which opened in April 1977. The first green on the regulation course was also rebuilt (from a dogleg left to a straight hole) to accommodate the development of a driving range and a cart storage building south of the first hole and adjacent to Highway 12.
1980s: Major Flooding Leads To Redesign
Since it was originally built, Brookview Golf Course area has been designated a flood plain, designed to hold overflow water from Bassett Creek which flows throughout the course. However, as more highways, parking lots, and buildings were built in Golden Valley, additional water runoff produced extensive course flooding and the flooding issue became more than an annoyance. In fact, many holes were out of play for weeks at a time. Through 1982, the maximum regulation course rounds played were 32,000.
One of several floods that engulfed Brookview over the years before the redesign.
To address the flooding issues, Brookview began its first major redesign and reconstruction of the 1st, 2nd, 6th, 9th, 14th, 15th, and 18th holes in 1984 and 1985. This work included bridging fairways and enlarging and adding ponds to try to eliminate flooding in areas of play. Even with the flooding, by 1988, a drought year, the maximum rounds played were up to 58,800.
1990s: Closed Briefly For Green Reconstruction
The 1988 -1989 winter killed the poa annua grass and left greens in very poor condition. Greens resodding in spring 1989 brought limited success. By spring of 1990, 17 of the 18 greens were entirely dead. For the first and only time since its purchase by the City, Brookview’s regulation course was closed for redesign and reconstruction of all the greens except the 18th hole. Following the course reconstruction, the clubhouse was remodeled and enlarged through the fall and winter of 1990. A grand re-opening event was held in May 1991 and Brookview has been in full operation ever since.
The City of Golden Valley celebrated its 25th anniversary of operating Brookview Golf Course in 1994, and festivities included a silver anniversary tournament held in May of that year.
2000s: Successful And Profitable Public Golf Course
Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty kicked off "Play Golf Minnesota Week" at Brookview in 2007 on WCCO radio.
In 2000, 33,008 rounds were played on the Par 3 course and 53,500 rounds were played on the Regulation course. For the first time since it was purchased by the City, Brookview revenues exceeded $2,000,000 in 2001. The same year, 110 foot nets were erected on the driving range along Highway I- 394, new practice greens were sculpted, and the entire range was resodded.
Currently, Brookview continues to experience “flood conditions” in various wet years, but has been able to remain open even under extreme wet conditions since 1990.
Financially speaking, the Course operates as an enterprise fund within the City of Golden Valley and is funded 100% by golfer (user) fees. While the City of Golden Valley owns Brookview Golf Course, no taxpayer money goes towards funding Brookview Golf Course maintenance, operations, or capital improvements. Brookview is expected to operate within a balanced budget and maintain annual profitability.
2010s: Creating A Year-Round Destination For Recreation
In the fall of 2013 the park and recreation department and the golf course proposed to the Golden Valley City Council a plan for the construction of a lawn bowling facility located north of the clubhouse. The council approved the plans and in November of 2013 the north parking lot was removed in preparation for the construction.
Beginning in the spring of 2014 the golf course maintenance staff with help from other city departments the construction on the new lawn bowling facility began. Construction took place from May through June. In June Brookview purchased sod for the green from Olympic Hills Golf Course and the last step in the construction was completed. The 8 rink lawn bowling facility opened on Thursday, August 14th with a Grand Opening party celebrating with the City Council, City Employees, Park and Recreation Department and Golf Course Staff. Brookview officially changed our name to Brookview Golf Course and Lawn Bowling.
On Monday, June 2, 2014 Brookview Golf Course served it first strong beer and cocktail at the course. After many years of work the city proposed a provision under the state liquor laws to allow our city business to be allowed to purchase a liquor license.
Brookview opened a new winter recreation trail the winter of 2014-2015. Partnering with Tonka Cycle and Ski, Brookview groomed two winter trails, a 3 mile and a 1 mile trail, for primarily fat biking and open to all winter activities such as cross country skiing, snowshoeing, skijoring, and winter walking. The Minnesota winter was mild for the first year, but the interest in the trail was a great success. Two fat bike snow races were scheduled and unfortunately canceled due to the lack of snow for the trails. The trails were open for three weekends in January and rented 42 fat bikes for the first season. For the 2015-2016 winter season Brookview continued to add activities by partnering with Gotta Go Gotta Throw to create an 18 hole disc golf course on the par 3 course.
In 2015, Brookview was approved to allow drivers and woods on the Driving Range, which led to the highest revenue year in its history. In October 2015, the City Council approved the plans for the redevelopment of the Community Center and Clubhouse. Plans are being developed and Brookview is set to break ground on the new building in October 2016 with completion in October/November 2017.