Gig Harbor Golf Club celebrates 50-year mark

Updated: August 31, 2011

Gig Harbor Golf Club turned 50 years old this year and the club celebrated both on and off the golf course.

On the course, Gig Harbor had plenty of pomp and circumstance with a 50-year celebration earlier this summer with members, past club champions, past club presidents, past superintendents and more taking part. There was golf, entertainment, food and even fireworks to wrap it all up.

And there’s also the new bunkers that have been added, the improved landscaping that has allowed even better views of Mountain Rainier and improved conditioning.

Off the course, the clubhouse has been re-modeled, providing a member’s lounge, large banquet area and a place for weddings, meetings and more.

“We are doing what we can to keep everything current,” said club director Steve Stensland. “There are always ways to keep things improving.”

Gig Harbor Golf Club is a 9-hole course that plays like 18. The scorecard might read 5,400 yards for the 18 holes, but don’t believe everything you read. With the elevation changes, the sloping greens and newly built bunkers, Gig Harbor is a test.

In fact, the Tacoma Golf Association now thinks so much of the layout, that Gig Harbor Golf Club will host the 2011 TGA Champion of Champions, which features the club champions from the member courses.

What makes the course a special 9-hole treat is the different teeing areas. The teeing areas for both the front and back nines are sometimes not even close. The 3rd hole 300-yard par-4 the first time around but the next time, it plays 380 yards.

It’s been a members club from the very start back in 1961. The founding members came up with the money to get the club going, they designed the course and did the construction of the buildings.

In fact, the members took care of 95 percent of the re-modeled clubhouse with volunteer labor and materials. “It’s nice to have a lot of contractors as members,” joked Stensland.

The landscape around the course is hilly. As you stand on the par-5 seventh tee, you look downhill through a narrow corridor of trees. The par-3 8th hole is also down hill and guarded by three brand new greenside bunkers. The par-4 ninth hole might be just 305-yards but it is straight up the hill with some trees guarding both sides.

The club also has a strong junior program, with nearly 70 kids showing up each Monday during the summer for instruction and competition. The holes are set up for kids ages 6 and up with a variety of pins on each hole to keep it short and simple for the youngsters who are just learning.

Memberships are available. For information call the club at 253.851.2378.