Pomme de Terre Golf Course celebrates 100 years in 2023

Despite many setbacks over the 100 years of the Pomme de Terre golf course existence, the
resiliency of the local course owners and members to have and maintain a quality golf course
has produced a modern 18-hole golf course and practice facilities for all to enjoy.
It all started in 1923 when Mr. and Mrs. Harry Le May donated land to build a golf course about
half-way between Morris and Hancock along Highway 9. Local golf club members would build a
modest club house and nine-hole course and perform the groundskeeping duties working on the
greens and fairways.
After the depression era, the course was purchased by the Watzke family who owned the
course until they sold it to a group of stockholders. The Watzke family was
instrumental in converting the sand greens to grass greens.
In 1956, a fire destroyed the original club house. The board of directors quickly decided to replace it with a more modern clubhouse with the help of County Highway Engineer J. A. Dupont serving as the engineer and construction manager. Once completed, the new clubhouse
featured a swimming pool and large dining room/restaurant named the Four Seasons. It was a
popular place for large gatherings such as wedding receptions. A disastrous fire on Friday,
December 28,1983 would destroy the clubhouse.
Course conditions would continue to improve despite setbacks from the fires with the help of
groundskeeping crew personnel including the likes of Rick Lucken leading the charge of
continuing to improve the fairways, tee boxes and greens.
In 1997, the course directors decided to sell the golf course to private investors who would
manage and run the course. In the early 2000s, the club owners decided to bring in Minnesota
course designer Joel Goldstrand to convert the course from a 9-hole course to an 18-hole
course as part of an adjacent housing development which included land for course expansion.
The owners falling short of their financing goal would sell to local businessmen in 2006.
The new owners brought in Chris Leman, an experienced manager, as part owner as well as an
experienced superintendent. They also purchased a new fleet of golf carts and improved the
course conditions. The new holes spread the course out into adjoining farmland, with drainage
ditches and ponds amongst high-land and low-lands adding to the challenge. A housing development called Creekside Addition began to sell lots with golf course views.
In 2007, the owners added a new 3,500 square foot clubhouse near the 18th green to replace
the old clubhouse which rested along Hole 1. The clubhouse features a large great room, pro
shop, snack bar, party room facilities and a deck that overlooks the greens. There are rooms on
two floors that can hold larger or smaller gatherings. These changes and expansion were
welcomed by local golf enthusiasts.
However, in the spring of 2011, local golfers received a letter saying the golf course was being
sold. A large push was on to raise the capital as a modest quote of $600,000 was given to
purchase the course. Letters were sent out offering to sell shares or receive pledges for $1,000
per share. The community responded with various donations and capital raised from over 270
members and donors over a one-month period. The club is still currently owned by cooperative
shareholders and operated by a board of directors. Chris Leman stepped down as manager and the club hired Tom Legate, a veteran course manager and PGA professional.

Since purchasing the course in 2011, the course has endured wet seasons and heavy rains that
can quickly flood parts of the course as much of the original land purchased was and still is part of a drainage system to the Pomme de Terre River. Heavy storms in 2022 toppled over 150+
trees and more recently on June 26, 2023, a fire destroyed the primary maintenance shed with
several pieces of mowing equipment, golf carts and supplies in the building.
Over the years, the board of directors and owners have responded with a push forward despite
the setbacks with improvements that continue to make the course into a quality 18-hole golf
course. Improvements including better course drainage and new mowing technology to quality
seeding and fertilizing greens and fairways.
Co-op board members still oversee operations with Aubrey Hill now the clubhouse manager and
Skip Hesse managing the grounds at the golf course.
Throughout the season several businesses and organizations hold annual tournaments at the
course for team building, community outreach, or as fundraisers.
On Tuesday nights there is a pick-up league which is open to anyone of any age if they call the
clubhouse to sign up before 5:30 p.m. to play with pizza and prizes following golf each week.
Every Wednesday night is women’s night and Thursday is men’s night. On league nights,
anyone can sign up to take part in the evening nine-hole scrambles. There are open tee times
during the week and weekends for golfing for the public. At the middle of August, the Club
Championship is held for both the men’s and women’s leagues.
The course also has an affiliated Pomme de Terre Junior Golf Association that provides youth
leagues and lessons and clubs with the help of the Morris Community Education.
The Clubhouse is available to rent for private parties. The golf club employs over 18
people who work inside and outside on a seasonal basis.
In recognition of 100 years, there will be public events the weekend of July 14th-16th at the golf
course open for anybody to stop out and participate. There will be wine and food the night of
Friday July 14th with Rolling Forks hosting a wine tasting and Blowin’ Smoke with their food
truck. The club house will be open for socializing and at dark the club will host a glow ball
On Saturday July 15th, the club is hosting a golf tournament with a 10 a.m. shotgun start. The
cost is members – $10 and non-Members $40. A variety of prizes will be given out that day.

When you walk through the doors at the Pomme de Terre Golf Clubhouse, you would never believe that the club has just turned 100. The building is only 17 years old but the course was
opened that long ago and has provided entertainment for area people for all those years. They
have survived fires, wind-storms, and floods and made the course and clubhouse better than

“You are invited to visit the Pomme de Terre Golf Club Facebook page and
website www.pdtgolfclub.com, or call the clubhouse at 320-589-1009 to learn more about the
100 year anniversary festivities.” stated Board President Max Martin.