This is an architect’s drawing of what the new clubhouse at the Britton Country Club will look like. Plans are that the new building will be ready for use by April 11, 2019. The current clubhouse was built in the mid-1930’s.
This is the clubhouse at the Britton Country Club that will be torn down next week to make way for a new structure. The current clubhouse was built in the mid-1930’s.
New Golf Clubhouse Planned
When area golfers tee it up at the Britton Country Club next April, plans are that a new clubhouse will be up and running.
The current clubhouse has been in use since the mid-1930’s, and it came to a point where a lot of money would have been needed to keep the old building operational for another season.
A “Farewell to the Old Clubhouse” is planned on Saturday beginning at 6 p.m. Silent and live auctions of clubhouse furnishings are planned and food and drink specials will be offered. Plans are to begin demolition of the building the first week of October.
Hopes are to have the new building enclosed late this fall so that work can continue inside through the winter. Bid specs state that work must be completed by the normal opening date for the clubhouse of April 11, 2019.
Fundraising has been ongoing for the past two years and a total of about $285,000 has been raised between fundraising and donations for the new structure which carries an estimated price tag of $485,000.
“With continued maintenance, things that needed to be replaced, and requests from our customer base that we couldn’t meet in our current setup, we felt we needed to try to keep with the times and that this was the time to make the push an go,” said Angela Grupe, immediate past president of the Britton Country Club.
Grupe said that several individuals have provided financing options for the remainder of the funding needed for construction. Because the land is owned by the city, financing through a lending institution would have been difficult.
The new clubhouse will be a one-level structure of about 3,100 square feet. That square footage is nearly double the current building but larger, handicapped accessible restrooms, a commercial kitchen that will be triple the size in the old building, a walk-in cooler behind the bar, and the necessity of locating the mechanical room on the main floor will eat into some of that increased space.
“One of the biggest changes is that we will have oneand-half to two times more seating that we had before,” said Grupe. “We will have a full commercial kitchen, and the clubhouse will be set up so that it can be used yearround.”
But Grupe also said that the board of directors is not necessarily changing the business plan from a summer-only facility at this point.
“We’ve been in the old place for almost 90 years and don’t know what the new place will become. A lot of it comes down to help and finding the right people that can and would want to do something year-round,” Grupe noted. “But it will be a nice step up. We also know that this is a long-term thing, and our design lends itself to being added to some day.”
The new clubhouse will feature a more friendly entrance with most of the steps eliminated from the parking lot. A wrap-around covered patio will be included with outside pillars.
Grupe said the number one focus of the new building is to provide a nice complement to the golf course.
“That’s the number one reason we’re out there,” said Grupe. “On top of that we want to be available to the community as a place to come out to get a bite to eat and to host smaller gatherings.”
Golf has been a pastime for Britton area residents for nearly a century. According to the Britton History Book the sport was introduced to Britton in the summer of 1924 when Leon Rooks, a newcomer from Minneapolis, MN, had a set of golf clubs.
Rooks, Walton Thorp, Wallace Ward, Roy Comstock, Charles Bingham, and Andrew Winje had gathered at Winje’s pasture and hit some balls. Later, Bingham invited them to try out a new five-hole golf course he had set up east of his residence, and soon each member of the group had their own clubs.
During the spring of 1926 the Britton Golf Club was organized. In 1929 the land occupied by the present course was purchased for $1,250. The first clubhouse was actually a children’s playhouse purchased for $5 and located on the present site and the first real clubhouse was built in 1935 or 1936. Later additions included a porch and basement that included showers and dressing rooms for men and women, a sauna, and storage area for golf clubs.