3M sells Tartan Park, Arnold Palmer will help design the new course

For years the golf course at Tartan Park was an exclusive retreat for 3M employees, but times have changed, and the Minnesota based company is now selling 450 acre course in Lake Elmo, MN.     

The 27-hole course opened in 1963 as a way for employees, retirees and clients to get out of the office.

"The reality is there's not too many golf courses like this one,” said Anne Smith of the Lake Elmo City Council

After 3M’s decision to sell the aging park, the Lake Elmo city council held out hope they would find the right buyer, but even they were surprised to hear an offer that included the names Arnold Palmer and Annika Sorenstam.

"A lot of developers came forward and a lot of national builders came forward and we were really afraid we were going to lose the golf course," said Lake Elmo City Council person Julie Flifet. “It’s exciting to have names like that attached to a project. Especially when people are already saying there are too many golf courses.”

As part of the plan, Palmer and Sorenstam will each design 9-holes of the brand new 18-hole course. The developer, Hollis Cavner, plans to have the "Royal Golf Club at Lake Elmo" opened by 2017.

"It's very positive for the game, for the industry when you have Arnie Palmer and Anika Sorenstam backing a facility," said Bunker Hills golf pro Jon Tollette.

He sees the revitalization of Tartan Park as another sign golf is alive and well in Minnesota. Additionally, he believes Arnold Palmer will bring his classic design and Annika Sorenstam will add her family friendly approach -- all adding up to 18-holes everyone will want to play.

"I think overall, the two together, it should be a really great golf course," Tollette said.