Tricounty News

Kimball Golf News May 8, 2014

The History of Kimball Golf Club – Part I 

Mary Johnson, Kimball Area Historical Society President, found this personal account, recorded by Luvern Hinz in 2009, about how he and his friend Elwood Erickson, both of Kimball, led the way in the development of Kimball Golf Course.

The following are the words of Luvern Hinz, who died in 2011:

Elwood Erickson and I were good friends for years and years. He was the banker and I ran the bowling alley. We were visiting one day and Elwood said “You know, we should build a golf course.” Now he liked to golf. I had never golfed. But he said the FHA is anxious to loan money to people to build stuff like that to take land out of production.

That was in 1965. We discussed it and thought it was a good idea. Elwood contacted the FHA and they were agreeable. If we could acquire the proper land, they said we could get a loan.

We tried to think of some place, and we came up with Fogarty’s (on two sides of the railroad tracks in Kimball, including where the ball park is now). Elwood contacted the FHA and they sent out some people. Elwood and I and those people went out and looked at the lay of the land. The only drawback was that the FHA said we would need to build a bridge over the Soo Line Railroad tracks.

That just knocked Elwood and me right off the Fogarty place. We couldn’t build a bridge.  After that we found that there wasn’t much land for sale so we just sat on it.

It is now 1966. I had thought the Frank Hienig farm (160 acres) would make a great golf course. The farm belonged to Albert Wyatt and I heard he was going to sell. I checked and he said it was true. It was for sale for $19,000.

I immediately went up to the bank to see Elwood and he said he would call a meeting of some others. I didn’t know there were others. They turned out to be Don Pusc, Dave Lang, and F.E. “Frunz” Dingmann. With Elwood and myself, that made five.

The five of us got together and decided we would offer to buy it if Albert would accept $1,000 to hold it for us for a year. And if we didn’t buy he could keep the money. So we borrowed $1,000 from the bank and each of the five of us agreed to pay $200 if the deal fell through. Albert accepted the deal.

And how time flies. The year was nearly over. There was only about a month left and we needed to buy the place. So I went to the bank to talk to Elwood and he called the same people and we made the same offer to Albert again and he accepted. We gave him another $1,000 for another year. So now each of the five of us owed $400 if the deal fell through.

But this time we had action. FHA came out and said if we owned the land they would approve a loan of $85,000 to build the golf course, at 4 percent interest and annual payments of $5,000 per year.

And so the five of them agreed to acquire and build a golf course on the 160 acres of Albert Wyatt farm, with the help of many others, and they did!

(Continued next week – Organizing with a Board of Directors and Members)

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Golf – The Game for Life!