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Pine Hills Country Club completes new pool

Renovated space aims to attract families to the club

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July 11, 2023

SHEBOYGAN – PGA Class A General Manager Ted Osmundson – who has been with Pine Hills since 2016 – said the renovation of the pool and lounge area at Pine Hills Country Club was a project 20 years in the making.

The pool was first built in 1942, and according to Osmundson, that was a problem.

“The pool got old – 80 years old, and it’s been patched and fixed over the years to try and keep it operating, but for the most part, it just sat, taking up space with beautiful views,” he said.

A new pool has been in discussion for 20 years, but Osmundson said it kept being pushed back.

“It got to the point where we couldn’t put it off anymore,” he said. “We had a few bad leaks, and we were concerned about even making it to the season. We believe the membership wants this pool. There’s a lot of golfers who don’t need a pool, but we want families, and the pool is a big draw for them.”

That, Osmundson said, led to the creation of a pool committee in 2021.

Initially, he said there was debate about where the pool should be and what it should look like.

“We had a membership meeting because everyone had their own ideas, but you can’t have 400 people making a decision, so the board and the pool committee met once a month for most of 2021, and by the end of the year, they had a plan,” he said.

Because the pool draws in families, Osmundson said the new plan had to have zero entry for kids and be handicap accessible.

“It still overlooks the golf course and Pigeon River, and we added bathrooms right at the pool level, as well as a snack bar,” he said. “We closed for the 2022 season on Labor Day, and we started excavating the old pool the next day. We finished construction on time, which is wonderful because that often doesn’t happen. The pool reopened (Memorial Day weekend).”

Osmundson said the renovations were completed by A. Chappa Construction, a local contractor who is also a member of Pine Hills.

“We did an RFP (request for proposal) with contractors that are members, and A. Chappa won the bid,” he said. “We felt it was important to keep things within the Pine Hills family.”

A bit more on Pine Hills
Pine Hills Country Club got its start in 1905 as a private club with a nine-hole course.

In 1929, the club bought more land, enough to fit 18 holes of golf and a clubhouse, which was first built in May 1930.

The clubhouse has been further developed and expanded over the years but preserves many of its original features.

Osmundson said Pine Hills offers a variety of amenities to its patrons, like clubhouse banquet areas, dining rooms, three tennis courts and now a brand-new pool and lounge area.

“We have a banquet experience – we have a lot of social events, like Mother’s Day brunch, Easter brunch, Santa’s brunch and we do a bunch of different things during the summer, like our own Fourth of July fireworks,” he said. “We also do a family fun day at the pool.”

The club also hosts banquets for a variety of events, Osmundson said.

“It’s not just weddings, we also have a lot of charity functions, retirement parties, birthdays – all types of things,” he said.

The banquet area, Osmundson said, also boasts views of the Pigeon River and the entire golf course.

He said Pine Hills does all of its own catering courtesy of its three chefs.

“We have quite a chef talent here – we have an executive chef, Jeff Campbell, a specialized banquet chef, Dan Dries and a specialized chef de cuisine, John Husa,” he said.

Osmundson said the food at Pine Hills changes seasonally, with a spring, summer and fall/winter menu, in addition to daily specials.

Pine Hills is home to an 18-hole golf course – which also includes an option for a shorter golf experience.

“John Wallrich, our A-1 Head Golf Professional of 32 years, created the SMARTCourse, which is a shorter course,” Osmundson said. “It’s primarily designed for juniors, beginners and seniors. The tees are placed halfway along the course, avoiding major hazards and obstructions, so you can have more fun and play quicker. The PGA is encouraging those types of programs, so more people try golf.”

Osmundson said Pine Hills also has a caddie program that encourages the next generation of golfers.

An aerial look at the first nine holes at Pine Hills Golf Course. Submitted Photo

“We have a very in-depth caddie program, as well as a scholarship for our caddies called Evans Scholarship,” he said.

Since 1966, Osmundson said Pine Hills has sent nearly 100 kids to college with the Evans Scholarship, which covers almost all of a four-year degree and even provides housing in the Evans Scholarship frat house.

“I’m proud of the scholarship because we do a drive with the members of our club every year to donate $50,000-$60,000 toward that foundation,” he said. “Our club is the No. 2 supporter out of all the clubs in Wisconsin, upper Illinois and part of Minnesota.”

Osmundson said Pine Hills members are allowed to bring guests to the club, though there are limitations.

“For the golf course and the pool, there are some complicated specifics involving days of the week, but for the most part, guests are allowed to come up to three times a year, unless they’re immediate family, in which case they can come up to five times.”

According to Osmundson, guests play an important role in the growth of the club.

“We allow guests, and we want them to enjoy the amenities, too, because they’re a springboard for new members,” he said.

There are three different levels of membership available at Pine Hills: golf membership, sports membership and social membership.

“A golf membership gives you access to all our amenities,” Osmundson said.

“The sport level allows access to the pool, tennis and two rounds of golf, and then we have the social level, which allows access to dining in the clubhouse and social events and our banquet facilities as well.”

Future plans
As for the future of Pine Hills, Osmundson said the pool won’t be its last renovation.

“We’re also currently working on some mild renovations on the golf course, moving some stuff around the green, adding in sand traps, just cleaning everything out,” he said.

These renovations are expected to be completed in the next few weeks.

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