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Bob Burrows photo The River Falls Golf Club, a fixture on the east side of the city on County Road M since 1929, is being sold to the same Hammond family that bought the Hudson Golf Course earlier this month.

River Falls Golf Club sold

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business Ellsworth, 54011
Ellsworth Wisconsin 126 S. Chestnut St. 54011

For the first time in its 81-year history, the River Falls Golf Club will have a new owner beginning next month.

The club's board of directors has agreed to sell the course for $1.5 million to Hanson Bros. Golf Holdings LLC of Hammond, the same group that bought the Hudson Golf Course earlier this month.

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Under the agreement, the board has until April 30 to consider other offers and Hanson Bros. has the right of first refusal, meaning it can match or exceed the offer, or walk away, according to board vice president and treasurer Tim Bredahl.

If the deal goes through, the Hansons will take ownership of the club on May 17.

Bredahl said a key factor in deciding to accept the offer was the Hansons' commitment to maintaining the property as a public golf course. Under the agreement, the Hansons will continue to run the course for at least 10 years, but Bredahl believes it will be around a lot longer than that.

"This is our 81st year and they said they want to be here when the course celebrates its 100th year. We believe they are sincere about that," he said. "They appreciate the history of the golf course, just like they do in Hudson. They want to keep it going and feel they can make a profit."

Bredahl said increasing competition, coupled with growing interest on loans and service charges, and a downturn in membership finally caught up with the club. He said this year's membership of 141 is about half of what it was in 2004.

"We've tried different things like lowering membership fees the last couple of years to try and get more members, but there are so many other choices for people," he said. "Fifteen years ago there were four or five golf courses in the area. Now there are twice as many. And with all the interest on loans and service charges, we haven't been able to make a profit since at least 2004."

For the complete story, please see the April 21 print edition of the River Falls Journal.

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