This story's author, Jerry Poling, and the editor at Wisconsin.Golf, Jim Kelsh, gave me permission to reprint part of this article. The full article can be found here. (It is a great read, I highly recommend. The links provided to other stories are great as well.)
By JERRY POLING, Special to Wisconsin.Golf
Mark Wallskog is a Minnesota native, still lives in the Land of 10,000 Lakes and it’s where his business is based, but he has a found a second home, it seems, in Wisconsin.
His family loves to vacation at their Big Bear Lake cabin in Burnett County in the far northwestern corner of the state, and in 2019 they bought the 700-acre Heartwood Resort & Conference Center north of Trego, nearby in Washburn County.
Last week he was a little farther south, in Dunn County, already hard at work on his latest Wisconsin connection — the 262-acre Tanglewood Greens golf course in Menomonie that he recently bought and plans to restore and reopen.
Renovations already were underway in the clubhouse, where he was at a desk in the makeshift office behind plastic sheeting. The clubhouse and restaurant will reopen this summer, along with the driving range and an events pavilion, but the par-71, 6,327-yard course will have to wait until 2024.
Three years after it was closed in spring 2020 by former owner Rajiv Lall, who cited the COVID-19 pandemic as the reason, it’s in dire need of some TLC. The course was partially covered in snow at midweek, but bare spots revealed long, matted grass and a parking lot with foot-high weeds.
“The greens and tee boxes will need a complete overhaul. The fairways, we’re not sure,” Wallskog said.
Wallskog, 59, describes himself as a casual golfer and hasn’t previously been involved in the golf industry, but he has been an entrepreneur for more than 25 years. He started Safe Step, a hotel bathtub refinishing company based in Prior Lake, Minn., in 2000 after his daughter fell on a hotel pool deck, sparking the idea for a new business. Safe Step has gone national and now refinishes 10,000 tubs a month for the Marriott and Hilton hotel chains, he said.
“We felt it was a good opportunity for our family to buy and restore the course,” Wallskog said. “A course of this caliber that lies within the city limits of Menomonie is a great asset to the community.”