Did You Know?


Hello all,

It is imperative that we have a strong turnout at the upcoming parks commission meeting (NOV 13 5pm).  We need to rally everyone who cares about this issue: FODPG members, golfers who may not be members, community members who care about this issue, etc.  STRENGTH IN NUMBERS- It is the most tangible way for the city to see our concern for this issue.
 It was officially announced this week that the Lake 9 is now closed.  We all knew this was likely to happen at some point, but there has still been no “public announcement”, and in August a city councilor said he thought nothing would be closed next year.  City administration is not even being clear with the Council.  WE NEED TRANSPARENCY.  The explanation was that the decision was part of the Council Approved Proposal from earlier in the summer.  However, if that is the framework, then other parts of that plan should also be already implemented.  We still have no Advisory Board.  Work was started on the RFI & RFP for the management company without consulting FODPG.  No meeting has occurred since the formation of the “RFP Review Board”.  We are tasked with raising funds to financially support the courses- we CANNOT truly do this without a MASTER PLAN.
 The clock is ticking and the city is proceeding with their plan and only including us on the back-end.  Giving us updates after decisions are already made does not constitute “involvement”.  If we do not show up and speak up now, it will be too late.  Please attend the Parks Commission meeting this Wednesday, and bring 2 or more  people with you.  Let’s pack the place!


FODPG Board of Directors


Please look at these Request For Proposal (RFP) documents that the city has released concerning potential development plans for Enger and/or Lester Park Golf Courses. Think of the impact that they would have on Public Golf and Park Property. Let the candidates in the upcoming election know what you want for the future of our golf courses. Make your voice be heard!

View them online:

Enger RFP

Lester RFP

Did You Know?

Next FODPG Meeting TBD @ Enger Park GC PAVILLION


Have your voice heard… Are the golf courses important to you????

Important contact information for you to consider expressing your opinions. Let the elected officials know your viewpoint on the course and how important they are to our community.

Contact candidates for 2019 Duluth general election races November
Duluth Mayor
Emily Larson – https://duluthmn.gov/contact/mayor/
David Nolle – 218-461-9496 – dave@davenolle.com

At-Large City Council
Vote for two at-large city council seats, but contact all (four people will be on the ballot)
Noah Hobbs -(218)730-5351 – nhobbs@DuluthMN.gov
Arik Forsman – (218)409-8822 – aforsman@duluthmn.gov
Mike Mayou – info@mayouduluth.org  – https://www.facebook.com/mayouduluth/ –
Derek Medved – medvedduluth@gmail.com

First District City Council
Gary Anderson – https://garyandersonforduluth.com/contact/ – ganderson@DuluthMN.gov –
https://www.facebook.com/garyandersonforduluth/ –
Becky Hall – https://www.beckyhallforduluth.com – https://www.facebook.com/BeckyHallforDuluth/
Third District City Council
Roz Randorf – (218) 443-8364 – roz.randorf@dalecarnegie.com – https://www.rozforduluth.com/
Theresa O’Halloran-Johnson – https://www.facebook.com/Theresa4Duluth/ – (218)343-3085
Fifth District City Council
Jeanne Koneczny – http://jeanneforduluth.com/contact-jeanne/
Janet Kennedy – https://www.kennedyforduluth.com/get-involved


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE City of Duluth – Communications Office 

411 West First Street, Duluth, Minnesota 55802 218-730-5230 | www.duluthmn.gov | Emily Larson, Mayor 

For more information contact Kate Van Daele, Public Information Officer 218-730-5309 

DATE: 9/17/2019 SUBJECT: Mayor Emily Larson Announces City Hall in the City Events BY: Phil Jents, Communications and Policy Officer 

Mayor Emily Larson Announces City Hall in the City Events 

[Duluth, MN] Mayor Emily Larson is continuing her commitment of outreach to Duluth residents through City Hall in the City community listening sessions. The sessions are being held in various times, neighborhoods, and locations to reach people across the entire city. The sessions enable residents to have individualized conversations with the Mayor and City staff about various topics (including sales tax street projects, Street Maintenance, and snow removal operations) and emerging issues that are important to them. These sessions are open to all residents and children are welcome to attend. 

The dates and locations are as follows: 

September 2019 

Ordean Building – Conference Room B &C | 424 W. Superior St. Duluth, MN 55802 – 8:30 AM – 9:30 AM | Thursday, September 19 

Portman Community Center | 4601 McCulloch St. Duluth, MN 55804 – 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM | Tuesday, September 24 

Morgan Park Community Center | 1242 88th Ave. W. Duluth, MN 55808 – 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM | Thursday, September 26 

October 2019 

Harrison Community Center | 3002 W. 3rd St. Duluth, MN 55806 – 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM | Tuesday, October 1 

Woodland Recreation Center | 3211 Allendale Ave. Duluth, MN 55803 – 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM | Thursday, October 3 

Gary New Duluth Rec Center | 801 101st Ave. W. Duluth, MN 55808 – 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM | Tuesday, October 8 

November 2019 

Lafayette Community Center | 3026 Minnesota Ave. Duluth, MN 55802 – 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM | Wednesday, November 13 

Denfeld High School – Cafeteria | 401 N 44th Ave. W. Duluth, MN 55807 – 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM | Monday, November 18 

Grant Park Recreation Center | 901 E. 11th St. Duluth. MN 55805 – 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM | Wednesday, November 20 

Visit the City of Duluth website at www.duluthmn.gov or our “City of Duluth, MN” Facebook page for event listings and the latest City Hall in the City updates. 



