Altus Air Force Base Windy Trails Golf Course a hidden gem

  • Published
  • By Kevin Chandler
  • 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
Mr. Rusty Wortham, general manager of the Windy Trails Golf Course, and his staff have quietly created a haven for golfers of all experience levels. From talented amateurs to occasional hackers, everyone will find what they need at a great price.

Mr. Wortham became a golf professional in 1988, shortly after taking up the game while in college. In October, he will play in a tournament in Palm Springs, Calif., for a chance at earning a spot in the Senior PGA Championship next May. Mr. Wortham is more than a talented player; however, he is also an experienced instructor. He teaches private lessons, group and squadron clinics, and even heads up a summer camp for junior golfers. Child enrollment was so high this summer, the junior camp was split into two classes. Mr. Wortham also teaches the junior golf program offered by the base youth center.

Additionally, Mr. Wortham manages the golf course and puts on numerous events. "During the season, we are averaging two tournaments a month," he said. From April to October there is a monthly base-community tournament which is open to everyone, area residents as well as base personnel. In November, the golf course hosts a Turkey Shoot and gives a 10- pound turkey to everyone who enters. The next month, all Christmas tournament participants receive a small ham. There are years where Mr. Wortham and his staff hand out approximately 50 turkeys and hams.

There are many daily offerings as well. For those who need some practice on the driving range, a bucket of approximately 30 balls cost only $2. Club rentals cost $5, while premium club sets are offered for $10. Furthermore, those in need of gear and accessories will find a well-stocked pro shop at their disposal.

The best bargains, however, are the clinics and private lessons. Mr. Wortham claims the new technology available helps people see where they can improve. "We have a video camera and computer software to break down your swing. We use it a lot on individual lessons; you can slow it down and stop it to see what's wrong with their swing," he said. "When a person can see their swing, it has a larger impact on them and can help them improve faster." Clinics are open to men and women, from the beginner to those who want to polish their skills. Whether you're an avid golfer or are just taking up the game, the Windy Trails Golf Course offers the amenities of a city golf course with southwestern Oklahoma hospitality.

These services are available to non-military residents living outside Altus AFB as well. Interested golfers can go to the Windy Trails golf course website at and scroll down to the "Altus Pass" logo to download an application for an Altus Pass. The completed application is taken by the golf course staff to the 97th Force Support Squadron for approval. According to Mr. Michael Coltrin, the 97th Force Support Squadron's deputy director, the applicant must meet criteria set forth by the wing commander to be recognized as a local community leader before their application is accepted. When the application is initially approved, it is forwarded to the 97th Security Forces, where they conduct a background check and issue the pass. Once the pass is given, a number of Altus services are available. "All the activities listed on the application are open to those given an Altus Pass," said Mr. Coltrin. Members and employees of the following organizations are recognized as local community leaders:
- Federal, State, County, Local elected officials
- Military Affairs Committee members
- Committee of 100 members
- Chamber of Commerce members and its member businesses
- City of Altus public employees
- Altus Public Schools faculty and staff and all local area school district faculty and staff
- Western Oklahoma State College faculty and staff
- Southwest Technology Center faculty and staff
- Jackson County Memorial Hospital employees and associated businesses
- Air Force Association members
- Local chapter members of civic organizations, i.e. Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis
- College students enrolled in classes held at the base Education Center

So if you are looking for a golf excursion or you are trying to learn about the game of golf, Windy Trails has the facilities and expertise to make it happen. For additional information on what they have to offer please contact the Windy Trails Staff at (580) 481-7207.