After decades of operating in the red, the Powell Golf Club staged a comeback of epic proportions over the last six years, erasing a nearly quarter-million dollar debt with a mixture of aggressive fundraising and matched-funding contributions from the City of Powell.
Our community is now seeing the benefits.
The calendar year 2018 has been an exciting one for the city-owned PGC, and it’s only a couple of months into the playing season. The course has hosted a number of events already this summer, including the annual Trapper Bonanza Golf Tournament, the Powell Medical Foundation’s Heartland Golf Classic and the Wyoming State Match Play Tournament — the latter featuring nearly 80 of the best amateur golfers in the state. The event received rave reviews by golfers and the Wyoming State Golf Association alike, and the WSGA is already working to schedule another state-wide event at PGC.
With excellent reviews and turnouts, the PGC’s star is definitely on the rise. But ask the club’s first-year pro Mike Propp what’s been the most gratifying aspect of the summer and he points to the younger members of the community. Propp and his staff have tweaked the summer youth golf program, held in conjunction with the Powell Recreation District, to be more inclusive. Expanding it from a three-day workshop format to meeting weekly for nine weeks, the new format is giving more kids the opportunity to attend, as well as more time for instruction on the finer points of etiquette, mechanics and the fundamentals of the game. The $60 registration fee is good for the entire summer program, and kids don’t have to have been attending from the start to participate.
“As busy as everyone is in the summer, it’s possible a family could be gone for those three days, and that’s it,” Propp said. “With the new format, we have nine weeks of junior golf, mixed in with a couple of tournaments during those nine weeks.”
In addition to the youth program tournaments, the PGC will also host the anchor leg of the Big Horn Basin Junior Tournament in August, and Wednesday, the youth players will pair with an adult member of the club for the day for a members-juniors tournament. Three weeks into the youth program, the weekly classes have grown each week, drawing 40-50 kids a class. Each day includes in-depth instruction followed by time on the course. Players are coming back in their own time with their families in tow, and it’s that family-friendly environment the PGC is trying to cultivate.
“For those that want to learn, we want to give them all the tools and skills to develop, and I think we have a first-rate program to do that,” Propp said.
The Powell Golf Club is encouraging the community to play together as a family. Golf has been and continues to be a great way for families to enjoy an outdoor activity together. Take some time to get out and golf with your kids this summer. The PGC will be excited to have you.
“Golf really is a lifelong game,” Propp said. “Spending time with family and getting some exercise is a great thing, and golf provides an outlet for that.”