Take the Family With You
BY STEVE ZERR
Sports Editor, Lexington Clipper-Herald
OVERTON – With the explosion of popularity in golf, new courses are popping up everywhere, even in central Nebraska. New courses with plush, green fairways and huge sand traps make for a great golf outing for anyone, the experienced and inexperienced.
But this is nothing new for the Overton Golf Course. The nine-hole spread is celebrating its 40th season this spring, but to a casual observer, the course could be thought to be much younger.
Club president Dick Childress believes the major draw for the course is the family atmosphere. "It's not out of the ordinary to see a whole family out here on a Sunday afternoon," the president said. "We have tried to encourage family golfing with the atmosphere."
An estimated 3,000 rounds of golf per season have not scarred the course as the fairways tend to fill in divots well and the design of the greens helps the grass heal itself.
With the work of Dan Eby, greenskeeper for nearly 20 years, and the insight and hard labor of the original course owner Dewaine Ingram, the course has developed into a formidable one.
Volunteer hours by club hours also helped with the numerous improvements, including the switch from the original sand greens to grass. When the change occurred, the greens were unplayable for only 60 days.
Dawson County's last nine-hole course is a challenge for any level of golfer. Wide fairways and ample greens gives the novice golfer confidence, while well placed trees along the fairways and guarding greens provide enough difficulty to punish a risk-taking golfer.
A unique "honor system" of paying green fees also places the course in a league of its own. At the first tee, a metal box with envelopes to pay for your day on the course waits for players when the clubhouse is closed.
The course has undergone several changes through the years, with the most recent being a change in ownership. Dewaine and Susan Ingram sold the course to the Overton Golf Club Corporation, clearing the way for some more visible improvements at the course. Since the change, a new equipment building has been constructed to house the collection of much needed mowers and grooming tools.
At the same time as the sale of the course, a new clubhouse was built. The brick structure gives weary golfers a haven to get out of the heat, grab refreshments and brag about their great round.
The course was built with the help of several Overton businessmen, after Ingram purchased the 200+ acre tract of land. He decided to devote 52 acres, situated in the corner of the property to the thought of building a family golf course, according to Ingram's grandson Jeff Ingram.
Sand greens adored the course, with a handful of state tournaments being hosted at the course in the late 60s.
The change to grass greens came in 1985, after several attempts by the membership to make the move dating back to 1975, the younger Ingram explained.
Even with the recent drought in the area, the course is as green as ever. With expert care and plenty of water, a drought is hardly evident.
Plus a meandering gully, that keeps some water on the course, natural bluegrass has integrated itself into the original bent to help keep the course a deep dark green throughout the year.