Creston’s public golf course and one of its two bowling centers will soon close its doors, ending a 48-year run of entertainment on the city’s southwest side.
Pine Valley Golf and Bowl will close Oct. 14. Tom Redding, owner of the establishment for the past 27 years, posted the following announcement on Facebook on Sept. 28:
"It is time to say goodbye. I will be closing the doors to Pine Valley Golf and Bowl. After 27 years I am planning to retire and start the next chapter in my life. I am grateful for working in this community and getting to know each and everyone of you. Thank you to all the golfers, bowlers and patrons who have supported my business throughout the years. Thank you, and I wish all of you the very best."
Redding, a former master electrician in Des Moines and Michigan native, was part of a family that purchased the business in 1993 from Dick May, along with his sister and her husband, Debbie and Kevin Glick. Glick still operates Service Tech located south of Pine Valley, sharing the same entrance from Highway 34 with KSIB radio.
In fact, there is a KSIB connection to the beginning of the golf course, which was named Beacon Hill Golf Course when KSIB owner E.M. “Dutch” Horning purchased the farm property near the station and had a nine-hole golf built by local contractors Gerald Kinyon and Wilfred Hubatka.
“My father was really into golf,” said Terry Horning, Dutch’s son who was involved in both KSIB and Pine Valley operations with his father. “He thought the town should have a place where people could learn how to play golf without having to belong to a club.”
The Hornings were active in golf activities at Crestmoor Golf Club then as well, which was managed at the time by Max and Birdie Sandeman. Horning said he and Sandeman and his father were among the first group that played the Beacon Hill Golf Course in the fall of 1971. It opened to the public in early 1972.
The second owner, former University of Northern Iowa golf coach Zeke Hoagland, erected a bowling alley on the site to serve as a recreation opportunity during the winter months when there was no golf course revenue. Chuck Carlson was an owner prior to May. Lyle Quick and Dave Loos were among the operators assisting different owners through the years.
For a time, May replaced the bowling lanes with a miniature golf course, but Redding resurrected the bowling aspect of the facility with eight lanes after taking over management with his family in 1993. Improvements have included synthetic lane overlays, new pinsetting machines and a computerized scoring system.
Several local bowling leagues have participated at Pine Valley in recent years. Owners of Feldhacker’s Family Fun Center are in discussions with Creston Bowling Association to provide scheduling opportunities for leagues there.
Redding, who took pride in maintaining the playing condition of the golf course with only part-time help in the clubhouse in recent years — a position currently held by Jan Jones – said he began planning for his retirement this year at age 62 when he listed the property for sale 16 months ago. He said there were no viable offers received before his planned retirement in November of this year, so he’s closing the doors and selling some of the equipment.
“I had planned on maybe having bowling through this season, but COVID came along and with all of the restrictions and guidelines that have to be met for spacing and everything, it just made the decision a lot easier to go ahead and close,” Redding said. “I’m just going to take it easy for awhile.”
Wife Denise said she’ll be the beneficiary of a lot more time with her husband, who has seven-day duty at the golf course in the warm months and six days per week during the bowling season. The center was closed on Mondays during the golf off-season.
“We couldn’t really go anywhere together unless I took a Monday off work, and that’s when the weather was bad,” Denise said. “He’d go to work when it was still dark and stay until it was dark later that day. I ate a lot of dinners with my cat! If I wanted to see him I’d come out here (the clubhouse). We’re looking forward to having more time and do some traveling.”
The last hurrah at Pine Valley will be the annual Chili Open this weekend. The four-person best shot tournament begins at noon. Those interested in entering a team can reach Tom at 641-782-2917 at the clubhouse.