Watford City golf course transforming from 9 to 18-holes

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WATFORD CITY, N.D. - North Dakota has more golf courses per capita than any other state.

A community in the Bakken is looking to upgrade its nine-hole golf course to 18.

It’s a sound many who play golf want to hear: brushing the grass. At Fox Hills Golf Course in Watford City, golf and that sound are very popular.

“We have continued to make it the best nine-hole course we could,” says Watford City Golf Board Vice President, David Johnson.

The city-owned golf course has about 400 members. A plan that has been in the works for eight years is slowly becoming a reality.

“We have put a lot of time and effort in our greens. Our greens putt well. But over time the technology of golf clubs have over taken the course,” says Johnson.

For a price tag of $8 million, Fox Hills Golf Course will be transitioning from a nine to 18-hole course. Phase one will consist of 12 holes on new land, and phase two will consist of digging up the current nine holes and building six new holes, a new practice green and a new maintenance facility.

Steve Stenehjem of First International Bank is optimistic about the new project.

“Having a golf course in any community is a very positive thing economically. To have a home on the golf course compared to a home on a city street, it’s very desirable,” says Stenehjem.

Phase one is expected to cost $4.5 million. Watford City is contributing $1 million to the project. Phase two will cost $3.5 million. Those funds will be raised through fundraising.

“I hope it creates a neighborhood out there. We are looking for some multi-family, but mostly single family housing on that side of the community and there will be walking paths throughout,” says Watford City Mayor, Brent Sanford.

With funding in place for phase one, construction is expect to start this summer. Some are already looking forward to what it could mean for the region.

“Couple of years from now we will be playing on an 18-hole golf course that will be a great addition to western North Dakota and a destination for people to come and golf at,” says Stenehjem.

If they build it, people will come.

Phase one of the project is expected to be completed next year. Phase two is projected to be completed in 2018.