Today on Fleur Drive, the saw met its match: a Wakonda oak.
After over a century in the rich Iowa soil — it didn’t want to yield.
But going down they are. Some 185 of them.
“They’re historic,” said Wakonda GM, Rheanne Kinney.” They tell a story.”
Look back as far as you want — you’ll never find golf on these grounds without the oaks overhead.
It’s sad to see them go, and the decision has divided the club.
“Not everybody’s on-board,” said director of golf, Aaron Krueger. “Unfortunately we’ve had some loss in our membership.”
Many are rotted … others were damaged in the derecho … and others are simply in the way of changes this course desperately needs to make.
“We need to improve our drainage,” said Krueger, “we have bunkers that are reaching the end of their lifespan.”
Starting with the trees, Wakonda will be completely made over — its extremes tamed. Something closer to what designer William Langford intended.
“It will be in better condition, and it will be just more fun to play day in and day out for our membership,” Krueger said.
Leaders say the view across the course will actually improve — as will the lives of the remaining giant oaks. They’ll get more nutrients, and more attention.
“Wakonda was established 100 years ago,” said Kinney. “And we want to make sure we have trees here 100 years from now.”
For a few more days we can consider all they’ve seen. The changes both below them … and above.
Planted when this was the edge of town, they’re now felled in its middle. And after centuries growing from the Earth — they now return to it.