Sportscaster Jim Nantz signs on as design consultant for new Minnesota destination golf course
Tepetonka Club near New London reveals plans for an 18-hole destination course and short-play course.
NEW LONDON — With the land for its golf course finally acquired, Tepetonka Club teed off with two big reveals on Tuesday.
It announced that CBS sportscaster Jim Nantz , known for broadcasting professional golf and National Football League events, is joining the Tepetonka Club team as a design consultant. He is working with the club’s design firm, OCM Golf of Australia, on the creation of The Prox, the club’s short course.
At the same time, Tepetonka Club published a master design for its planned 18-hole course to be developed on 228 acres of land along Shakopee Creek south of Sibley State Park in rural New London.
“We’ve got the right team,” Mark Haugejorde, club chairman, told the West Central Tribune. “We’re thrilled. Today’s a big day in the life of Tepetonka.”
The version of the diagram of the 18-hole course linked below may be downloaded or enlarged to full-screen for better viewing. The story continues below that.
Tepetonka MP April 2023 by West Central Tribune on Scribd
Tepetonka Club applied for permits from Kandiyohi County on May 12 as the next step in its quest to develop Minnesota’s first destination golf course, according to Haugejorde. It has lined up its needed founding members, and is now beginning to recruit its invitation-only memberships.
There will be 100 memberships, but as many as four people can jointly own a membership.
Haugejorde said Tepetonka Club is hopeful of seeing initial development on the course get underway this fall, with a goal of opening for play in the early summer of 2025. He is a New London-Spicer alumni, whose father, Harold, had been instrumental in the development of the Little Crow Golf Course .
Haugejorde has made his career in professional golf, and discovered the site now eyed for development. Tepetonka Club hoped to begin development on the course in late 2022, but litigation involving the family owning most of the land was not resolved until this year.
Haugejorde said the time was used to develop plans for the new course: The master plan that was revealed this week is the 23rd version by the designers, he said.
The goal is to open a course that is very playable, or what the golf world terms a “fast and firm” course, said Haugejorde The designers want a course that is harder for the good players and easier for those not as accomplished, he added. It gives the good players many options.
“The goal is to make it fun for whoever plays,” he said.
The terrain at the site is ideal for the design. The design embraces “what nature has given us,” Haugejorde said. The design team told him there are several holes that could be played today; the terrain will need little alteration for its new role. Grading is planned on only one of the 18 holes, he added.
Haugejorde has a friendship with Nantz that goes back to their days as teammates on the University of Houston, Texas, golf team in the late 1970s.
Nantz is very familiar with Minnesota and its golf culture. His trademark “Hello Friends” introduction to his sports broadcasting dates to 2002 when he was covering the PGA championship at Hazeltine, Haugejorde said.
Nantz’s father was afflicted with Alzheimer's at the time, and before the broadcast he told his dad he would look straight in the camera and talk to him by way of the introduction, he explained.
The new course is projected to bring $5 million to $6 million a year in economic activity to Kandiyohi County and the region. Haugejorde sees it as an opportunity to help bolster the county’s tourism industry and introduce new visitors to the area. He’s already heard interest from some of its members about off-season activities in the area.
Some of those activities could be based at the Tepetonka Club. There is the possibility of developing some cabins for the members.
A better look at what the course will offer and its amenities will come in August in Minneapolis. Nantz, OCM Golf’s three partners — Geoff Ogilvy, Mike Cocking and Ashley Mead — and Douglas Fredrikson of Douglas Fredrikson Architects will outline the overall plans for the site.