Letter: Soldiers Field course is a historic treasure

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Once again, the golf community finds itself in the position of justifying our historical golf course (Soldiers Memorial Field Golf Course). It should instead be preserved and maintained as a Rochester city treasure.

The Theodore Wirth Golf Course (1916) in Minneapolis should be compared to Soldiers (1927). They write on their website, “Wirth Golf Course is one of the oldest public golf courses in the State of Minnesota rich in tradition.” It’s refreshing to see the support of the Minneapolis city and their Park Department to preserve vs. destroy.

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The NGF Study did not recommend removal of Soldiers Golf Course. The Park Department has spent all their efforts in doing just that. We can build an arboretum and pickleball courts elsewhere. We have an abundance of walking and biking trails and parks already. We can still build a super aquatic center yet leave the golf course intact.

Let’s recognize who the face of Rochester golf is. Sales of season passes 2017 to 2021 were up 40% in the categories of youth and young adults (up to age 30). We are also on the cusp of a significant retiree boom. Golf is not dying. Why are we being so short-sighted in eliminating a historic course with everything we already need to capture the growth?

Deb Garry, Rochester

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