Pondera Golf Course, the county’s big secret

YOUR’RE INVITED  —  From the left, Pondera Golf Course President Dave Orcutt, PGC Manager Teri Jo Fitzgerald, and PGC Board Secretary Cindie Vandenberg invite everyone to come out for family fun at the Pondera Golf Course.  I-O Photo by Buck Traxler




By Buck Traxler, I-O Editor

Incorporated in 1949 the Pondera Golf Course, for 64 years, has been a prime recreational facility for the county and families.

The life-long sport is also home for the Cowboy and Cowgirl high school golf teams, not to mention a summer youth program and three leagues; men’s, women’s and Seniors.

The Wednesday night men’s league players need to be signed up by May 15. It starts on May 22. The women’s Tuesday night league will begin on April 30. The Senior Tuesday afternoon league will get going as soon as the weather warms up.

Situated just west of the City of Conrad, lay nine holes, covering 6,277 yards with a par of 72 for 18 holes.

It offers a number of risk-reward holes for those who are inclined to gamble a little with their game. For those that like to “hook” they have to be careful because out-of-bounds stakes line the left side of each hole all around the course.

The Golf Course is one of the better recreational bargains in the Golden Triangle with green fees of just $15 for nine holes of $30 for all day. On weekends it costs $17 for nine holes, but becomes a real bargain of just $25 for all day.

There are also golf carts and pull carts for rent as well as clubs. There is even a set for left-handed players, which many courses don’t offer.

The Golf Course board has high expectations that a new chipping green will be ready for the season and a new putting green will be worked on as well, by groundskeeper Mike Qwest and Cory Johnson.

PGC President David Orcutt comments, “Our mission is to provide a family-oriented atmosphere and fun place to gather with friends, family and business, for work or play.”

The Golf Course will be hosting a number of tournaments over the summer; the first one coming up soon is the Whoop-Up tourney, held in conjunction with the Lions Club Whoop-Up Trail Days Celebration on May 31.

Whoop-Up has grown every year and looks to be bigger again this year. The Smart Alex band will be performing an outside live concert following the rodeo on Saturday. A $10 wrist band will get you into the concert, provide some food and keg beer until it’s gone. The concert starts about 9 p.m.

Other tournaments include the Todd Johnson Memorial, Farm-Ranch, the Pondera Medical Center tourney, the WABC (Women Against Breast Cancer) which is making a comeback, the Tri-County Ryder Cup tournament and the Bartender Girls’ tournament which is a night tournament.

Inside the club house, managed by Teri Jo Fitzgerald and helped by Jeannie LaSorte, there is a pro shop that offers wearing apparel as well as golf clubs, golf balls, gloves and other accessories. The golf course also has punch cards for sale.

“We provide a fun-filled family atmosphere for socializing, celebrating weddings or reunions, or business meetings or any occasion with our full-service bar and kitchen,” Fitzgerald said.

She went on to add, “We are the only place in town to have a full liquor license and serve food.”

New this year will be a prime rib dinner night once a month with the first one being on May 10 starting at 6:30 p.m.

The dinner will include all the trimmings and be on a first come, first serve basis. Mike Harding of Big Ox BBQ and More will be cookin’ the ribs.

The board of directors for the publically operated golf course is Dave Orcutt-president, Aaron Iverson-VP, Donna Warwick-secretary and Cindie Vandenberg-treasurer. The board members are Jeremiah Pearson, Todd 'the Music Man' Truscott and Jeannie LaSorte.

To book a function or event, at the Pondera Golf Course or for more information, call Fitzgerald at 278-3402.

“Remember,” Vandenberg stressed, “The PGC is not a private club, it is a public golf course open to everyone and governed by the board of directors.”