Water problems have plagued the Pebble Lake Golf Course in recent seasons, and this spring is no exception. With high water concerns already an issue in Fergus Falls and Otter Tail County, Pebble Lake’s management came before the city’s public works and safety committee on Wednesday morning to come up with a permanent way to speed up pumping efforts at the golf course.
Rick Odden, the golf course superintendent, explained that most of the water on the course drains to a single pond, which is then pumped into Pebble Lake. Chief among the golf course’s problems are several ponds around the golf course that have all filled up and are, in many cases, overflowing.
“If we didn’t have to handle the water to the south of the golf course that goes onto the golf course, we wouldn’t have nearly as many problems,” he said.
It is with the course’s past, present and future water problems in mind that Odden came before the committee to ask for authorization to rent a large, diesel pumping system to begin pumping water out of the golf course as soon as possible and as quickly as possible. He also asked for authorization to purchase a floating pump system to accommodate the course’s current and future pumping needs.
If the golf course uses a larger pump to get rid of water, said Odden, “We’d be pumping out about 800 gallons a minute.” In all, he estimated that the course would probably expel anywhere from 2 to 4 million gallons of water this spring. The city would supervise the pumping so that Pebble Lake would remain at a preferred level.
The pump rental would cost about $830, and the pump purchase would cost about $4,600. Most of the money to pay for the pumps would come out of golf course funds left over after improvements to the club house were made. The committee unanimously recommended the purchase and rental to the city council.
Odden said the pumping could move the course’s opening date up one or two weeks, a very good increase for a business that is always looking to make up for lost days due to weather. Last year, the course opened on March 30, one of its earliest openings in recent history.
The committee also recommended that the city accept some minor increases in the Pebble Lake Golf Club’s membership rates. Golf club president Daryl Evavold explained that after remaining relatively steady for the last few years (and even decreasing some membership costs), the time has come to adjust rates to pay for the increase in costs. The club also got rid of a few types of memberships it created last year that weren’t very popular.
Among other changes, a regular single membership is scheduled to go up $20, and a regular couple membership would go up $25.