• Project:  Multi-use clubhouse for city-owned golf course
  • Jurisdiction: Apple Valley, Minn.; Dakota County
  • Architect and Project Manager: CNH Architects of Apple Valley
  • Date Completed: September 2012
  • Cost:   $3 million

These days, it’s not unusual to see a bride in a gown, a man in a business suit or a teen in a rental tuxedo entering the Valleywood Golf Course Clubhouse. But such a sight would have been unheard of in Apple Valley before last year, when the city, a Minneapolis suburb with nearly 50,000 residents, constructed the new 16,000 square foot clubhouse.  

A sustainable facility where avid golfers and up to 275 banquet guests can easily co-exist, Valleywood is municipally owned and attracts community gatherings of many kinds. While fulfilling local needs, the parties, community events and group meetings generate revenue to offset the city’s building investment.

Drawing many from outside the city, the clubhouse has hosted free evening concerts, testimonial dinners and frequent wine tasting events.   

“Our whole world has changed,” says Valleywood Manager Jim Zinck, describing the impact of the building, which shows off the golf course. Numerous weddings, family reunions and association celebrations are a first for Valleywood, and add to its bottom line while improving the golf experience. 

The multi-use design was the brainchild of CNH Architects. The facility accommodates the city’s golfing needs as well as its desire for an all-event facility.

“The real benefit is to the non-golfers who are blown away by the facility and the property,” Zinck says. “They built it right.

Designer Wayne Hilbert, a principal of CNH, said the building’s orientation to the course, a floor plan for efficient staffing and utilization of natural light were important. “Our goal was to create an exciting, energy-tight building that respected the course and the golfer and created a useful facility for the community.” 

Replacing a decrepit building built as a college class project in 1984, the new clubhouse has an 8,000 square-foot footprint with two floors.  It includes a pro shop, banquet area, casual bar, kitchen, restrooms and offices.   

In addition to new rental revenue, tournament income per golfer has increased nearly 50 percent.  Additionally, quiet electric carts stored in the lower level save $10,000 to $15,000 in annual fuel costs.   

The building’s elevation and orientation give the bright banquet room a panoramic view of the course, including the 18th hole and putting green. The pro shop “command center” can manage the flow of golfers, with views of holes 1, 9 and 18, and the practice area. Guests coming into the casual dining area can also be assisted, which reduces demand for staffing during low traffic times.  

Even the coat hooks, made from recycled golf club heads, carry the efficient clubhouse theme.  The clubs are from Zinck’s grandfather and his father, who taught him the game on the course he now manages.

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