UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS RECEIVES GIFT OF ATKINS GOLF CLUB

THE FORMER STONE CREEK GOLF CLUB is now the ATKINS GOLF CLUB at the University of Illinois (pending trustee’s approval). More information at Illinois.edu.           ____________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG-by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy or LinkedIn and Facebook.

The Atkins Golf Club at the University of Illinois

The University of Illinois has released the following statement.

The Atkins Group (TAG) has donated more than 300 acres of real estate in southeast Urbana, highlighted by the Stone Creek Golf Club and it’s associated buildings and equipment to the University of Illinois and the University of Illinois Foundation.

The Illinois Division of Intercollegiate Athletics (DIA) will operate the golf club. The club will remain closed for the remainder of 2020, while undergoing improvements on and off the golf course. The course will remain a public golf course while serving as home for the men’s and women’s golf teams for the University of Illinois-Fighting Illini. The total value of the gift exceeds 15 million dollars.

“We are so grateful to Susie, Spencer, Todd, Suzette and the entire Atkins family for their continued generosity to the University of Illinois and Fighting Illini Athletics,” said Director of Athletics Josh Whitman. “Working with them to develop the full breadth of this remarkable gift has been a true pleasure. We are excited about the future of the golf course and the benefits it will have for our varsity golf programs and, of equal importance, our entire community. We believe such a broad-based, visible presence from the University will help generate great value and stability to the homeowners and businesses in southeast Urbana. As part of the gift the university receives more than 100 residential lots, and over 70 undeveloped acres of land.

The golf club is an 18-hole public golf course located on nearly 190 acres. The course was closed in January of this year, as the Atkins family (TAG) and the University of Illinois worked towards this agreement. As part of the agreement the Illinois DIA will hire a golf course management firm to operate the golf course, the off course operation and will oversee meaningful improvements to the golf course, that will benefit both the men’s and women’s golf teams.

Click here to our the interview with University of Illinois Men’s golf coach Mike Small.

“We are excited for the opportunity to connect with the University of Illinois, again,” said Spencer Atkins. “As discussions progressed, it became clear to the family that a donation befitting our mission would be in line with the University’s vision and commitment to our community.”

Click here to hear the interview with Illinois Women’s golf coach Renee Slone.

The newly named Atkins Golf Club at the University of Illinois will reopen for public play in the spring of 2021. Both coaches spoke to looking forward to seeing improvements that will help the facility become among the best college golf courses in the nation, hosting future championship events.

The gift will count towards the $300 million dollar fundraising goal for the DIA. Which is part of the University-wide $2.25 billion dollar fundraising effort.

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About Rory Spears

Rory spent over 8 years growing up working at Rob Roy Golf Club in Prospect Hts.IL, then two years at Chevy Chase in Wheeling. He has covered golf in Chicago since 1986. Rory was one of the initial members of WSCR all-sports radio Chicago and covered golf there for 5 seasons, before moving on to work for ESPN/Sportsticker and ESPN Radio. In addition to hosting Golfers on Golf Radio on WNDZ Am 750 Chicago, he writes for both the Chicago District (CDGA) Magazine, and formerly Chicagoland Golf. Rory has played over 525 courses in 39 states, and rates golf courses. He does golf course management and communications consulting, within the golf industry.