AGC remodels its signature holeThe par-3 seventh, Minnesota hole, at the Alexandria Golf Club will offer a new challenge to golfers starting next June.
By: Eric Morken, Alexandria Echo Press
After almost 100 years of history, the Alexandria Golf Club decided its signature hole was ready for a facelift.
A complete renovation to the par-3 seventh hole, most commonly known as the Minnesota hole, was completed recently in a project that took almost six weeks from start to finish. Before this, the hole had been unchanged since the course’s inception in 1915.
“I think this was an opportunity,” head pro Ron Rebrovich said. “We knew there were some areas that we wanted to upgrade. We wanted to go the full way and do it right and have it for the next 100 years.”
The golf club went to someone who knows a thing or two about playing and designing prestigious courses. Alexandria native and 1996 British Open champion Tom Lehman headed the design of the new hole. He received input from the AGC golf and green committee, along with Rebrovich and Superintendent Donnacha O’Connor, but Lehman’s fingerprints are all over the
“As the club pro here, it’s fun to associate with Tom and the national recognition that he brings with him,” Rebrovich said. “Yet, he’s still an Alexandria born and bred guy who loves coming back here and seeing his mom. Now he’s going to be able to play his old course with a new design that he designed.”
The new layout figures to challenge golfers of every skill level. The hole will feature five tee boxes, with the hole playing roughly 90 yards from the front box to around 203 yards from the back.
The right and back side of the green tucks up against the shores of Lake Darling. Deep bunkers also hug the green on the front left and back right sides. The remodeling also added about 20 yards to the eighth hole after the tee box was moved back to the edge of the Lake Darling shoreline. About the only thing that didn’t change on the seventh was the historic shape of the Minnesota green.
“I think it’s going to play a little longer from the back tees for those who choose to play it from there,” Rebrovich said. “We’ve got some bunker features that are a little bit more challenging and some more undulation on the greens, so I think it’s going to be a challenging hole.”
Work was originally supposed to be completed in 2011, but high water levels on Lake Darling made that impossible. That meant AGC golfers had to wait an extra year for the remodeling to take shape.
“I think that’s what has led to more excitement and enthusiasm this year,” Rebrovich said. “Seeing that water wasn’t an issue, it was actually going to happen. People were excited about that. It’s been two or three years in the making and to finally see it done and put to bed, people are excited about getting it opened up next year.”
The hole is currently in the growing stages and won’t be playable until at least mid-June. The exact timetable on the opening could change, depending on how the weather cooperates through the growing process.
In the meantime, golfers will still be able to play 18 holes at AGC. The new layout will be a par-71 with the seventh hole being played up the existing eighth fairway to the eighth green. That hole will play around 190 yards from the black tees and 150 yards from the blues. A temporary 100-yard par-3 has also been set up from behind the eighth green that plays toward the ninth tee box.
Golfers will also have to be patient once the Minnesota hole is finally opened for play again. Rebrovich said they will gradually break the hole in by having it open one day and closed for two or three days after that so as not to see any decline in the green from all the foot traffic.
“We’re pretty excited about the future of this hole and the golf club,” Rebrovich said. “This is just another chapter in our history. [It was almost] 100 years, and we’re looking forward to another 100 years.”