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Ironton Country Club improvements above par

PINE GROVE - Nine holes, nine board members, nine new designs.

Board members of the Ironton Country Club decided to give the landscape a facelift and each member was assigned a hole.

Doug Ison, board president, said the results have been a nice improvement.

"There are nine board members and each board member

took a tee and tried to re-do it. It was pretty interesting. They all did a good job on it," Ison said.

Board members John Gagai, Steve Lewis, Brian Washburn, Chuck Cooper, Rick Heaberlin, Dennis Parker, Steve Thompson, Frank Mullens and Ison were responsible for a hole.

Ison and his wife, Linda, did extra duty by restructuring the front of the clubhouse by removing shrubs and replacing them with flowers and mulch.

Each hole has a stone marker that not only gives the number of the hole, but shows a layout including the different tees as well as the yardage and what par is needed.

Ison said the stone markers were installed when Bob Isaac was president.

"There was a club pro from Paintsville (Ky.) named Luther Conley who came in and said he'd take care of getting sponsors and setting them. He did it all," Ison said.

There is a unique design at the No. 8 hole just at the entrance of the club. The club name "Ironton C.C." is spelled out across a wooden board with golf balls.

"Actually, it was my idea for the sign but my wife's idea to use the golf balls. It took me forever to lay it out," Ison said. "There are 101 golf balls. It sure doesn't look like it, but it is."

Future plans call for building three new tees and making the course longer. Ison said the No. 12 hole will become a Par 5 and that three Par 4 holes will be extended.

"We're going to change No. 5 to 345 yards and No. 7 to 345 yards, and we're going to change the No. 11 tee behind No. 2 and make it a longer par 4," Ison said.

Also, the No. 8 Par 3 hole will be lengthened from 150 yards to 185.

"It'll make a quite different course to play," Ison said.

But there's more to the Ironton Country Club than just golf.

Along with the course, practice putting greens and driving range, there is swimming pool as well as a children's pool. Ison said the club spent $2,500 in repairs to the pools. Also, the shelter area had eight new fans and three barbecue grills installed.

"The pool is being used quite a bit this year. There are a few members who just belong to the pool and don't play golf. And they use the shelter quite a bit," Ison said.

The Ironton Country Club, which opened in 1951, offers a year membership with dues paid monthly. Dues are $75 per month with a $25 assessment fee during five summer months plus a $20 restaurant fee covering five months.

Anyone interested can obtain an application from the country club or by calling the club at (740) 532-2511.