October 20, 2019

Lakes Golf Course will celebrate 20th anniversary - Daily Leader Extra : Top Stories

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Lakes Golf Course will celebrate 20th anniversary

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Posted: Tuesday, June 25, 2019 3:49 pm

Rich and Char Bothwell seem happy with where their plans for land on the east side of Lake Madison wound up 20 years after they and other investors opened a nine-hole golf course on July 4, 1999.

During the next two decades, other developments joined The Lakes Golf Course -- the Lakes Bar and Grill, Lakes RV Resort, Lakes Lodge, and a community that's grown around the golf course.

"It's been fun," Rich Bothwell said. "We've met an awful lot of good people since we started this, and we've got a wonderful community."

Before getting into golf courses and real estate, the Bothwells farmed north of Colman in Moody County. During the late 1990s, a livestock feedlot located on land next to Lake Madison went out of business. The Bothwells were interested in purchasing the land, but they weren't certain how they should use the property. They, Mark Peltier and Pat Tipler were the original partners in the enterprise.

The Bothwells said they held an informal gathering on the land and asked local residents for ideas about what they should do with the property. The participants even filled out questionnaires with their suggestions.

When a golf course was proposed, the Bothwells admitted that opening a set of links wasn't their first choice. The partners did have the land with more than 100 acres available, but Char Bothwell said the idea -- at the time -- was "a shot in the dark."

"I'm not really a golfer," Rich Bothwell added.

The partners recruited investors for developing a nine-hole golf course and selling lots for houses next to the links. Decades after the projects started, their partners stayed with the developments and golfers kept teeing off on the greens.

The Bothwells estimate that this summer, about 80 women belong to the females' golfing league, about 30 men play in the males' golfing league, and about 70 golfers tee off in a night league. In addition, The Lakes Golf Course hosts a senior women's league on Mondays and a senior men's league on Tuesdays.

Rich and Char Bothwell currently own The Lakes Bar and Grill and lease the restaurant and clubhouse to another couple, Rick Trapp and Kathy Meyer. Trapp also sells housing lots in the lake community through Freedom Realty.

Char Bothwell said the clubhouse located between Lake Madison and Round Lake stays busy with golfers and diners during the summer season. The Bothwells and other organizers hope for a larger-than-usual crowd on Saturday when they host a 20th anniversary party.

The organizers of the anniversary celebration are planning an event for families to enjoy. At midafternoon, they will set up inflatable playhouses and play equipment in the nearby park for boys and girls to bounce around in. They also plan to offer other children's games. Beanbag pitchers are organizing a beanbag tournament on the lawn located to the rear of The Lakes Bar and Grill. Starting at 5:30 p.m., the public is invited to enjoy a complimentary meal that includes pork loin sandwiches.

At 8 p.m., musicians with Alex Haiar and the Moonshiners will perform a concert in the clubhouse parking lot. Alex Haiar, the band's lead singer and guitarist, and drummer Brady Bothwell, the Bothwells' grandson, will perform in the band that was originally formed in 2008 to play classic rock with a country influence. Haiar, a Madison High School graduate, and other performers in the Moonshiners wrote their own music.

Rich and Char Bothwell have extended an open invitation for everyone to attend the anniversary celebration and enjoy the lakes atmosphere. Rich Bothwell noted that the residents enjoy living around the lakes in Lake County and take pride in maintaining their communities.

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