Updated: 07/21/2014 6:42 AM
Created: 07/20/2014 12:39 PM KSTP.com
By: Kate Renner
It took nearly two years and a lot of new grass to spruce up Ramsey County's Keller Golf Course. This weekend after a $12 million remodel, the course finally opened for business.
The changes made add some environmental touches to the municipal course.
"The fairways are a little better, they cleaned up the greens. Overall the course lay-out is better," said Brent Bartholomew, a regular golfer.
"Some of it's tougher, some of it's easier," said Jim Kerr, a golfer.
The whole course is closer to the way the land looked before a county golf course was built in 1929. Twenty different areas of natural grasses were put in at Keller to bring back some of the natural habitat. But if you hit your golf ball in there, you're given a free drop because they don't want people stomping around in there.
"It's a big focal point for this golf course," said Mark Foley, Keller Golf Professional.
The $12 million shape up was paid for with Ramsey County tax dollars.
"This is one golf course that actually does make money, which is good or they wouldn't be putting their money into it," Foley said.
The clubhouse is brand new, and can now host large weddings year-round.
"I think in the long run over the course of time, they'll look back on this and think this was a win for the county," Foley said.
Keller is Ramsey County's signature course and has hosted PGA championships and Golf Classics in the past.
"I've always loved the course and I think the improvements they've made make it better," Bartholomew said.
"The only drawback is these greens are not ready. They're not even close, they're all nubby," Kerr said.
But ready or not, after 21 months of waiting, these golfers are ready to hit the links of Keller.
The prices for green fees went up a couple of bucks. It now costs $40 to walk 18 and an additional $15.50 for a golf cart.
If you just want to golf nine holes it's $21.50.