OSCEOLA – Osceola’s Ryan Hill Golf Course has been a cornerstone for Polk County entertainment, going on 50 years.
The local 9-hole course has been around since 1967, and has transformed from having sand-greens to being a main attraction for Polk County recreation.
Mary Lou Stallings, Ardith Hayes, Ron & Sharon Christensen, Tootie Wobig , Gregg Johnson, and Karleen Watts were charter members of the golf course when it was first created on the west edge of Osceola.
Ron Christensen says, “Three holes were put in at first, and it was sand-greens. Then probably 15 years later, we went to the grass greens, which was a big improvement, you know. People thoroughly enjoyed it, and didn’t have to rake the old sand type greens, and so we’ve progressed quite a ways over the years.”
Stallings says current greenskeeper Russ Miller was among the boys who would drag paths on the sand greens, so that players could putt. Stallings also served several years as a bartender, in the early days of clubhouse.
“We used to have tee time dances, tee time dances about 5 O’clock, and we would get enough money to have free lunch afterwards, and just all kinds of activities going all the time,” says Stallings.
Course Manager Tasha Weller says, the clubhouse was remodeled in recent years, in addition to the elevated deck that was built just outside the building. Weller says, it has been great to see young area natives moving back to the community, and continuing to support the local course.
“A lot of the charter members too, are still participating in golf, so it’s really neat to see how 50 years later, they’re still active in a lot of the things that we do. We’re also really lucky in this community, we support a lot of surrounding communities, so we have a lot of towns that come to Ryan Hill,” says Weller.
The Christensens, Johnson, and Stallings still play at the course, both recreationally and in league play.
If you would like to check out the course, in it’s 50th year of existence, you can find it just off Highway 81 and N Road.