Bunker Hills course a favorite among golfers

Bunker Hills Golf Course in Coon Rapids is a favorite among golfers.

The magazine, Tee Times – Minnesota Golf & Living, has announced its annual Readers’ Choice awards and of the 18 categories, Bunker Hills ranked no less than third in six of them, while placing first in three.

That’s the most awards this year of any of the other courses rated in the magazine’s survey, according to Tim Anderson, golf director.

Readers of the magazine submitted votes for their favorite courses over a period of two months this past summer.

The city-owned golf course placed first in the golf course that provided the most value, for favorite golf course for a tournament and first for best halfway house (the snack shop on the course).

Bunker Hills was second for favorite clubhouse, while it garnered third place among Tee Time readers for favorite golf course restaurant (Harvest Grill) and favorite golf course to host a holiday party.

This is the third year in a row that Bunker Hills has received the first-place award for being a favorite golf course to host a tournament.

“I am truly honored that our facility has received these awards,” Anderson said.

“It is a great feeling to know that our golfers and patrons think so highly of our facility and the experience we provide to our guests.”

According to Anderson, Bunker Hills wants to continue to be a stand-out facility in the state for golf, events and all things fun.

“With our recent addition of golfTEC Bunker Hills, a unique personalized training facility and the exciting renovation to our short course that will open next year, I am confident that golfers will continue to enjoy their visits to our facility,” Anderson said.

“I also want to thank our entire staff for making Bunker Hills an exceptional facility for our guests.”

Tee Times – Minnesota Golf & Living is a monthly golf and lifestyle publication dedicated to keeping local golfers connected with the Minnesota golf scene both on and off the course.

The Tee Times’ magazine Readers’ Choice Awards take place each year, allowing golfers to vote on their favorite course with the best conditions, service, greens, food, favorite clubhouse and a host of other categories.

Improvements costing some $900,000 have taken place at the golf course this year.

The golfTEC year-round, outdoor/indoor learning center opened in late July and construction work was completed Sept. 25 on an expanded driving range, practice green relocation and creation of a short-game practice area.

The 1,340 square-foot golfTEC instruction center, which features state-of-art technology and two instruction bays that open out onto the driving range, has been drawing good business, Anderson said.

Expansion and renovation of the general practice area is designed to provide for more teeing ground and additional practice opportunities, according to Anderson.

The expanded driving range, new putting green and short game area will all be open for play next spring once the grass that has been seeded has had a chance to be fertilized, watered, settle and germinate under the care of the Bunker Hills groundskeeping crew, Anderson said.

The warm days and cool evenings so far this fall have helped that process, he said.

The expanded driving range will accommodate more people and have a concrete tee line 10 feet wide and 10 feet deep, which will allow the turf to continue to grow.

The new short-game area is located in the northwest corner of the driving range for practicing bunker shots, chips and wedges to three target putting greens in the driving range, while the new practice green is south and east of the previous practice green, using open space south of the cart path and north of the snack shop.

According to Anderson, the winter that would not go away meant that little golf was played on the course in April and May.

“But since June 1, it has been wonderful for golf and so far this October we are well ahead of last year,” Anderson said.

Even the cold, rainy weekend of Oct. 5 and 6 was not a wash-out for Bunker Hills because the course hosted a college tournament, which went ahead regardless of the weather, he said.

Bunker Hills has 27 championship holes and a nine-hole executive course.

The new clubhouse, where the golf pro shop and the Harvest Grill restaurant are located, opened in 2011.

Peter Bodley is at [email protected]