DGR Engineering: "30 Topics, 6 To Go"

The call came in October 2022.

Trent Bruce didn't know the topic of Danny Amundson's meeting request, but he had a hunch.

A decade earlier, the DGR engineer had lived next door to Amundson. He knew Amundson as a golf fanatic and a visionary. Now Amundson wanted DGR Engineering's help to execute a plan: a new private golf club in Sioux Falls. Once Danny revealed the details, Bruce lit up.

"There's nothing I like more than working with a friend and helping realize a dream come true," Bruce said.

Almost 18 months later, DGR is fully engaged northeast of the city, working to execute the Mapletøn vision.

"When we first started this discussion, we had like 36 topics," Bruce said. "Where are we getting natural gas? Where are we getting electricity? How are we doing water? Fire suppression. Drainage. Access. County coordination. Annexation."

Slowly DGR has crossed topics off the list. "We're down to about 5 or 6 little things that have to be worked out."

DGR, a 70-year-old company based in Rock Rapids, Iowa, has extensive experience with big projects in the Sioux Falls area. It knows the golf business, too, working to develop courses like Prairie Green, Grand Falls Casino & Golf Resort (Larchwood, Iowa) and The Ridge (Sioux Center, Iowa).

Bruce grew up in the Black Hills and earned his civil engineering degree from South Dakota State. He's spent 25 years at DGR. He's still fascinated by the process of "turning a field into a playground for adults. It's pretty neat."

"You walk the course a little differently," Bruce said, "knowing you were part of where the ponds are located and how they function and how the clubhouse overlooks the course and all those things you take for granted."

For Bruce, Mapletøn is special not simply because of its potential — Sioux Falls needed a club like this, he says — but his personal connection to Amundson. Bruce's family lived next door in the early 2010s. While Bruce's kids bonded with the Amundson family dog, the adults built a friendship.

"This is what Danny always wanted to do," Bruce said. "He just exudes excitement."

Passion is contagious. So whether it's checking silt fences around Slip Up Creek, mapping the clubhouse parking lot or completing county permits, DGR engineers take pride in the place. They look forward to crossing the last topics off the to-do list and seeing Mapletøn in full bloom.

"It's one of those legacy projects," Bruce said. "Everybody who's working on this is someday going to say 'I was part of that!'"

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Mapleton Golf Club
2601 S Minnesota Ave
Suite 105-154
Sioux Falls, SD 57105