Colbert Hills to Add Clubhouse

MANHATTAN, Kan. Colbert Hills, which brought championship golf to Manhattan, is building a new clubhouse to meet the needs of visitors who play 28,000 rounds each year at the scenic Flint Hills course.


A groundbreaking is scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday, July 10; construction should start by Aug. 1. Speakers at the ceremony include course designer Jim Colbert; Bob Krause, athletic director and vice president for institutional advancement at Kansas State University; and Howard Sherwood, board president of the K-State Golf Course Management and Research Foundation.


The 18-hole links, designed by Colbert and Jeff Brauer, opened eight years ago on 315 acres. It is home to K-State golf programs and provides a wide range of opportunities to students in the golf-course management program of the College of Agriculture. The First Tee of Manhattan and Earl Woods Youth Academy, which use the game of golf to instill strong values in youth, make use of the nine-hole teaching course at Colbert Hills.


The clubhouse, which will house locker rooms, a pro shop, a multipurpose area, a conference room and a bar and grill within its estimated 13,500 square feet, should be completed in the fall of 2009, according to Bernie Haney, executive director of the K-State Golf Course Management and Research Foundation. The $5 million project will be financed entirely with private donations.


"The new clubhouse will be built west of the tee box on Hole No. 1," Haney said. "This location will provide tremendous views of Manhattan and will continue to attract destination golfers to our area." Other amenities include a 3,000-square-foot covered patio, administrative offices and a display area for trophies and memorabilia.


The existing temporary clubhouse has been moved to a location east of Hole No. 1 to facilitate construction of the permanent building.


"This is a very exciting time for Colbert Hills, K-State and the local community," Haney said. The process started with a lead gift from a donor who wishes to remain anonymous. Since then Ernie Barrett has led the fundraising effort.


Barrett, known as "Mr. K-State," retired last year as director of development with K-State athletics. "I can't thank Ernie and all our wonderful donors enough for their tremendous generosity," Haney said.


The project has been designed by Gossen Livingston Architecture of Wichita. The contractor will be Coonrod and Associates Construction Co., also based in Wichita.