New Columbia Park golf clubhouse to offer riverview dining in spring

Imagine driving down to Columbia Park and playing a few holes of golf.

And when you envision golf, it doesn’t necessarily have to be the kind played with a club and small white ball – although it could.

It also could mean kicking a ball into a bigger hole, called foot golf, or throwing a disc into a basket, known as disc golf.

After the game, you could relax over a meal at a restaurant in the park, either inside or out on a patio, looking at the Columbia River.

The vision is part of a plan to promote the park’s golf triplex offerings, soon to be anchored by a new $1.1 million clubhouse.

The city of Kennewick is building a 2,600-square-foot clubhouse and restaurant at the 18-hole Columbia Park Golf Links golf course.

“CourseCo manages the course, and it may be looking for a subcontractor locally to run the restaurant,” said Terry Walsh, director of employee and community relations for the city of Kennewick. “It should be open by the spring.”

Evelyn Lusignan, public relations and government affairs director for the city of Kennewick, said the new facility is being built on the same footprint as the old clubhouse.

“It will include a patio and kitchen that will make it an attractive place to dine and rent,” she said.

The clubhouse will feature a riverview patio; indoor and outdoor seating for about 150 people; a kitchen that can produce a broader menu and food services; a retail area for the pro shop; and event rental potential.

O’Brien Construction of Kennewick is the general contractor. CKJT Architects of Kennewick is the architect.

As long as the winter weather doesn’t affect the timeline, Lusignan and Walsh believe it will open by April.

Walsh said CourseCo, which also manages Columbia Point Golf Course in Richland and Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco, will make a presentation late in November to the city on the new clubhouse’s possibilities.

“CourseCo has some plans, including possible movie nights on the driving range, like they do at Columbia Point,” Walsh said. “Some of the chefs at the (proposed) culinary school at the wine village in downtown Kennewick might be able to come to the restaurant to make some dinners.”

Walsh said the city had plans years ago to remodel the original clubhouse.

The old clubhouse at Columbia Park Golf Links was condemned in 2010 and torn down in 2017. It was moved to the course in the 1960s. (Courtesy city of Kennewick)“But after inspectors deemed it uninhabitable, that set us down a different path,” she said. “That report came in 2010. That’s when we decided to put in a temporary clubhouse.”

Lusignan said the old clubhouse had been there since the early 1960s.

“(No documentation) but the oral history is that the building was moved from somewhere else, so the building itself was even older,” she said.

The course has been using a trailer for its pro shop and clubhouse since the inspectors’ report.

The old clubhouse was torn down in January 2017.

Money became available the past few years to build the new facility. “This project has been in the city’s current budget and is in the 2019 budget,” Walsh said. “As for revenues, the Kennewick City Council has determined that this is more of a quality-of-life issue.”

The course is officially called Columbia Park Golf Links, which offers regular golf with clubs or foot golf, where players kick a ball from the same tee on a hole to try and get it into a bigger hole near the green.

And with the popular disc golf course just up the road in the park, Walsh said there is a plan to perhaps rebrand the area the Columbia Park Golf Triplex.

“We believe (the whole project is) going to be nice,” she said. “Especially with the river down there.”

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