FODPG would like to thank all who participated in the 2nd Annual Friends of Duluth Public Golf Scramble. 17 4-person teams participated and others joined us for the day.

A special thank you goes out to our hole sponsors. Your commitment to the Duluth Golf Community is truly appreciated and is making a difference in our continued fight to keep public golf accessible to the citizens of Duluth. Lester is a special place, making memories for many people and is a valuable community resource that should be supported by city government, like other assets in our city.

Thank you again to all our HOLE SPONSORS.

  1. ·         The Mike Dean Family
  2. ·         Grandma’s Sports Garden
  3. ·         Krenzen
  4. ·         The Hank Jensen Memorial Golf Tournament
  5. ·         Tony Dierkins- Zenith City Press
  6. ·         ProForma
  7. ·         Spang Appraisal Assoc.
  8. ·         Lester Park Men’s Club
  9. ·         Greg Gilbert Law
  10. ·         Centricity Credit Union
  11. ·         Lake Aire Bottle Shoppe
  12. ·         Lakeside Liquors
  13. ·         Green Mill of Duluth
  14. ·         Fastenal
  15. ·         Enger Park Ladies Early Risers League
  16. ·         Monday 1:07 Gang
  17. ·         The Baumgartner Family

2 nd Annual Friends of Duluth Public Golf Scramble

Historic Lester Golf Course 

August 16, 2019  @ 12:30pm (shotgun start)

Support the Friends of Duluth Public Golf and enjoy a round of golf at Lester Park.  We will be playing the Front/Lake in a 4 person scramble format.   Come enjoy the beautiful asset of Duluth.  

For those interested in donations, we have a hole sponsorship program.   Please click the link for more information on how to make a TAX Deductible Donation:  


Junior Golf at Duluth Public Golf Courses

Minnesota PGA Junior Golf will be at Lester Park on Monday July 22nd, and Enger Park on Tuesday July 23rd, 2019.

On Friday July 26th all active Youth on Course junior golf members will have a chance to play for $1 with Duluth Golf.

The following week the Duluth Junior Golf Tournament, a 2 day event this year.  


7/9/19-   ATTENTION:   Fun gathering and get together at Lester Park Golf Course.

Free Range Balls provided by Friends of Duluth Public Golf.  Bring your clubs and your Family out for some range time and get to know your fellow golfers and enjoy the beauty of Lester Golf Course.  Everyone welcome – from novice to experts, kids and adults.    

               Date and Time :   Sunday July 14,  7:00pm @ Lester Golf Course

Lester Park is an important asset to our community.   The Lake 9 can be challenging, but it provides a beautiful experience.   Here is a little sample of what the Lake 9 experience can provide   :                https://www.facebook.com/duluthgolf/videos/345669429690349/

Great shot provided by our current FODPG President and golf enthusiast Dan Baugartner.


FODPG has worked diligently over the past year researching the background of Duluth Public Golf,  gathering data to gain insight into the ongoing discussion about the future of Enger Park and Lester Park Golf Courses.  We will be posting information on a regular basis to help you reach out to your City Councilors and Mayor Larson.  Make sure that your voice is heard! Share with others in order to spread the word to the citizens of Duluth and become a member of FODPG to receive email updates.

*Contact City Council                                                                                                           *Contact Mayor Larson

6/24/2019 – DID YOU KNOW… FODPG and Lester Park Men’s Club members, Luke Murray and John Lind, volunteered to paint the Lester Park Clubhouse deck showing their support for Lester Park GC? Make sure to check it out after your next round.

6/16/2019 – DID YOU KNOW… this weekend’s US Open Golf Championship is being held at a public golf course?  Yes, Pebble Beach is pay per round course, you can play for a price!

Did you know…the two courses comprise one of Duluth’s larger and more sophisticated businesses? They are located on hundreds of acres of land with millions of dollars of infrastructure, employ approximately 80 people, produce annual revenues of approximately $1.8 million, and operate in a highly competitive environment. This underscores the need for careful planning, oversight, and management.

3/20/2019 –  Did you know…average total revenue per round is a financial tool used in the golf industry? By dividing total annual revenue from all sources by the number of total annual rounds played, the amount the average golfer spends on a single visit is figured. From 2014-2017, the average total revenue per round at Lester and Enger was $25.27. Per the National Golf Foundation, the average total revenue per round at mid-fee public courses in 2009–a full decade earlier–was $30.58. That approximate five-dollar gap, taken against an average of 70,000 rounds per year at Lester and Enger from 2014-2018, would have represented approximately $350,000 per year in additional revenue.

