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Hickory Grove Township tables rezoning request
To be addressed at Oct. 8 meeting
Hickory Grove
A request to rezone the Hickory Grove Golf Course was presented at the Hickory Grove Township meeting last Tuesday, Sept. 17.
Hickory Grove Township Chairman Briant Russell shared that the individual who is in the process of purchasing the Hickory Grove Golf Course came to the board to petition a request to rezone the property.
Russell notes that the sale of the golf course is contingent upon the rezoning of the property from commercial to agricultural.
“Members of the community  from both sides, in favor and against (the rezoning), spoke on the situation,” Russell said. “We ultimately decided to table the issue until the next meeting so we can research what it will do to the tax base to rezone and look over our comprehensive rules to make sure it wouldn’t cause any violations.”
Next Meeting
The next meeting of the Hickory Grove Township board will be on Tuesday, Oct. 8, at 7 p.m. at the Hickory Grove Lutheran Church.
The development of the rezoning request aligns with the announcement on social media by the owners.
“We have accepted an offer to purchase the golf course. This is not a done deal and there are a number of contingencies that need to be met. We should know for certain by the 28th of September. If this sale goes through the new owners will not likely keep the property a golf course,” the owners posted on the Hickory Grove Golf Course Facebook page.
The golf course remains listed for sale by Bobbi Jo Bompkamp of Century 21 Affiliated, with a price tag of $675,000.
Discussion on Facebook
It seems as though the announcement of the potential loss of the course, opened over a half a century ago, has touched many far and wide.  
Comments of sadness, outrage and disappointment on social media continue to popup. Ranging from speculation over who was purchasing to memories shared as well as simply sadness to lose the long term establishment.   
Do it 4 Derek organizers also commented on the social media platform Facebook about waiting to see how the golf course situation unfolds before going forward with planning their events for next year.
“We haven’t announced anything yet as we are kind of waiting on a couple of items first. The situation with the golf course would be one of those items. In addition to the camp, the events following the camp are  how we are able to keep this thing going every year, and the golf event is a large portion of that.”
As noted in previous articles, others, like Southwest Wisconsin Technical College have taken steps toward possibly purchasing the property and keeping it a golf course, but the ongoing cost of upkeep ultimately forced the college to step away from the deal.
Becoming Common
An article written in 2016 by  Tim Gavrich for Golf Advisor, pointed to the trend of turning golf courses into farm land and its growing popularity.
“The challenging golf course business combined with the increased demand for organic food has started a trend: Golf courses are being plowed under to make...farms,” the article stated.
 A simple Google search yields several stories similar to the one featured in Golf Advisor, but also to the situation at Hickory Grove. Small golf courses built in the 1960’s finding themselves pushed aside by the hand of time and march of progress.
When contacted previously, Larry Bomkamp, one of the co-owners of the golf course, noted that the closing of the sale was set for Oct. 18. The course will officially close mere days before on the Oct. 15 with club members advised to remove personal belongings in advance of the closure.

The creation of the golf course was the result of long term fundraising by the Fennimore and Boscobel communities during the 1960’s, opening officially on April 7, 1968.