Golfers across Rapid City, especially youngsters in the First Tee program, are already enjoying improvements to the LaCroix Links Golf Course that were completed last week.
Officials from the city, the First Tee junior golf program and the YMCA that runs the southside 9-hole course at 3820 Odde Drive held a groundbreaking ceremony last week to celebrate completion of the improvements.
About $400,000 was spent to improve the course that is a favorite of beginners, youngsters and older golfers who enjoy a short course. The money for the repairs came from a $180,000 donation from the Wadsworth Foundation, $40,000 from Mid-America Golf, $24,000 in the Parks and Recreation Facility Partnership Fund, and $156,000 in private donations. New trees were donated by the National Wildlife Federation.
The course now has a better irrigation and drainage system; all tee boxes were rebuilt; the second hole was lengthened into a par-4; the third tee box was realigned to reduce balls struck off the course; a handful of new bunkers were added; and 74 trees were planted.
"In short, this project makes much better use of water, enhances the playability and accessibility of the course and, most importantly, effectively uses golf as a tool for building character in kids through The First Tee program and brings families, adults and seniors together for some just plain fun," YMCA spokesman Bryan Konechne wrote in an email.