Golf at Hiawatha Golf & Park
The shining gem of Hiawatha Golf & Park is an expertly crafted 18-hole masterpiece that’s accessible and welcoming to all. Discover the storied legacy of this historic course, and our plans for the next chapter.
The first inhabitants of the Hiawatha Golf Course property were the Native Americans of this area. After being appropriated by the United States government, the property was sold to migrants who came into the area.
Hiawatha Golf Course History
In 1884, these were the owners of the northern and west sides of Rice Lake (now Lake Hiawatha).
O. Oleson – between E. 42nd and 45th St., Cedar and 19th Ave. S. (17.5 acres)
G. Peterson – between E. 42nd and 44th St., 19th and 24th Ave. S. (10 acres)
Esther Osmer – between E. 42nd and 44th St., 24th and 27th Ave. S. (30 acres)
R. Cummings – between E. 42nd and 44th St., 27th and 28th Ave. S. (10 acres)1884-1885 –
Plat Map – Rice Lake – Richfield Township, Mn
Source:Minneapolis City Directory for 1884-1885, C. Wright Davison, publisher, 1884
In 1922 the City of Minneapolis acquired land for what would become the 241-acre Lake Hiawatha Park, with 140 acres set aside for the Hiawatha Golf Club.
Lake Hiawatha before dredging and golf course creation looking south in 1922. Lake Nokomis, with a lakeshore already defined by dredging, is on the horizon just right of center.
In 1926 the Hiawatha Golf Club was designed by Park superintendent and engineer. Theodore Wirth
Hiawatha Golf Course Opening – July 30, 1934
Left to Right: Washington Yale, John H. Jepson, Theodore Wirth, superintendent, Joe J. Oys, Anthony Ingenhut, Clinton L. Stacy and Francis A. Gross.
(from the Minneapolis Tribune)
Organizer and participants at the Negro Open Golf Tournament Jimmy Slemmons (2nd from left) and Rosella Ellis (front) – 1938
Sterling Golf Club Members
1950 Negro Open Golf Tournament –
Mpls Daily Times photo
1971 Upper Midwest Bronze Open Golf Tournament Hiawatha Golf Course
1971 Upper Midwest Bronze Open Golf Tournament Gallery Hiawatha Golf Course
1971 Upper Midwest Bronze Open Golf Tournament Steve Howe – 5th Green Hiawatha Golf Course
1971 Upper Midwest Bronze Open Golf Tournament Finish – 18th Green Hiawatha Golf Course
1971 Upper Midwest Bronze Open Golf Tournament Driving Range Hiawatha Golf Course
1971 Upper Midwest Bronze Open Golf Tournament Jimmy Slemmons and Bob Nordstrom Hiawatha Golf Course
Present: A Great Need
The Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board’s proposal to close the 18-hole golf course contradicts its work with the National Civic League about Building Equity into Parks and Rec. Now is the time to celebrate the historic, 18-hole Hiawatha Golf Club, and ensure its preservation for future generations. In the name of social justice as well as equity in the distribution of resources, opportunities, and privileges, I urge residents of Minneapolis to contact their Park Board commissioner and relay a simple message: Save Hiawatha!
Hiawatha Golf Course is subjected to environmental stresses. There is frequent flooding and channel degradation. It has not had the attention and care of those who understand the complexities of golf course management. And unfortunately, the course today is not giving the attention it needs to fully serve the community.
Partnered with Jim Lehman and Tom Oslund to pursue a sympathetic restoration master plan, this includes:
Redesigning the original routing on the holes with new installations.
Establishing new course maintenance standards. Including course irrigation, to ensure every hole is properly provided the attention it needs to flourish.
Restoring the 18 hole course, renovating the 18-hole course and establishing a new multi use facilities course called ‘Play’.
Uncovering significant historical architectural features that have been lost to time and neglect to provide access to golden age architecture for players of all abilities and skill levels.
This restoration isn’t a preservation of Minneapolis's past, it is an endowment in the ground investment into the city’s future.
This restoration isn’t just a preservation of Minneapolis’s past, but an investment in our city’s future. Through this project, we plan to further benefit our green spaces, provide educational opportunities, generate revenue, and increase tourism, all while cultivating community togetherness.
In addition to recovering the original routing for daily use, we have a plan to transform Hiawatha Golf to a truly significant championship venue including expanding holes and increasing shot values. This will involve temporarily transforming several holes of Hiawatha to provide the necessary routing for a challenging and competitive composite course.