Conceived in 1969, Thunder Hills Country Club was the brainchild of five individuals aiming to establish the second planned golf course community in Iowa. Gordon Cunningham, Peter Beeves, C.J. May, Jr., Frank Dunn, and Bob Frommelt, who served as the club's inaugural president, were instrumental in acquiring the Burds and Harris farms east of Peosta, Iowa.

Their vision was to create a residential neighborhood with paved streets where homes overlooked an 18-hole championship golf course. To achieve this, they launched an ambitious membership drive with a target of 300 members. The club required a $500 initiation fee and $20 monthly dues.

While researching names at the public library, Bob Frommelt and Gordon Cunningham were inspired by the sound of thunder, leading them to name the hilly property Thunder Hills. This inspired the formation of both the Thunder Hills Homeowners Association and Thunder Hills Country Club.

In 1971, Thunder Hills Country Club unveiled the front nine holes featuring watered tees and greens along with a new clubhouse. The back nine holes and swimming pool opened in 1972, followed by the introduction of three tennis courts in 1973.

In August 2002, the Board established a Facility Study Committee to propose strategies for enhancing or replacing the existing clubhouse to bolster membership growth. The conceptual plan was approved by members in 2003, with excavation commencing in October that year. The new clubhouse debuted on May 22, 2004.

Between 2016 and 2017, the club undertook a $1,000,000 renovation project, improving all bunkers on the golf course with new drainage systems, liners, and sand. The pool area received upgrades, including a new Kiddie Pool, main pool lighting, deck repainting, Wi-Fi installation, three shade awnings, and a new pool heater.

The Tennis/Pickleball courts were completely refurbished with new surfaces, fencing, lighting, and the addition of a basketball hoop.

In June 2021, a new 4,200 square foot pool and 3,700 square foot cabana were unveiled.

As outlined in the Mission Statement, Thunder Hills Country Club is committed to maintaining an exceptional golf facility, continually investing in enhancements to uphold the club's value, tradition, and overall quality of experience.



September 3, 2021 • Unedited • 1:15:24 minutes • With Jim Edwards and Andy DeSollar

Watch the actual Thunder Hills 50th Anniversary celebration. A walk down memory lane and a look at the wonderful history of Thunder Hills Country Club.


November 21, 2020 • Edited • 27:44 minutes • With Bob Howard

Thunder Hills original founder Bob Frommelt talks about starting the planned Thunder Hills Country Club complex during its 50th Anniversary (1970-2020) celebration.


June 5, 2020 • Edited • 29:26 minutes • With Bob Howard

Thunder Hills charter member Jim Edwards shares stories about the history of Thunder Hills Country Club during its 50th Anniversary (1970-2020) celebration.


July 22, 2020 • Edited • 18:07 minutes • With Bob Howard and Jim Edwards

Realtor Lyle Kopp talks about finding the land to build Thunder Hills Country Club during its 50th Anniversary (1970-2020) celebration.


July 2, 2020 • Edited • 9:18 minutes • With Bob Howard

Thunder Hills member David Clemens shares stories about the social history of Thunder Hills Country Club during its 50th Anniversary (1970-2020) celebration.


2024   May 2024
  Resurfaced the pickleball and tennis courts, and converted one tennis court into two additional pickleball courts.

March 2024
  Rip Rap around Holes 11 and 16 ponds

February 2024
  New pump station on Hole 16
2023   September 2023
  New driving range targets
  Dredging of Hole 16 pond
2022   August 2022
  New cart path to Thunder Ridge
  Hole 9 - extend tee box cart path
  Hole 12 - redesign cart path
  Hole 17 - extend tee box cart path
2021   June 2021 - Pool and Cabana renovation completed ($2,120,090)
  Made possible through the generosity of members Mike and Sally Portzen and Portzen Construction

  New 4,200 square foot state of the art swimming pool
  Expanded deck area, seating and shade areas
  In-water seating pods
  Water aerobics work-out area
  Lap lanes
  Diving board

  New 3,700 square foot pool cabana
  Multi-use year round facility
  Full-service bar area with televisions
  Covered seating and dining area
  Kitchen and snack service area
  Lifeguard room and check-in area
  Restrooms, changing rooms and shower facilities

