Begin Oaks Gold Club was a nine hole golf course and driving range located in Plymouth, MN. In this article, I will talk about the history and the future of this golf course, a promising place which fell victim to the rapid development of the suburbs. At the end I’ll include some before and after shots of the golf course.

 

THE RISE

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As the topic is just a small business known by few other than locals, the history of the Golf Course is quite unknown and short. It opened in 2000 just before residential developments dominated the area. It was always designed to be a small 9-hole course and driving range, much unlike other golf courses which were originally 18-hole but were downsized to 9-hole courses after facing redevelopment risks. It was run by the Begin and the Sloan family, who kept the course well maintained and a great place for golfers to go. The course was one of the most popular courses in Plymouth at its’ peak in the mid to late 2000’s. It was liked by almost everyone, getting 4 stars on Yelp and almost 4 on Google. Here are a few reviews about the course:

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They advertised their golf course too. Here’s one advertisement they created: https://youtu.be/loeIgXzK1w0

People really liked the course, it was popular, and the staff liked running it (As far as I can tell). So what happened?

 

 

THE FALL

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The fall of Begin Oaks began all the way back in 2001, just after the golf course opened.  The Rottlund Corporation (Another dead business), a major home builder in Minnesota and its’ developers, purchased land just south and west of Begin Oaks with the intent of developing it into a major housing community named The Reserve. While the golf course was not affected by this development, other than gaining business from the people who lived in these houses/apartments, the development of this area sealed the fate of Begin Oaks, as well as its’ biggest competitor.

Begin Oaks Golf Club was built near another golf course named Hampton Hills Golf Course. These courses were separated by a lake, and directly competed with each other. Hampton Hills Golf Course was an 18-hole golf club established in 1960, 40 years before Begin Oaks opened. The two competed with each other for ten years, but in the early 2010’s Hampton Hills closed to be redeveloped into luxury homes.

Golf courses have recently become the prey of developers aiming to build houses, as golf in the area is declining and the housing market is increasing. The city of Plymouth is running out of room very quickly, with just the north and west areas of the city left to be developed. Golf courses are large green spaces which could be easily redeveloped, so developers are now looking to them to build on. Hampton Hills fell victim to the rapid urbanization of the area, and Begin Oaks would soon follow.

2014 came, and increasing pressures from the city and developers led the owners to sell the property to a developer who wished to build homes on the property. The last day of operation for the golf club was September 30th, 2014. The developer let the course fall into disrepair while they hunted for a buyer. Here are some pictures from late 2015 and 2016 that I took.

In January 2016, a deal was struck between the developer and Pulte Homes, who promised to build 100+ single family homes and row homes on the 52 acre property. The plan was proposed to the Plymouth City Council on May 6, with a map of the property which looked like this:

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The City of Plymouth and residents of Glacier Vista, The Reserve, and Providence Pointe expressed concerns with the project to the developer. The main entrance to the property would be on 56th Avenue, a road on a hill which is notorious for being impossible to see incoming traffic from the northbound side of Cheshire Parkway. The City and residents feared the traffic would worsen and eventually cause and accident if the entrance wasn’t moved. Pulte promised to create an escape lane for Glacier Vista/Providence Pointe residents to make turning left from Glacier Vista onto Cheshire Parkway easier. The City agreed to this, and the entire project was approved. Here are some pictures of the demolition of Begin Oaks Golf Course:

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Construction began in the summer of 2016, with roads and pipes being put into place. The models were built in December-ish and since then, a few more houses have been built. Here are some pictures from February 19th, 2017 of the construction of Camelot 9 at Begin Oaks.

 

THE FUTURE

 

There’s not much left for Begin Oaks. At this point, all signage and remnants have been removed, and infrastructure for the residential development has been put into place. Soon, the development will be complete, and only the name of the development will reflect what the golf course once was.

Before and After Slideshows:

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Thanks for reading! Share if you enjoyed! The Rise, the Fall, and the Future is a new series on The Disney Journal where I talk about Twin Cities area businesses and attractions that have fallen victim to redevelopment or have been left abandoned. If you have a suggestion for what I should do next, tweet at me @DisneyJournal! If you want to read the last post in the series, CLICK HERE.

If you’re wondering what the homes look like, want to see a map of the property, or just want to see what Pulte has to say about the project, CLICK HERE.

SOURCES:

http://sailor.mnsun.com/2016/05/06/plymouth-council-sends-begin-oaks-plans-back-to-drawing-board/

http://www.worldgolf.com/courses/usa/minnesota/plymouth/hampton-hills-golf-club-public.html

http://www.bizjournals.com/twincities/morning_roundup/2016/01/plymouth-golf-course-could-be-turned-into-housing.html#g1

http://www.startribune.com/housing-developers-tee-up-for-twin-cities-courses/213577061/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rottlund

https://www.yelp.com/biz/begin-oaks-golf-minneapolis

http://ccxmedia.org/news/newsitem.aspx?newsid=324&newsitemid=25693

https://www.mngolf.org/Course/Begin_Oaks_Golf_Course_

I’m aware that this topic is so minute, not many people will read it. But I wanted to write about it, so someone who lives there or lives nearby could see what their neighborhood once was. I also want to permanently catalog the golf course on the internet, with my pictures of it.