South Pier mini-golf course could be up by Memorial Day

A nautical-themed mini-golf course, accented with an 18-foot high lighthouse and in the view of an old commercial fishing boat, could open next spring in the South Pier District.

Sheboygan developer Bob Moeller and his son, Justin, plan to build Harbor Point Miniature Golf on a 300-foot strip along the promenade on the far eastern end of the South Pier peninsula, and open it by Memorial Day.

The Sheboygan Plan Commission voted to approve the project on Tuesday. The developers hope to attract up to 40,000 rounds of mini-golf during the golf season — May through October — and are aiming at everyone to come down to play, not just tourists.

"It's going to be something to do down there," said Erik Jensen, an architect with LJM Architects in Sheboygan, which is designing the clubhouse for the mini-golf course.

The Moeller family is involved with several projects at South Pier, which has been slow to develop despite the presence of the Blue Harbor Resort and Conference Center. Bob Moeller occupies a condo on the peninsula; the family company is building Lino Ristorante Italiano, an Italian restaurant to open in the spring, and also is planning an ice cream parlor for the area.

The site for the mini-golf course was once envisioned as a place for a giant Ferris wheel, but that idea was long ago shelved. Jensen, who was representing the Moellers, said the family has been in contact with other mini-golf proprietors in the planning of their own course.
"The Moellers have done their homework on mini-golf courses," Jensen said.

Steve Sokolowski, city planning manager, is happy to see the possibility of more development in the South Pier, which has been slow to build up in recent years due to the economy.

"They're (the Moellers) starting to really invest in that South Pier area, and we're hoping they have a lot of success with this," Sokolowski said.

The course, according to Sokolowski, will feature shallow ponds, marker buoys, timber piling with heavy rope wrappings and will be in full view of the FV Islander, a retired fishing boat which last fall was placed along the Sheboygan River. The developers plan to build ramps and dock-like walkways around the boat, which still needs to be restored.

The various holes on the course will rise to up to 8 feet above the sidewalk level. The course would be open every day during the season, probably from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Up to four seasonal workers will be hired to staff the course.

Petrie, Bob. “South Pier mini-golf course could be up by Memorial Day.” The Sheboygan Press. November 12, 2009, page A4.