With plans to expand services for First Tee Quad Cities programs, there are still major changes coming to the Highland Springs Golf Course in Rock Island this year.

City officials have planned a new clubhouse at the facility that will include a classroom for First Tee activities.

Groundbreaking is scheduled for March and the hope is that the new clubhouse will be completed this calendar year, possibly by the end of the golf season.

According to Todd Winter, acting director of Rock Island Parks and Recreation, plans are being finalized for the 3,600 square foot facility which will have a budget of approximately $1.3 million.

The new clubhouse will be located just southwest of the current structure that has been used since the course’s original opening in 1968, placing it closer to the practice green near the 10th tee. Winter said the new structure will eat away at the current parking lot, but there’s plenty of room for new parking options with the new facility.

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Winter said the new pavilion — designed by Legat Architects in Moline and the construction bid going to Estes Construction — will allow for a reconfigured space for parking/staging carts.

The current clubhouse will remain operational for the 2022 season and Winter said he anticipates minimal issues for golfers this season.

Winter said the city’s partnership with the First Tee program started this project years ago when the two worked on the 2018 project to upgrade the driving range/driving range to accommodate First Tee programs.

“They paid for the three target greens that are on the driving range and we added a chipping hole and a bunker area which can be four holes that the First Tee can use to play under the First Tee scheme,” Winter said. “That was the first step, we knew we needed an improved facility to run the program.

“The next step has always been to add a classroom for them, which is an important part of their program. … That has always been the long-term plan for the First Tee and Highland Springs.

The current clubhouse was not conducive to hosting a First Tee classroom similar to the flagship facility at the Red Hawk Golf & Learning Center in Davenport. So that was only part of the impetus for the new building.

“On the other hand, we knew we needed an upgraded facility to match the golf course,” Winter added. “The clubhouse that now exists is functional and structurally sound, but it does not match the quality of the golf course. It also doesn’t provide that welcome point we need to attract more events and increase our special event capabilities.

According to Winter, some of the final details for the clubhouse are still being worked out. But, he said, it will include a concession area and not a restaurant-type facility as was included at the Palmer Hills Golf Course in Bettendorf when that facility upgraded its clubhouse in 2006.

The new facility will accommodate up to 50 people, according to Winter, who added that a wraparound patio will be featured for outdoor seating.

As for the funding, Winter said it was only made possible through the relationship between the City of Rock Island, the Rock Island Parks Department and the First Tee. A city loan increases private fundraising and grants, according to Winter.

“The First Tee was in a position where its fundraising was okay and our First Tee classes are growing to the point where we can run more programming and we needed that last piece with the classroom part,” Winter said. . “It was the perfect time for us to partner up to get this classroom completed in a new clubhouse.”