Rec and park-run Ponderosa finishes first season in the black |

Rec and park-run Ponderosa finishes first season in the black

Seth Lightcap/Sierra Sun

Truckee’s Ponderosa Golf Course seems to be a success after a season in public hands.

The nine-hole course was purchased from the Himsl family in June by the Truckee Tahoe Airport District, the Town of Truckee, the Truckee Donner Land Trust and the Truckee Trails Foundation. The course was then handed over to the Truckee Donner Recreation and Park District to run.

The Himsl’s weren’t making money on it and had wanted to develop the property, so the cooperating entities decided to intervene to preserve the area for recreation and open space.

The recreation and park district got a late start on the course because of the timing of the purchase, and had to contend with brown grass and other disrepair.

“We got in a month late, but we were able to bring it back open by mid-June,” said Steve Randall, general manager of the recreation and park district. “Personally I think the summer went great.”

John Krone, pro shop manager at Ponderosa, said there were about 12,000 to 13,000 rounds of golf played over the course of the summer, averaging 300 to 400 people per weekend.

As of Sept. 30, Randall said the golf course had made $16,000.

“We’re pleased because we didn’t go into this with the intent of making money, we planned on breaking even to make golf affordable to the community,” Randall said.

That money will likely go right back into the golf course, Randall said, with an estimated $1 million in work anticipated over the next 10 years.

As the course is all watered by hand now, a big portion of that work will include putting in irrigation three holes at a time over the next three years, Randall said.

“Golf courses are a lot of work, we watered during peak summer days up to 22 hours a day,” said Park Superintendent John Shaffer.

Randall said the pond used to supply water to the course will also need to be dredged.

“We’re getting a lot of compliments from people on how great it is to see us out there and that the course is the best they’ve seen it in 10 years,” Randall said. “It’s been a real win-win.”

The course will close for the season Sunday, Oct. 19.

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