Course History

   In 1954, at a dinner meeting of the Wollochet Community Club, Parker Buck, Ed Allen, Bill Bowers and Walter Hogan put together a plan to build a golf course, and they picked a site on top of Wollochet Heights on East Bay Drive where Parker Buck was in the process of building a short nine hole course. At a subsequent meeting of the Wollochet Community Club the group decided to enlist the support of others by incorporating the organization and selling membership shares of $500 each in what was proposed as a golf and country club. Most of the shares were not sold to avid golfers, but largely to individuals more interested in the establishment of the country club.
   Soon thereafter, the Wollochet Heights site was discarded in favor of the present location on Artondale Drive. A farm consisting of 114 acres that belonged to Jack and Ann LaMarr was sold to the corporation for $13,500. 127 shares were sold (for as little as $20 down and $10 a month) and the corporation was registered in 1954 with the name Artondale Golf and Country Club, Inc., the name of the community where the course was located. Volunteers from these Charter members then proceeded to build the nine hole golf course. Those in construction loaned their heavy equipment to bulldoze and grade. Other members used garden rakes and other equipment to level the greens, and spoons and screwdrivers were used to dig out and discard rocks. These members included many ladies who contributed much tin time and labor toward the construction and beautification of the course. A club house was built, for $15,000, on a site chosen for the view of Mt. Rainier.

  After six long years of work and planning, the golf course was officially opened for play, for Charter members only, on Sunday October 1st, 1960. The first pro-manager was Del Arthur, who was also a Charter member.
   The grand opening and dedication was held June 3rd and 4th, 1961. Howard Roland was the master of ceremonies and introduced Tom Morris, club president, who in turn introduced Mayor Gilbert. The mayor officially dedicated the new layout. The club president at that time, Tom Morris arranged for a TV Channel 11 film crew to record the event and it was shown on the local news. Del Arthur, manager of the club, estimated there were approximately 330 visitors during the two day grand opening. The feature attraction of the day was a foursome made up of four Tacoma golf professionals, John Rudy of Fircrest, Al Feldman of Meadow Park, Ken Tyson of Allenmore, and Ockie Eliason of the Lakewood Golf Range. Eliason won with a 32.
In 1961, to provide funds for operating costs, a monthly green fee of $12.00 was established. Daily green fees were $2.50 for 9 holes and $3.50 for 18 holes on weekends, and $1.75 for 9 holes and $2.25 for 18 holes on week days.
   The first hole in one on the course was in 1963 by Ben Ormiston of Bremerton.

   The first Pro Shop was a 12’ x 18’ building located next to the club house. The present Pro Shop was built by member Win Granlund at a cost of $19,640.00 in 1969 on a one acre of land provided to him by the club, which was later sold back to the club for $27,500.00.
   In 1972 an additional eleven acres of adjoining land was purchased with a view toward the possible future construction of another nine holes.
Also in 1972, the club hired its first golf professional, Mickey Stray. Over the years he was succeeded by Gary Holrach, Pat Nixon, Monty Montesino, Doug Hathaway, Robert (Buzz) Thomas, Tim Mark, Jeff Mehlert, Mark Holden, Chris Frey and Steve Stensland.
   The first member to own his own golf cart was club president Stan Jensen, who with eleven others built the first cart shed in 1976. Three more cart sheds were later added.
   In 1982 the membership, by a vote of 119 to 10, elected to change the name of the club to Gig Harbor Golf and Country Club, Inc.
   In 1977, a railed tram that was in place to transport golfers from number 5 green to number 6 tee, was replaced by a rope tow. In 1992 asphalt cart paths were completed for all nine holes.
   Membership level achieved a high of 280 in 1993, including both single and family memberships. In recent years, membership levels have varied between 180 and 200.

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