October 2021
  2 new indoor golf simulators
  Ash tree removal

November 2021
  Hole 2 - Add a new bunker to the left side near the 100 yard marker
  Hole 4 - Redo Red tee box
  Hole 6 - Add new Blue and Gold tee boxes
  Hole 7 - Add a new bunker to left side. Add a new Gold tee box.
  Hole 9 - Add new Black and Gold tee boxes
2020   October 2020
  Demolition of the pool and cabana
  Ash tree removal
2017   $1,000,000 renovation project
  Bunker renovation project
  - Renovated all bunkers with new drainage, liners and sand (Better Billy Bunker system)
  New short game practice area
  - 8,500 square foot bent grass chipping and putting greens
  - 800 square foot of bunkers
  New Kiddie Pool
  - Water features, new lights and re-painting
  Tennis/Pickleball courts completely refurbished
  - New surface, fencing and lighting
  - New basketball hoop installed
  Golf course restrooms
  - Renovated Restrooms on Front 9 / New Restrooms on Back 9
2004   May 22, 2004 the new Clubhouse opened ($1,8000,000)
2003   October 27, 2003 - Excavation work begins on the new Clubhouse
2002   New maintenance shed
2000   Reconstructed Hole 16th green (contour was too sloped)
1995   Reconstructed Hole 17th green (contour was too sloped)
1991   Installed watered fairway down the center of Hole 7 fairway as a test
  Hole 7 was chosen as the test hole because it was closest to the road so all members could see the effectiveness of watered fairways
  Installed throughout the entire golf course over the next couple of years ($230,000)
1990   New pump station built
  Drilled down 1,100 ft in preparation for watered fairways

Cart storage building built
  Built by member Tom Kluck
1980's   Early eighties Clubhouse renovations
  1,500 square foot Clubhouse addition called the Green Room with fireplace and bar
  Addition to the Golf Pro Shop
1973   May 1973 - Tennis Courts open
1972   May 1972 - Opened the back nine holes on the farm purchased from Bucky Harris
  Board President Jim Edwards hit the first ball for the back nine opening

May 29, 1972 - Pool opened for swimming
  75 foot by 45 foot pool

Hired Jim Elliott as Golf Pro
  Jim's wife Sandra was a big part of the pro shop and earned the nickname "Chief"
1971   April 24, 1971 at 1:00 PM - Lottery system was held to purchase lots
  100 lots

July 1971 Opened the front nine holes and clubhouse on the farm land purchased from Red Burds
  Board President Bob Frommelt hit the first ball for the front nine opening
  Golf Pro/Manager: Dale Moore (Fillmore Fairways Golf Course, Cascade, IA)
  Golf Course Superintendent: Monk Massey assisted by Al Spiegel

September 10, 1971 - "Thunder Hills Home Association" was filed as a business entity with the State of Iowa

Fall 1971 the pool is completed

Continued to finish the maintenance building, plant trees and finish the clubhouse exterior
  Members would paint or plant trees before or after playing their round of golf
1970   March 27, 1970 - "Thunder Hills Country Club, Inc." was filed as a business entity with the State of Iowa.
  Only the second Planned Unit Development (PUD) in the State of Iowa

September 3, 1970 - Goal of 300 memberships was reached signaling the start of the club.

Original Thunder Hills Board of Directors: Bob Frommelt, Gordon Cunningham, Peter Beeves, C.J. May, Jr., Frank Dunn, Merlin Apel and Jim Edwards

290 acres of land purchased from the Red Burds and Bucky Harris farms just east of Peosta, IA
  Realtor Lyle Koop (West Side Realty) was instrumental in getting the sale of the farms to Thunder Hills

Construction begins
  Land purchase and sales commission $173,500
  18 hole golf Course
  - Designed by Gordon Cunningham
  6,700 square foot Clubhouse and maintenance building
  - Member Jim Edwards (Edwards Construction) laid the foundation and floors
  - Member Charlie Skemp (Skemp Masonry) did the block work
  - Len Timmerman (contractor) built the building
  Olympic size pool and equipment building
  - Member Jim Edwards (Edwards Construction) built the pool
1969   In 1964, Gordon Cunningham resigned as the Golf Professional at Bunker Hill Golf Course in Dubuque, IA, to establish Midwest Irrigation Co. along with partners Peter Beaves (a plumber) and Mayhew Bennett. Their goal was to specialize in installing irrigation systems for golf courses.

By 1966, the team decided to expand their ventures by developing a 51-acre, nine-hole golf course known as the Red Course at Lacoma Golf Club in East Dubuque, IL.

In 1969, Gordon Cunningham, Peter Beaves, along with Midwest Irrigation's business attorney C.J. May, Jr., and banker Frank Dunn (East Dubuque Saving, East Dubuque, IA), joined by Gordon's neighbor Bob Frommelt (Frommelt Industries, Dubuque, IA), envisioned creating a residential community featuring homes that backed onto an 18-hole golf course. This vision laid the foundation for Thunder Hills Country Club.

In the fall of 1969, a membership drive commenced with an initiation fee of $500 and monthly dues of $20. The goal was to secure 300 memberships to obtain financing from American Trust and Savings Bank.