Update on Rawlins’ Municipal Course

In March 2001, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered the Army Corps of Engineers to rule that wetlands on the site for a proposed municipal golf course in Rawlins, Wyoming are no longer under the Corps' jurisdiction. The decision effectively removes the Corps’ involvement, and hopefully paves the way for construction on the Ken Kavanaugh-designed course.

Kavanaugh was hired by the non-profit corporation overseeing the project. The course will be tentatively named Rochelle Municipal Golf Course, after its benefactor, Curtis Rochelle. When Kavanaugh first visited the site last August, he envisioned many interesting holes for the property. Now that the wetlands restrictions are removed, many more options have opened up.

The city of Rawlins will own the course and use 250 acres of Rochelle’s 450-acre parcel for the course. Kavanaugh said the length of the planned 7,800-yard layout will be mitigated by Rawlins’ location at 6,500 feet above sea level and by prevailing winds upwards of 30 miles per hour. Besides a course that would be Wyoming’s longest, the project involves a clubhouse, maintenance facility, driving range and a junior golf academy. Kavanaugh says of the facility, “The whole thing is funded from a perspective of giving back to the community. One of the best things we could do is provide a place for kids to learn the game.”

The Rawlins golf project has been propelled by local lawyer John MacPherson, president of the nonprofit corporation directing the project. Work will begin on the course “as soon as the weather breaks,” according to Kavanaugh.