3/4/2019 – Did You Know…golfers typically play twice as often after retiring (an average of 40 rounds per year as opposed to 21 rounds per year), and we are in the middle of the Baby Boomers’ retirement years? Boomers, now aged 53 to 72 years, are retiring at the rate of approximately 10,000 per day or 3 million per year. There are an estimated six million golfers in the Baby Boomer generation. That is a good sign for increased golf participation in the future.

3/1/2019 – Did You Know… two separate golf consultants retained by the City in 2011 and 2013 surveyed golfers to see if they would pay more to fund course improvements? In 2011, 2/3 of the golfers said they would pay an additional $2-$4 per round if the proceeds were reinvested into the property. In 2013, nearly 3/4 said they would pay more for improvements, and nearly 1/2 said they would be willing to pay at least $5 more. Both consultants recommended raising rates to finance capital improvements, but that has never been done in any significant way. Since the start of the 2014 season, golfers have played 346,035 rounds at Lester and Enger combined. An increase of $4 would have produced an additional $1,384,140 in revenue, covering all of the operating losses and leaving close to $1 million for necessary course improvements,

2/26/2019 – Did you know… the City retained a golf consultant in 2013 who advised building a 300-capacity multi-use facility at Enger? A restaurant, bar, banquet/wedding center, and clubhouse located at the eastern end of the driving range would command spectacular views and serve as a center for Enger Park Tower, Golf Course and Skyline in general. The consultants thought it might be an appropriate candidate for financing with tourism tax dollars and/or through a public-private partnership which could greatly reduce the total amount of any bond for necessary golf course improvements. This concept, as far as we know, was never formally pursued.

 2/23/2019 – Did you know…two separate golf consultants retained by Duluth in 2011 /2013 believed that tourists were largely unaware of the existence of the City’s courses? Both recommended simple solutions, directional signs on I-35 and Highway 61, and perhaps billboards on those roads highlighting the scenic beauty of the courses, which they described as “spectacular.” There still are no directional signs or billboards. Our courses are overlooked as another vacation activity available in Duluth.

2/19/2019 -Did you know…there were 23.8 million people and 456 million rounds played in 2017? An additional 8.3 million unique people played golf at an off-site facility like a golf simulator. With some investment at our courses, it could be another draw for our community.

2/13/2019 – Did you know… that Ramsey County is looking at significant investment in their courses? A 2018 Star Tribune article stated that Ramsey County’s (MN) three 18 hole public courses average between 29,000 and 37,000 rounds. Enger and Lester Park average 71,000 combined, fitting neatly into those numbers.

2/8/2019 – Did you know… that Lester Park Golf course is 269 acres of City Parkland that could potentially be for sale? Think about the precedent that could set for the future of our beloved City Parks, prime properties set aside for the citizens of Duluth handed over to developers. Say no to the sale of Parkland!

2/4/2019 – Did you know… that the $2,2 million deficit cited in articles and data by the media and city administration has accumulated over a 20 year period and that approximately $680,000 are charges from interest on the debt and additional city administrative services?

1/31/2019 – Did you know…Duluth Public Golf courses have an annual payroll of approximately $1 million and provide 80-82 jobs per year?  The courses are providing real jobs for our community and those employees spend their hard earned dollars here.

1/24/2019Did you know…The City of Duluth states there are not enough rounds played at the two courses for them to sustain themselves? In 2018 there were 61,000 rounds played at the two public golf courses in Duluth, a short, wet season. Going back the preceding 3 years the number of rounds played were all higher with a high of 80,000 in 2015, for an average of 71,000.
The City has hired a consultant to determine the feasibility of operating both golf courses. This consultant had written a book on golf course management in which he states that the number of rounds played at a golf course needs to be around 30,000 in order for it to be financially feasible. That criteria has been met.

1/22/2019 – Did you know… That the developer interested in purchasing Lester Park Golf Course, Tom Sunnarborg, will be meeting with individual City Councilors this week? Statutes require 8 of the 9 councilors to vote yes in order to sell Park Property.

 1/22/2019 – Did you know…that the City of Duluth believes there are not enough rounds played at our public golf courses for them to sustain themselves? In 2018 alone, there were 61,000 rounds played at the two public golf courses in Duluth.  Going back the preceding 3 years, the number of rounds played were all higher (80,000 in 2015) for an average of 71,000.

The City hired a consultant to determine the feasibility of operating both golf courses. This consultant had written a book on golf course management in which he states that the number of rounds played at a golf course needs to be around 30,000 in order for it to be financially feasible.  That number has been exceeded at both courses.

1/14/2019 –  Did you knowthat 30 charity events were held at the golf courses in 2018, raising $250,000 for their respective charities?  If Lester Park Golf Course is sold, that number of events would not be possible, costing these charities much-needed funds.