Dahlgreen Golf Club – A Family Farm Morphed Into A Beautiful Golf Experience
By R.J. Smiley
Brothers Dave and Steve Tessman manage Dahlgreen Golf Club. The property was converted from their family’s dairy farm to a golf course and opened in 1969. Their dad who was head of x-ray at Methodist Hospital, across the street from Meadowbrook, opened his own golf course because Meadowbrook was always so busy. Over the years Dahlgreen has become known as the public course with “country club quality” greens. “There is no teacher like experience” applies to Superintendent, Keith Flatebo, and his dedicated staff that have been perfecting the look and more importantly the playability of Dahlgreen’s huge greens for years.
I had the opportunity to play Dahlgreen Golf Club recently in an MGA Senior Tour event and will attempt to tell the story of this fine golf course with actual quotes from players on the Senior Tour.
On the putting green before the shotgun start one old golfer (there are no young golfers on the Senior Tour) said to another, “Wow these greens are fast, but perfect. Do you think they will be that good on the course?” His buddy remarked, “I played here about two weeks ago with my son, and yes the greens are this fast and really smooth. But when you get used to them you will make a lot of putts. Just watch if you are putting up hill or down hill. Hit a few more putts, you will get the feel.”
Standing on the eighth tee, our starting hole, a member of our group exclaimed, “I can’t believe the trees, the last time I was here these things were saplings. Even though the wind is really blowing these trees will give us some protection.”
The true indication of what players think about a golf course can be heard in the conversation that occurs in the bar, after the round. While MGA staff does the scoring, players wait to see if they might be a winner today or perhaps win a skin, they talk about various holes and their good shots and three putts. The, if only I had… can be heard.
These are some of the other comments overheard by this writer:
“I remember when Dahlgreen first opened, they had a mail box on a post where you paid your golf fees. Man has this place changed.”
“The putting surfaces were always good here, but now the greens seemed to be softer and more receptive. May be the greens have just matured over the years.” (It has nothing to do with maturation… it is just good maintenance!)
“I could not believe how good the fairways were. They always had good greens, but the fairways were perfect, never had a bad lie all day.”
“I work, as a ranger, at a municipal course, our greens have never been this good.”
“Yea, I play at XXXX Country Club, and with the budget our guy has you would think we could putt on surfaces as good as these farmers have.”
“Isn’t that seventh hole a beauty, even when I was younger and could hit it far, I would never go at that green in two. That hole could be on the PGA TOUR someplace.” “Well if it was it would just be a long par 4! There would still plenty of sixes, though.”
“It only took me 25 minutes from Richfield, Crosstown to Highway 212. The best part about playing in the morning, we are traveling against the flow of traffic, no stop and go…. just go.”
“I played with a guy who plays here a lot, he says, ‘Fall is the best time to play. Dahlgreen doesn’t plug their greens until November.’ He said the Maple trees are brilliant.”
“I know what the Senior Tour charges us to play, but how much are green fees?” “I looked in the pro shop before we started. Green fees are $36 and carts are $15. But for us ‘poor old seniors’ green fees are $28 and carts are $10.” “Not bad when you consider how good the course is. I think I will get a group and come out. It will be even more fun now that I know my way around.”
Word of mouth is the best form of advertising, if the tight fisted and fickle old guys on the MGA Senior Tour liked it, you will also!