Prairie du Chien Country Club to host open house, 60th Anniversary celebration July 4

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Mayor Harry Lochner is shown on the first tee of the new Prairie du Chien Country Club as he had the honor of driving the first ball down the fairway in the grand opening ceremonies on Friday, July 4, 1958. Lined up behind the Honorable Mayor are some of the board of directors who were influential in making the new course become a reality. From left to right are Rodney Satter, Charles Elvert, Dr. T. F. Farrell, C. R. Stewart, Tom Multerer, Leary Peterson, Herman Derouin and partially hidden, Howard Elder. The opening of the course over the three-day Fourth of July weekend was quite a success as more than 200 golfers enjoyed the facilities. (Courier Press file photos)

The new clubhouse was open for business on Saturday, May 5.

 

By Ted Pennekamp

 

On July 4, the Prairie du Chien Country Club will be celebrating its 60th Anniversary and hosting an open house of its new clubhouse.

Everyone is invited to the celebration, which will include a golf event in which players will play the original nine holes. Registration is at 3 p.m. and golfing starts at 4 p.m. There will also be children’s games, prizes and fireworks at dusk, live music by Sid V and the Human Resources and burgers, brats and potato salad in the event tent.

“It’s quite rewarding to see this (the clubhouse) built,” said Country Club Food and Beverage Manager Karen Moravits who started working at the country club in 1979. “It’s been fun watching how we’ve developed and where we are today.”

“Everyone is invited, so please come out,” Moravits continued. “Hopefully, there will be old and new members and the children of old members. This has been a dream for many years.”

On July 4, 1958, Prairie du Chien Country Club was officially dedicated. At that time, Harry Lochner was Mayor of Prairie du Chien and he hit the first ball from the number one tee on a rainy and dreary day. 

Six miles south of the city at 38485 Highway 18, the country club is one of the most scenic courses in the area.

The par-72 Prairie du Chien Country Club is open from March through November as weather permits and offers 18 challenging holes with watered fairways. A practice green and driving range are also available.

Prairie du Chien Country Club is open to the public all week long. On Wednesdays, ladies have preference for tee times, while on Thursdays, the men have preference.

History 

The following are a few pieces of club history gleaned from a record book kept by the club’s first president Chuck Elvert from the club’s inception through about 1992.

Membership fees in 1958 were $60 for a family who were stockholders. The membership for a single man who was a stockholder was $42. For a single woman, it was $30. For clergy, who did not need to be stockholders, the membership fee was $30. The fee for a student was $18. The fee for an out-of-town stockholding family was $42. The fee for a single, out-of-town stockholding man or woman was $30. It cost $100 to own stock in the club. All members had to be stockholders except clergy and students.

A new clubhouse addition was completed on May 12, 1964. Walz Lumber Company had the low bid of $4,275.

Another addition to the clubhouse was constructed in March of 1966 at a cost of $13,975. Construction was done by Walz Lumber. Also in March of 1966, a new heating system was installed at a cost of $2,501. A new shed was also constructed at a cost of $3,395.

In 1975, a new irrigation system was installed on the golf course.

In 1977, two tennis courts were constructed.

Also in 1977, the club became an official member of the Wisconsin State Golfing Association.

The first hole-in-one at Prairie du Chien Country Club was recorded by Chuck Elvert on Aug. 2, 1961. Elvert’s ace occurred on hole number 5.

A second nine was added to Prairie du Chien Country Club when the course was redesigned by Gilmore and Graves in 1993.

After the course was redesigned, lots were sold for houses on the back nine. Moravits said there are now 14 residences there.

New clubhouse

Construction of the new clubhouse began in December of 2017. Top Notch Construction of Prairie du Chien, located near Patch Grove, was the general contractor for the project, and there were several local and area subcontractors. 

Delta 3 Engineering of Platteville was the architect for the project, which was privately funded, with the country club raising approximately $1 million.

Prairie du Chien Country Club Incorporated has numerous share holders, and the Country Club Board of Directors envisioned a new clubhouse about eight to 10 years ago.

The new clubhouse, which opened on Saturday, May 5, is 7,003 square feet, and Moravits said it has a nice, more open feel than the former building, which makes it seem somewhat larger than it really is.

In addition to the new clubhouse, within the past two years, the former cart shed has been transformed into a rustic bar and a pavilion was built next to the shed.

Moravits said there are numerous weddings booked for this summer to take advantage of all that Prairie du Chien Country Club has to offer.

The new clubhouse has a bar, a pro shop and a year ‘round restaurant with a large dining room-banquet facility.

In addition to weddings, Moravits said business luncheons, small parties, bridal showers, anniversary celebrations, graduation parties and any other such events will find the improved Prairie du Chien Country Club very accommodating.

Persons seeking additional information can call (608) 326-6707. The website is www.play18atpdccc.com.

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