Improvements made at the Whitetail Run Golf Course – Wadena Pioneer Journal

One of the biggest changes to the facilities at the Whitetail Run Golf Course came in the form of a new kitchen in the clubhouse. It was the brainchild of Patty Johnson and Stacy Grieme, members with Whitetail Run Golf Course, who worked with volunteers, the Friends of the Whitetail Run Golf Course and the Harry Merickel and Browne Foundation to fund the $25,000 project.

“After more than 30 years of use, the clubhouse kitchen really showed troubling signs of age and use,” Johnson said. “It has been a subject of conversation throughout the years. It was old and inefficient appliances, warped and damaged cabinets and maintenance issues. It was a small group that decided to find out if we could fundraise and get something going.”

Grieme approached the Browne Family Foundation to see if it would be a project they may accept to fund. After being encouraged to apply for a grant. During that time, they hosted a fundraiser and received a lot of interest from the public, according to Johnson. After getting bids for the construction, Johnson submitted the grant application, which was approved.

Johnson said they saved upwards of $4,500 on the flooring. Instead of replacing it, they scrubbed, polished and resurfaced the existing floor.

The kitchen is brand new with all stainless-steel appliances. They replaced the refrigerator, the sinks, microwave, stove and garbage disposal in the kitchen.

Johnson said Whitetail Run’s Kevin Ross went into the kitchen and started gutting it out. Johnson said she was immediately excited when she saw that because she knew things would get rolling.

“And they did. Because we got the bids the summer and the fall before, everything was ready to go,” Johnson said. “We got the cabinets from Merickel Lumber, Weber Hardware is where we got the appliances, local plumbing and electric. Scott’s Tile for the backsplash, while Mark’s Home and Construction did the labor and cabinet installation. All of them were prepared and ready to go. By the end of April it was 90 percent done and we just finished the last of it with the backsplash. It’s looking good.”

While it is nice to have the kitchen finished, usage of it has been put on hold due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

“We are all ready to go after 30 some years of use and in need of repairs for so long in recent years, now we can’t use it, for now,” Johnson said. “We just have to wait and see when it can be used. We are excited about it and what makes us most excited about it, it helps the golf course. It is partially supported by the City of Wadena and they are always looking for ways to raise money and one of the ways that they do that is by using their facilities for events. It has been used that way in recent years and months, however, the kitchen was a turn off and there is no doubt about it. But if people come and see how nice and clean and new everything is, (they can see) it really is a decent facility for hosting family reunions, class reunions, showers and things of that nature.”

Johnson said it was nice to have local support and use local businesses to help the project come to completion.

“Several of these guys are involved in the golf course and are regular golfers at the course. They were aware of the deterioration of the kitchen and were excited to have it too,” Johnson said. “They were very much aware of the issues and were happy to see it be taken care of.”

Johnson said it is an exciting time for the golf course with a lot of things going on. She said the kitchen is just one aspect.

Ross, who is the golf pro at Whitetail Run said they are adding more forward tees to the golf course, which makes the game more accessible for its patrons.

In all, the course will be adding 20 new tee boxes to the course, 14 of them are forward tees, while the others will be additions to their gold tees.

“It will be more playable for more people as far as abilities and length,” Ross said. “They are going to be green tees and they come in at 600 yards shorter than the original senior tees. They are shaping them now and should be seeding them soon. We probably won’t play them until the middle of August.”

Ross said the tee box project is an intensive one. It features a lot of earth moving, reshaping and planting. He said it will be nice when it is done. He said they use a tiller on the back of a tractor and will rough out an area that is 1.5 times the size of the tee box is going to be and will come back and pull it to the middle, raising it up about a foot off the ground. They will reshape it, clear out the rocks, reshape it again and seed it.

Ross said players are excited for the forward tees. Ross said more options make it more enjoyable for the golfers.

“That’s the whole thing. If you walk off the golf course and hit some good shots and are kind of excited, that is what it is supposed to be,” Ross said. “If you walk off and say this is way too hard, I’m not coming back. We wanted to open it up to all abilities.”

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