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Someone You Should Know: A labor of love for the game of golf

Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 5:17 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - A Brandon man has had a lifelong love of golf as both a competitive player and a golf course owner. His family’s creation has given golfers a place to learn the game for more than 30-years.

The Hidden Valley Golf Course is a labor of love for owner Jim Reiter.

“I’m just so proud of it. And it’s so fun to see the people coming out here because the people that play our course are learning how to play the game,” said Jim.

The course, which is tucked away on the east side of Brandon opened in 1990 when the Reiter family decided to make a change.

“My brother-in-law and myself, and my dad, we started Split Rock Nursery here back in 76′. We operated that for fifteen years. And like I was telling you, I got tired of hauling sod out here and we always wanted to build a golf course because we had built plenty of them with my dad. And we said ‘well we’ve got the ground, let’s try it.’, “said Jim.

Things started with nine holes and expanded to eighteen ten years later. All par threes.

“What I tell people when they come out here. You have eighteen chances at Hidden Valley to make a hole-in-one. That’s kind of a selling point,” said Jim.

From mowing to setting up sprinklers, to working the clubhouse. Jim does it all in this family business.

“We’ve actually got three generations working out here right now. We’ve got me, my two sons and my brother. And I’ve got a grandson and a grandaughter working, so this is a Reiter family business,” said Jim.

“Once I started working out here I realized that it’s a lot more that goes into it than just looking into it from the outside,” said grandson Seth Reiter.

“I spend a lot of time here because I live right just up the street too. So I’m down here at six in the morning getting the receipts. And most of the time I’m here until five-six at night, or when the last golfer leaves,” said Jim.

“He’s always got a wave if he’s in the cart going down the fairways. And you go in the clubhouse and he’s always got good words. And in fact, I was the first one to arrive a couple of weeks ago and he gave me an award. He gave me a card and a pencil to use because I was the first one on the course,” said golfer Georgia Albrecht.

Proper care of a golf course was certainly in Jim’s blood. His dad Gene was the superintendent at the Minnehaha Country Club for more than forty years. Jim majored in turf management and agronomy at Iowa State. And the soon-to-be 72-year old isn’t slowing down.

“My wife says I enjoy it too much. Because she retired two years ago, and I say there’s only one way I’m going to retire. And it’s not going to be a good way. I just love it. It’s something I’ve done for so long that I don’t know what I’d do without it,” said Jim.

Jim is also well known in Brandon for running both a lawn service and snow removal business.

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