South Jordan contemplates Mulligans’ future

After two years of studies and debates, South Jordan City Council accepted a plan Tuesday that recommends a big investment in the future of Mulligans Golf & Games.

Consultant Staples Golf Design, based in Arizona, laid out five options for the 67-acre golf course near the Jordan River on 10600 South. It recommended the city "maximize [the] best use" of Mulligans, which would cost an estimated $10,865,800.

Under this recommendation, the city would add 18 holes of miniature golf, re-build the golf course, create a recreational center with new features for the Jordan River Trailhead, make aesthetic improvements and create a clubhouse to serve food and drinks and to host events. A new entry would also be built with expanded parking. The city would continue to run the operation for the time being.

"[This scenario] has been determined to be the highest-and-best-use option for improving the quality of life for residents, for creating an amenity that can and will be used by 100 percent of the community and for greatly improving the facility's visibility along 106th as well as the entry into the city," reads the master plan report. "Those who win in the end are the local families, the youth, the area golfers of all skill levels, the seniors and the non-golfers looking to either try the game, or just get in some healthy, fun outdoor activity."

In addition to the option recommended, the study laid out the following options:

• Keeping Mulligans as is, but paying for needed repairs at an estimated cost of $2.2 million.

* Making minor improvements and expanding with a "minimal investment."

• Converting Mulligans into a regional park at a cost of $3 million to $7 million.

• Selling the city-owned property for an estimated $20 million in revenue.

The report was formally presented to the City Council at its regular Tuesday meeting. No action was taken.

Mayor David Alvord is still gathering more information, but said that if he had to choose now, he would maintain the status quo.

"Mulligans was designed with a certain experience in mind. It's somewhere you can go a little more casually with your kids or your grandkids," said Alvord.

"As it is," he added, "It doesn't require much government subsidy," noting that whatever decision is made, he hopes it does not require constant city general funds.

South Jordan paid off the $4.6 million bond on Mulligans last year. Mulligans runs directly off sales and profits, bringing in about $300,000 annually, according to Alvord.

"Save Mulligans" activist Janalee Tobias expressed her frustration with the entire study.

The city could have saved the money spent on consultants, listened to residents and applied the savings to make the necessary improvements to Mulligans, she said.

Mulligans is extremely important to South Jordan residents, Tobias said, and they want to see the facility continue as it is.

"I cannot stress to you how [much] people love Mulligans," said Tobias. "Where else can parents take their kids for nine bucks? As the world becomes more developed, it's just so important for kids to be able to have a place to go and to have an experience in nature, to feel the breeze on [their] faces. And if you're lucky, you're going to see a fox along the Jordan River while you're golfing."