The chairs alone make Jim Dahl's newest improvement to Eagles Landing Golf Club worth the money.
Dahl, owner and architect of the 18-hole public course near Fort Ripley, continues to provide for the people who pay to play his creation. The latest investment is the transformation of the old farmhouse into a comfortable and functional clubhouse.
New landscaping, the addition of a porch and patio and new siding decorate the outside. An additional 1,000 square feet were added to accommodate a new bar and restaurant that overlook the first tee box and ninth green. The pro shop also grew in size and now stocks most major golf brands.
The total usable space in the clubhouse adds up to 16,000 square feet, with room for offices upstairs.
Eagles Landing's new clubhouse features 16,000 square feet of space that houses a larger pro shop and a new bar and restaurant. Brainerd Dispatch/Nels Norquist » Purchase reprints of this photo.
"We got to the point where we were so busy that this was the time to do it," said Dahl. "We were running 200 to 300 people a day through here and we had no place for them to go. This was the time to do it. Construction costs were reasonable at the time so we had to do it. Plus, the pro shop was so small before. The restaurant and bar were the main reason we did it."
Dahl hired the services of Little Falls architect Kevin Anderson, who also designed the clubhouse at Oak Hill in Rice and The Classic clubhouse at Madden's Resort on Gull Lake.
Anderson said his design stressed traffic flow and visibility.
"At one time Jim talked about taking down the old farmhouse that was there and building a new clubhouse, but it seemed to make more sense to leave the old building that was there," said Anderson. "It keeps the character of the property and it was still in pretty good shape. We had a lot to work with there and we were still able to keep the old farmhouse look."
The bar and restaurant seats about 50 people and the patio will seat 40 more. Three flat screen televisions provide entertainment. A granite-topped bar sits near the west wall while numerous windows provide an ever-changing decor.
The highlight of the restaurant area, aside from the food, may be the seats.
With barrel seats, three flat-screen TVs and many windows that overlook Eagles Landing Golf Club the new bar and restaurant is a comfortable addition. Brainerd Dispatch/Nels Norquist » Purchase reprints of this photo.
"I wanted to get this type of chair so I went on the Internet and they're called barrel chairs," said Dahl. "I found them in Houston and they made them all up for me. They also custom-made the tables for us."
Construction began the first week in December and in about two weeks work should be complete. The addition of the bar and restaurant has added 20 new jobs.
Dahl is already seeing dividends from the project. He said many non-golfers are stopping to eat. On Sunday with the course full, rain halted play. Instead of leaving, everyone waited out the weather in the restaurant.
Eagles Landing Golf Club
Type: Public 18-hole course
Location: 15 miles south of Brainerd on Highway 371 and County Road 49.
Tee times: 866-632-5721
Web site: www.eagleslanding-golf.com
Owner/architect: Jim Dahl
Clubhouse manager: Josh Dahl
"Everyone has been amazed," said Dahl. "They thought we were just going to paint the old house so they're amazed that it is just so beautiful in here."
Eagles Landing member Larry Schmidt said a golfer could spend the entire afternoon in the clubhouse chairs. Schmidt, a former member at the Pine Meadows course in Baxter, said he's not used to an owner reinvesting so much back into the course.
"It's like we've died and gone to heaven." Schmidt said. "The owner knows how to spend money and spend it wisely. Last fall he paved all the cart paths and you could run the Indy 500 on them they're so nice. The course is in beautiful shape for early spring. The greens are just perfect. We're all really happy."
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5856.
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