Sioux Falls family to take ownership of golf course in Granite Falls

GRANITE FALLS -- A family from Sioux Falls, S.D., will become the private owners and operators of the Granite Falls Golf Course, which has been held by a nonprofit group formed 80 years ago.

GRANITE FALLS -- A family from Sioux Falls, S.D., will become the private owners and operators of the Granite Falls Golf Course, which has been held by a nonprofit group formed 80 years ago.

Shareholders of Granite Falls Golf Inc. voted by a nearly 3-1 margin at their Sept. 27 annual meeting to approve the sale of the assets of the nine-hole course and its clubhouse to David Reimer and his family.

David Reimer's son, Chad, and his son's girlfriend, Annie Stammer, will manage the operation once the transfer is completed early next year.

"We're giving someone an opportunity to succeed,'' said Jerry Ims, president of the Granite Falls Golf Inc. board of directors.

Ims expressed his confidence that the Reimer family will continue and improve on a longstanding golf tradition in the community.


David Reimer, 60, is a retired, certified professional accountant who managed the finances of golf courses and served on the board of directors for the Hartford, S.D., golf course. Chad Reimer, 36, has experience in the hospitality industry and manages a sports bar that is adjacent to a municipal golf course in Sioux Falls.

David Reimer said the family is looking forward to the new venture. He said the family is taking over a "beautiful golf course'' that is in great shape, thanks to an extensive upgrade in 2000. The project included replacing the greens and developing a new well.

The clubhouse building has been maintained very well too, Reimer said. He said his son is looking forward to improving the clubhouse operation by giving it a sports theme and a new, fresh identity.

Reimer said the family is committed to maintaining the property as a golf course, which has been the central issue for Granite Falls Golf Inc. Its shareholders app-roached the possibility of offering the course for sale with the goal of assuring the long-term viability of the property for golf, according to Ims.

Shareholders were motivated by more than their love for golf, according to Ims. They also recognize the course's importance to the quality of life and economy of Granite Falls.

"It's a community asset,'' he said.

The golf course has shown a positive cash flow, but the organization did not have the resources to employ a professional manager to fully develop the potential of the clubhouse, he said.

Board members serve on a volunteer basis and have devoted many hours to the course and clubhouse. The board members believe private owners can better provide the resources and commitment needed to keep the course on a strong footing in a regional golf industry that is seeing increasing competition, Ims said.


Since the Granite Falls course invested in a major upgrade in 2000, there have been 63 new holes added within 40 miles of it.

New nine-hole courses opened in Raymond and Renville. The Lower Sioux Community opened its Dakota Ridge Golf Course. The nine-hole courses in the Montevideo, Redwood Falls and New London areas expanded to 18-hole courses.

The Granite Falls Golf Course has continued to enjoy strong support from its members, but Ims said the greatly expanded golfing opportunities and the mobility of today's golfers were felt. The number of nine-hole rounds at the Granite Falls course declined from an estimated 26,000 rounds in 1996 to a range of 18,000 to 19,000 today.

Terms of the pending sale were not made public. Ims said the proceeds will retire all of the debt from the golf course improvements. It will also allow Granite Falls Golf Inc. to redeem the equity on any shareholders who may so desire. Remaining funds will be placed into an account for Granite Falls Golf Inc., which will remain as a legal entity.

Its bylaws do not allow shareholders to profit from a sale; they can redeem shares for their original value only. The terms of the pending transfer require that the property remain a golf course for a minimum of 10 years and provide Granite Falls Golf with a first right of purchase.

Granite Falls Golf Inc. was organized Aug. 30, 1926, and the course developed in 1929, said Ims.

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