Last month, Inyo Associates, a local independent group founded in 1935 by Father Crowley and local business owners to help promote recreation in the area to stimulate economic development through tourism, held its last dinner meeting of 2018 at the 9-hole Mt. Whitney Golf Club just south of Lone Pine to let members see the newly refurbished clubhouse made possible through the efforts of several anonymous donors.
Originally opened in 1959 and set against the backdrop of the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the west and the Inyo Mountains to the east, golf enthusiasts have been treated to some of the most spectacular views in the Eastern Sierra region for the past 60 years. Over the years the golf club has faced many challenges from declining club membership to maintaining its facility. Attracting new members and younger players has been a long-time challenge to the industry. Nevertheless, the club continues to survive..
Efforts have been underway for several years to ensure the Club’s sound financial footing. There have been times when there has been considerable concern over declining membership and the club’s ability to maintain the condition of golf course, including the greens and the surrounding landscaping.
Often, a local golf clubhouse and greens are the “go-to” place for many locals, especially business owners wishing to enjoy lunch or play golf while networking, socializing and “doing-business” in an outdoor setting. The club’s 9-hole course is perfect for busy people who do not have the 4-hour plus to play 18 holes of golf. The club membership sits at around 60 members, and the greens fees are very reasonable, especially when compared to those often charged at the bigger courses. The club is open to the public and more than a few visitors to the area have commented online about what a great place it is to stop and play a round of golf during their stay in the area or driving up or down the 395 Hwy.
The new clubhouse has been remodeled and all the furniture and fixtures upgraded. Several public events were held in Lone Pine during December to “show off” the new clubhouse and golf course improvements.
The clubhouse building has always had large windows that allowed impressive views of the links set against the backdrop of the local mountains. New wallpaper, light fixtures and a light-gray wood floor offer a cheerful setting. There are also new, comfortable chairs and tables in the dining room, which has an alcove with its own lights for band entertainment.
The bar and the back bar have also been redone and the kitchen has new appliances and fixtures. The new board is emphasizing a new “business-like approach” to management and is promoting the advantages the facility has for weddings, public and private gatherings, and business and community meetings.
The golf course is located on the west side of the 395 Hwy, south of Lone Pine.