New managers ready for season at Harmony Golf Club

CHARLIE WARNER/NEWS LEADER Tim and MaryBeth Ostrom are the new managers of the Harmony Golf Club.
Charlie Warner

After nearly two decades, the Harmony Golf Club is now under new management. Steve and Connie Lindstrom, who oversaw the operations of the popular golfing venue for 19 years, handed over the reins to Tim and MaryBeth Ostrom in February. The Ostroms have years of experience in golf course operations and the game of golf. They are very excited with this new challenge.

Tim, a third grade teacher at Fillmore Central Elementary in Preston, worked at the Preston Golf Club for about 12 years. Part of the time Tim worked with his brother, Eric, who managed the Preston course and later with Jay Harstad.

“Jay asked me if I might consider co-managing the Preston course with him,” Tim said last week. “And it was something I was considering. But then one of the members from the Preston course said he heard that Steve and Connie were retiring and that MaryBeth and I were going to work there. That was news to us.”

Shortly after that, Tim was approached by a Harmony member while the Ostroms were attending church. He was told the Lindstroms were indeed retiring and the board of directors at Harmony was looking for someone. This caused the Ostroms to begin thinking seriously about taking over management of the course.

“It seemed like a good fit for us,” MaryBeth said. “We felt we could work it into our schedules and it would be a good place for our son, Graysen, to grow up in.”

MaryBeth (Armstrong) has worked as a Title One instructor at the Fillmore Central campus in Preston. Next year she will be teaching first grade. While in high school, MaryBeth was active in the very successful Fillmore Central girls golf program at the Harmony course.

“It’s going to be difficult in the spring and probably in the fall, with both of us teaching during the day,” Tim said. “But we will have help during those times. Jim Taubert (who managed the Harmony course for many years) and Steve and Connie all said they would help out in any way they can to help us get things rolling here.”

Taubert plans to help with the ongoing mowing process and Steve will help Tim out with the maintenance of the greens and fertilizer application.

“We both agreed to give up some things we really enjoyed to do this,” Tim admitted. He has been a seventh and eighth grade coach for football and softball at Fillmore Central for years. And MaryBeth has worked part-time for the Harmony Area Chamber of Commerce.

The Ostroms took over management on Feb. 1, which is usually a very quiet time at a golf course in Minnesota. Unfortunately, the record-breaking snowfall this year, coupled by some heavy rains in March, caused the main part of the clubhouse to be inundated with floodwaters.

“The entire dining area was covered with water,” Tim recalled. “We had tons of volunteers helping to remove the large snow banks around the building and mop up the water. We were able to save the carpet and didn’t suffer any major damage. But what a way to start out.”

The Ostroms said the flood was just an example of how the members support their golf club. The outpouring of volunteers was remarkable. Following the April ice storm, the course was covered with branches and limbs. Several work days were scheduled and members turned out in droves to help clean up the mess. The Fillmore Central golf teams, which use the Harmony course in the spring, also spent several days helping to rid the course of all the sticks, branches and limbs as well.

While many small town golf courses are experiencing a drastic decline in memberships and some have been forced to close, the Harmony Golf Club has seen its membership stay fairly constant. Tim said they will have about 150 members again this season.

With the golf courses in Mabel and Spring Valley closing recently, the Harmony course has picked up a number of new members from those areas. Quite a few golfers from Iowa are members as well.

Special tournaments throughout the golfing season are another way the course generates revenue. Tim said 12 tournaments are scheduled for this year. And the clubhouse is rented out for graduation parties, bridal showers, wedding, anniversaries and family reunions on a regular basis.

“We’re just now getting settled in here,” Tim said. “For me, it’s a challenge having worked at the Preston course to get to know the equipment we have here, the course and also all the new faces. In some ways, at least for me, it’s like starting over. It’s brand new, but it is going quite well.”