Groundbreaking March 30 Launches New Golf Clubhouse Construction
Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (March 23, 2011) – In celebration of a project that will benefit the campus and local community, the University of Central Missouri is planning a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday, March 30 for the new clubhouse at Pertle Springs Keth Memorial Golf Course. The public is invited to attend the event at 11 a.m. at the site of the new facility near the course’s parking area.
The clubhouse is made possible by the generosity of Audrey J. Walton, a longtime university supporter from Versailles, MO, who contributed $1.5 million toward the project. She will attend the ceremony, and there will be remarks by Charles Ambrose, university president; Jerry Hughes, director of Intercollegiate Athletics; and Walt Hicklin, president of the Board of Governors. Members of the UCM Foundation Board of Directors, Board of Governors, and the university’s golf team will join those attending.
“Our golf course has undergone many renovations since 2008, and we’re excited about what a new clubhouse can mean for this outstanding facility,” Ambrose said. “We expect it to become a focal point in Pertle Springs, and a hub of activity for golfing events and many activities that aren’t necessarily related to the sport. We are very grateful to Mrs. Walton for making it possible.”
Hughes added that the facility will become a great venue for the university to host special events such as weddings, organization meetings, family reunions and fundraisers. “The clubhouse will meet many university needs, but we also look forward to finding new ways to share it with the community,” he said.
The golf course opened in 1964 at Pertle Springs, which was once a famous resort. It was renamed in 1972 for Earl Keth, who was the first All-American in Mules basketball history, and was the head basketball coach at UCM from 1946-1961. Since 2008, renovations at Keth Memorial Golf Course have included a new driving range with four indoor bays, as well as new putting greens and a chipping area.
Beyond serving the interests of individuals who simply enjoy the sport of golf, the course is the home of the Mules golf team and home to the annual Mule Run for the men’s and women’s cross country teams. It has benefitted several programs in fundraising. Mules golf and football teams, as well as Jennies athletics and several academic scholarship programs have been aided by fundraising tournaments at the facility.
In addition to supporting the new clubhouse, Audrey J. Walton is one of the largest individual cash donors in UCM history, having donated funds that also helped build the football stadium that bears her name. She also contributes annually to the university, including major items to the annual UCM Athletic Auction.