Even though the Orono Public Golf Course is not celebrating its 100 anniversary until 2024, the Orono Parks Commission and City of Orono are preparing the course and the clubhouse with continuous upgrades and new events.
According to Orono Public Golf Course Supervisor Jason Goehring, since the Orono Parks Commission took the golf course under its wing, they have supported the efforts that are going into maintaining the course.
“They saw the charm and the opportunities the golf course has...Their vision is coming to light,” Goehring said.
Goehring adds that he along with staff members work on a daily basis to keep up maintenance during the on- and off-seasons, tasks such as plumbing, electrical and daily cleaning. Improvements that have been made include the building of a creek with a new bridge over it as well as drainage improvements.
“Our staff numbers outdoors has grown a little but so we’re able to get the course into a condition that a lot of people appreciate,” Goehring said. “Our equipment is getting upgraded on a yearly basis, so we’re staying up with modern technology and we’re also looking for ways to improve the course.”
Making the greens bigger, continuously improving the drainage in certain areas and monitoring the irrigation system efficiency are other ways staff are working to keep the course ready for leagues and their growing list of events.
The nine hole golf course attracts golfers of all ages with their mens’ and women’s league, as well as their various events and camp for junior golfers. The core events are based around the three leagues, which include two men’s leagues and one women’s league.
“They have a history of tournaments and championships. We’ve got a Corn Days tournament and a trophy with a corn cob. We did host a children’s golf clinic this spring, which was three Fridays where we would teach the basics of golf to kids, that was a success,” Goehring said.
The course also hosted a stop of the Minnesota Junior PGA tour. More recently, club member Dennis Knudsen coordinated an event, “The Retro Golf Fall Open,” where golfers dressed in vintage golf clothing and used vintage clubs and balls on Oct. 7. Participants received a dinner and prizes as well.
“[Knudsen’s] intent is to run that event every fall and have it really take off at the 100 anniversary,” Goehring said while adding Knudsen is hoping to add a second retro golf event in the spring and call it the Spring Ping Fling.
The golf course will also continue their tree lighting event for the second year. On Saturday, Dec. 7 the community is invited to attend their event, which will include a donut truck, beverages, a tree lighting at 6 p.m. and Santa Clause, who will arrive in a fire truck.
The Orono Public golf club is located at 265 Orono Orchard Rd S.