Pertle Springs: Serving the Generations
These men became an important part of the local economy for four years, patronizing local businesses and entertainment venues. Some moved their families to Warrensburg and became permanent residents.
The University of Central Missouri acquired Pertle Springs in 1959, and planning began for the further development of the area for student recreation. The lodge, built in 1929 by James Christopher on the site of the original Hotel Minnewawa, became a center for campus gatherings and social events. UCM students and the general public continued to take advantage of the wooded acreage, picnic areas and the opportunities for boating and fishing in Lake Cena.
A nine-hole, sand green golf course constructed in 1964 on acreage just south of Lake Cena later was expanded to 18 holes and grass greens. In addition, a swimming pool with shower facilities and a pro shop, built through the generosity of local donors, were added to the recreational facilities in the 1960s.
The course was named Keth Memorial Golf Course in 1972 after the late Earl Keth, who served as Mules head basketball coach from 1946 to 1961. Keth was the guiding force behind development of men's golf as an intercollegiate sport at UCM and the construction of the golf course.
The advent of the 21st century brought a new vision to Pertle Springs. The lodge had been razed in the 1980s after it was determined it was beyond repair, and the pool was closed in 2002 due to university budget cuts.
In 2008 plans were implemented to update the Keth Memorial Golf Course and develop it into a state-of-the-art public facility. The building that housed the pro shop was razed, and a driving range was built with four indoors bays, new putting greens and a chipping area.
The most recent development is the construction of the Audrey J. Walton Clubhouse, which includes a pro shop, banquet room, professional kitchen facilities and three offices, providing new life to Pertle Springs as a gathering place for the campus and community.