The South Winneshiek Golf and Country Club is looking well groomed these days with the help of three ambitious volunteers, Roger Winter, Ray Koshatka, and Leon Lechtenberg. These fine gentlemen put in over 100 hours of free labor and trimmed over 600 trees and they say they have more to do yet this fall.
For years the club would set up a day for trimming trees and either it would rain or they wouldn't have much help show up, leaving many trees in need of trimming. One Day, three years ago, Roger Winter was sitting on the club house deck and realized he couldn't see who was playing any of the holes on that side and decided it was time to do something about it. The work also needed to be done as a health issue for the mature course. He enlisted a couple good men to help and the rest is history.
South Winn Country Club is a mature course, built in 1960 with many large evergreens and oak trees. The long evergreen branches touched the ground and if your ball happened to roll under one, you would need to crawl under it to retrieve you golf ball and then take a penalty stroke. This way, the course is more player friendly and speeds up the play. After some consideration and talking with the men's board president and owner of Fort Nursery, Scott Sindelar, they were told to trim the evergreens up higher than they first had to accommodate the mower, freeing up mowing time. Now you can swing a club under the trees and the lawn mower can easily mow around the trees. The oaks were trimmed up to the fork, which is done in the spring.
The most noticeable is how nice green number two looks, which can be seen along the road, and it isn't quite as scary chipping on for fear of losing your ball in the evergreens that surround the green on one side. The par threes play faster also, which are holes four and nine, though one can still hit a tree off their drive (for having a hole in one hole on four at one time, I'm still more apt to hit the trees or the sand), the ball will now be findable. I don't know how many of my golf balls they must have retrieved on nine, as I and many others managed to hit and lose the ball countless times in the evergreens that lineup beside the pathway, unless I was lucky enough to get a "members bounce" off the tree into the fairway. Though for some, like my husband, Kevin, who manages to hit the green most times and even managed a few hole-in-ones there, taking the trees out of play.
The whole course is mostly narrow with mature trees on both sides. Hole number one has a mature tree that the ladies try hard to avoid on the right when they tee off, while men seem to find the trees about fifty yards from the green on the left to be especially troublesome, which are still there and make it more of a challenge playing it. On hole eight, we have a tree that was strategically put in by thoughtful Bill Wermers, now gone but not forgotten, to make the hole more challenging also. Those trees are still there, not changing the courses difficulty.
The South Winn golf and Country Club located at 2585 175th Street, between Calmar and Spillville, is a nine hole course set on softly rolling hills and the fairways are lined with trees. The fairways are bluegrass and the greens are bent grass. The course is open to the public Monday, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and holidays. Wednesday and Thursday are Members Only after 12 p.m.
If you happen to drive by or are out golfing, take time to see how nice the course looks. Stop in and enjoy some Fall golfing and see for yourself why the course is getting so many compliments and if you see these three volunteers thank them. For more information on the course, check out their website at http://www.southwinncountryclub.com or call the course at (563) 562-3191.