Industry News

Cherry Hills completes new clubhouse renovation punctuating its Centennial Celebration

Denver, CO – On the eve of its 100th year celebration and hosting its third United States Amateur Championship next week, Cherry Hills, one of America’s most iconic golf clubs, announces the completion of a major multi-year renovation project to its historic clubhouse. The new clubhouse and its modern amenities will serve its new membership and generations to follow.

“I can honestly say this new clubhouse turned out magnificently in terms of design, function, flow, ambience, and dedication to preserving and advancing the club's history. One of the reasons we hired the celebrated architect we did – Mark Finlay – is because he was very well grounded in historic architecture, particularly Tudor architecture,” said Cherry Hills President Kim Koehn. “Mark was very focused on recreating the look that the original 1923 clubhouse had, and I think he hit it spot on. It's been incredibly rewarding to walk through the clubhouse since it’s opened and see people using the spaces, and being excited about being in them in the exact way the design and completed construction was intended to be used.”

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The historic clubhouse was originally constructed in 1923 by local Denver architects Merrill and Burnham Hoyt, who had already created some iconic landmarks in the area, including the north wing of Denver’s Central Public Library, the annex of the Colorado Capitol building, and the iconic Red Rocks Amphitheatre. The stately English Tudor-style clubhouse they created was timeless in its design and use of space. The building—which featured half-timber construction of wood and brick, pitched gable roof lines, and ornamental windows—offered magnificent views of Colorado’s Front Range, from Pikes Peak to the south to Longs Peak to the north.

Today, as members and guests enter the new clubhouse, they are greeted by a massive open hallway that flows toward large picture windows with familiar views of the same Rocky Mountains vistas. Finlay was trusted with completing a grand space that appropriately honors a club and membership that has hosted three United States Opens, two PGA Championships and a host of prestigious men’s and women’s national championships while benevolently inspiring and supporting a community with scholarship initiatives like the Palmer Foundation and Evans Scholarship programs.

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In terms of gathering spaces and amenities, the impressive 97,000-square-foot clubhouse, with an entire second-story addition for more functional space and more advantageous views of the golf course, meets the highest expectations. An expansive dining area, named “22” in honor of the clubhouse’s original debut, features folding doors that retract to allow for the next best thing to an al fresco culinary experience. Touches like the design of “22” exemplifies the club’s commitment to fostering a more contemporary feel for its membership.

Elsewhere, Arnie’s, a nod to golfing legend Arnold Palmer, a former honorary member, (who became inextricably connected to Cherry Hills with his heroic victory there at the 1960 U.S. Open), is a boutique adult dining facility featuring indoor and outdoor terrace seating, all the while paying thoughtful homage to showcasing the iconic figure Palmer came to be. The Palmer memorabilia and artwork displayed was carefully curated to highlight multiple facets of The King’s life and career. The outdoor patio offers a 180-degree view spanning the eighteenth hole to the south and the tenth hole to the north. Finally, three centrally located and vertically connected kitchens allow for improved functionality and output.


Other spaces of note include the Flynn Library honoring the well-known course architect, the Eisenhower Library recognizing the former honorary club member and U.S. president, the Babe Zaharias Room recognizing the golfing legend and former Denver resident, and the Hall of Champions, which holds its rightful place in the hallway leading to the pro shop. A complete fitness center, as well as The Swing Lounge, with four indoor hitting bays with golf simulators, are sure to attract families across all segments of the membership for years to come.

“It has been rewarding to see the genuine look of 'Wow!' on members’ faces,” said Lance Sabella, Cherry Hills Chief Operating Officer (COO). “This is now a much more well-rounded clubhouse as it relates to amenities and programming. The new venues: KidZone and TeenZone rooms, Swing Lounge (indoor golf simulator room) and the fitness center create opportunities and reasons for younger members and their families to come and enjoy other aspects of the club beyond the golf course, racquet facilities and swimming pool. Our two new restaurants with distinct menus also provide variety in that they can experience a more casual family experience or choose to dine in a more adult oriented, upscale environment when they are entertaining friends or business associates.”

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Finlay was steadfast on rebuilding, restoring and repurposing concepts and features of the original clubhouse. With that in mind, he and his team preserved but moved the Banquet entry hall and the pre-function fireplace to new locations to help bring the history of the club to the surface and maintain the members' connection to the club's deep legacy.

“The craftsmanship of the original building was extremely important. The craftsmanship of that time was exquisite, and I wanted to make sure the connective tissue through the interior and exterior of the clubhouse was evident in the attention to detail,” Finlay said. “The most impactful part of the design is the new relationship of the building to the golf course. I realigned the entrance axis to give an immediate view of the golf course and the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains upon entering the building. The enhanced views are truly breathtaking and connected to the golf course like never before.”

Cherry Hills and its iconic William Flynn-designed golf course, set against the panoramic views of the Rocky Mountains, will host its third United States Amateur Championship August 14-20.  


The historic, century-old venue previously hosted the USGA’s oldest national championship in 1990 and 2012. Just as vital to Cherry Hills as hosting national golf championships on a regular basis, is a dedication and passion to give back to the game and create turning-point opportunities for youth in the local community. Through charitable donations to the Palmer Scholarship Foundation, the Western Golf Association’s Evans Scholars Foundation, and The First Tee – Colorado chapters, Cherry Hills is making a significant impact in the lives of young people across the Centennial State. 

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Cherry Hills is intertwined in the fabric of American golf history. The club was founded in 1922 on 272 acres south of Denver, Colorado and designed by renowned course architect William Flynn. In 1938, the United States Golf Association awarded Cherry Hills the U.S. Open, the first time the tournament was held west of the Mississippi River. Since then, the course has hosted 14 different national championships with the U.S. Amateur scheduled in 2023 being its 15th. Cherry Hills is the site of one of the most famous opening shots and monumental rounds in championship golf history when Arnold Palmer drove the first green in the final round of the 1960 U.S. Open and made birdie on his way to a final round 65 to win. Cherry Hills is the only course in the U.S., other than Augusta National, where Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus both won a major championship.

The champions who have won at Cherry Hills have included some of the game's greats: Palmer, Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson, Jay Siegel, Hubert Green, Andy North, Ralph Guldahl, Vic Ghezzi, Babe Didrikson-Zaharias and Lewis Oehmig. Cherry Hills is ranked among America’s 100 Greatest Courses by Golf Digest, GOLF Magazine’s Top 100 Courses in the U.S. and Golfweek’s Best Classic Courses and Best Private Courses. 


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Kevin Frisch
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Carl Mickelson
(512) 797-2673