Golf at Kansas
Alvamar Golf and Country Club
Alvamar opened its first nines, Jayhawk and Quail Creek, in May, 1968. The Hidden Valley, Sunflower, and the executive length Orchards nines were added over the years. The Sunflower nine opened in 1978, and in 1982, the Hidden Valley and Sunflower nines became Alvamar Country Club. The Orchards course was sold in 1992. Alvamar was named by developer, Bob Billings, from the contraction of the names of his parents, Alva and Margaretta Billings of Russell, Kan. Bob Dunning and Mel Anderson designed the courses which have challenged golfers of all levels and received well deserved recognition both regionally and nationally.
"Jayhawk and Quail Creek nines have been included in 'America's 50 Greatest Public Golf Courses'."
The 36 holes at Alvamar include a public and private clubhouse, driving range and three practice greens. The courses are characterized by large scale greens, tees and flowing fairways very much in the spirit of the famous Robert Trent Jones. This "parkland" style course has found favor over the years for its combination of playability and challenge for golfers of all ability levels. The greens have recently been upgraded to a state-of-the-art bentgrass - Pickseed 962. This second-generation Crenshaw is firm, dense, heat-resistant and tolerates low mowing heights, producing fast putting speeds of nine to 10 on the stimpmeter on a daily basis. The two courses at Alvamar were the first in the United States to utilize zoysia grass for their fairways and tees. All tees are Meyer Z-52 zoysia grass, mowed at .425" which produces a tight, level teeing ground. Fairways are also Meyer Z-52 zoysia grass, mowed at .500", giving golfers some of the finest fairway turf in the country. Even when dormant, zoysia remains very upright, producing a lie that is very forgiving. The roughs are a combination of bluegrass, tall fescue and zoysia.
"According to its USGA slope rating, Alvamar Country Club is the second-hardest golf course in Kansas. But with its high-quality zoysia grass fairways and Crenshaw bentgrass greens, the aesthetically pleasing design and its friendly, professional staff, the difficulty is overshadowed by the pleasure of the total golfing experience."
Alvamar proudly hosts the Men's Golf Kansas Invitational and the Women's Golf Marilyn Smith Sunflower Invitational each year. Both golf programs have had success at Alvamar over the years. In 1990, the KU women's golf team was crowned Big Eight Conference Champion at Alvamar.
The practice facility at Alvamar Golf Club is one of the finest in the state. The Jayhawk training facility includes private teeing areas for team members on the north end of the practice area, simulated fairways, four undulating greens including six target flags, a short game facility with a three-tiered green and a recently completed indoor practice facility.
"I am very excited about our training center because we do most of our team practices at the facility," Ross Randall, former University of Kansas Men's Golf coach , said. "It is definitely considered a state-of-the-art practice facility." Alvamar Golf Club is staffed by Head Golf Professional David Dunn and GCSAA Class A Superintendent Kent Morgison.
Alvamar Country Club is staffed by Head Golf Professional Randy Towner and GCSAA Class A Superintendent Darin Pearson.Knapheide Family Practice Facility
The Kansas men's golf program added a new member to the Jayhawk family in 2008: the state-of-the-art Knapheide Familiy Practice Facility.
The new practice facility comes fitted with four heated hitting bays to go along with cutting-edge swing technology.
The bays are part of a climate-controlled facility that allows the Kansas golfers to hit balls out into the driving range at Alvamar Golf Club.
"This will give us a great opportunity to teach and grow as players during the winter months," Kansas men's golf head coach Kit Grove said.
The facility is equipped with three smaller bays in addition to the one larger bay.
The larger bay is equipped with a V1 video system, along with a Trackman radar launch monitoring system.
"We are privileged to have such a great facility with technology that will help refine all of our players' swings," Grove added.
Each smaller bay is equipped to provide two putting holes along with mirror technology that monitors the fundamentals of golfers.
Five different golfers can use the radiant heated facility at a time with three golfers in each of the small bays, along with two golfers utilizing the larger bay at one time.