Meet Edina's Hometown Heroes

Edina is made up of people who pride themselves with making the city a great place for living, learning, raising families and doing business.

Dick Brozic

November 2015 -- Dick Brozic has played over 100 rounds of golf this year alone. That’s an impressive feat – and one that prompts others to do a little mental math, working out how someone can hit that high mark in a single Minnesota golf season. In point of fact, Brozic says, the season is significantly longer than most people appreciate.

“I’ve found that many golfers put their clubs away around Labor Day, even though courses are open much longer,” Brozic said. “That’s unfortunate, because September and October are, in my opinion, probably the best months to be out there … You get the sunshine without the heat, and a sweater and pullover are all you need if the temperature drops.”

Fall foliage is another consideration, and doubly so at Brozic’s favorite links: Edina’s own Braemar Golf Course. “Even though it’s in a first-ring suburb, it’s so well forested there … You don’t see houses. [Ordinarily, you’d] have to drive 20 to 40 minutes outside of the city to get that golfing experience.”

Brozic, who lives in the White Oaks Neighborhood in the northeast corner of town, is well situated to visit many of the other popular golf options in the Twin Cities. Even so, he chooses Braemar nearly three quarters of the time.

Atmosphere is just one way in which Braemar stands above the rest. “It has to be said that operations and ground staff at Braemar are a cut above, particularly when you look just at municipally owned courses.”

Brozic is in as a good a position as anyone to appreciate the tremendous amount of work that goes into maintaining a 500-acre golf course. In addition to playing the course at least twice weekly, he also volunteers his time and expertise on Braemar’s Master Plan Task Force. The City of Edina chartered this body in 2014 to play a leading role in ongoing efforts to renovate Braemar Golf Course.

“Braemar recently celebrated its 50th anniversary,” Brozic explained. “While it’s held up well, it hasn’t received a large capital investment [for updates] in all of that time … and now is the perfect time.” The underlying goal behind the revamp is to make the course more fun and inclusive for players at all skill levels.

At the City’s request, the task force evaluated nearly 30 redesign proposals submitted by consultants across the country. They then vetted a short list of finalist candidates before finally selecting Richard Mandell, a well reputed golf course architecture firm from North Carolina. According to Brozic, Richard Mandell earned high marks in part for their role in the recent revitalization of the Keller Golf Course in Maplewood. “Keller is operated by Ramsey County … Changes there had a clear impact, and we think we can do the same in Edina.”

In addition to spearheading this search, the task force facilitated a number of listening sessions in order to give the public a voice in the changes. Topping that list, “fairways are going to be made about a third wider, and there will also be improvements to both tees and bunkers.”

Strong public interest in a city golf course makes sense in a state like Minnesota, Brozic thinks. “People in Florida or Texas can golf year round. Here, with winter, we get an opportunity to miss and to anticipate golf season … In Edina, we can get excited when April rolls around.”

1 of 60  Heroes

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